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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Margery Allingham’s Mr Campion’s Farewell, Completed by Mike Ripley, Reviewed

The PR company handling marketing asked me to review this book. It’s not my usual read, but, having watched some of the adaptations on TV and enjoyed them, I agreed.

The eponymous character is well drawn, matching the depiction from the screen. He’s an interesting personality, personifying that quintessentially English upper middle class hero who prefers to pretends to be a little dim. In fact, of course, his wit is razor sharp and his intelligence high. The other players in this novel are equally well put together; individuals who manage to be representative of certain types without becoming stereotypical.

The narrative is delivered with a tongue-in-cheek gentle humour reminiscent of an earlier age. At times, I found the convoluted descriptions a little tedious, though this was only an occasional irritation, which quickly passed. There is a certain type of wit here that will definitely appeal to those who have loved the previous novels and those who enjoy the Jeeves and Wooster books.

The plot is clever and its denouement very well handled, keeping the reader interested to the very last. The relationships between the various characters are drawn with humour and compassion so that even the villains engender a certain amount of sympathy. In one of those peculiar coincidences that sometimes cause delight, I began to read this book on the day I had visited Lavenham, in Suffolk. This is the town on which the main setting of the book is based, so I immediately felt at home with the descriptions of the place and some of its buildings.

Against my expectations, I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It’s an entertaining and engaging read and I expect that those who love their crime with a touch of humour will find it thoroughly worthwhile.
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