Hachette, 3CDs £13.99
Audio book of the week: The Beckoning Lady by Margery Allingham
Sunday 27 July 2008
As amateur sleuths go, Albert Campion is not as posh as Lord Peter Wimsey nor as forensically deductive as Sherlock Holmes. Tall, fair, thin, bespectacled and, when occasion demands, surprisingly athletic, he is as comfortable in the company of old lags as he is with gently declining aristocrats: above all, he is coolly unflappable.
Margery Allingham's urbane hero first began solving murders in the 1930s and continued until his creator's untimely death in 1966. His exploits are being released on audio every few months and they are as enlivening as a glass of champagne on a balmy evening. The latest is set, as usual, in Suffolk. It's 1955 and Mr Campion has married and is on holiday with his new wife and their young son when a corpse is found in the river, his head smashed in by a ploughshare.
The plot centres on a lavish summer party. It involves another two suspicious deaths, some unscrupulous city boys on the make and a languid beauty called Prune, for whose charms a stolid Chief Inspector falls like a felled oak. Besides the large and colourful human cast there is, of course, a dog. The seductive joy of this series lies in a sublime combination of the kind of witty writing that has you laughing aloud with the perfect timing and light tenor timbre of Philip Franks (left). Don't start listening to these books unless you are confident that you can handle addiction.
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
Record Store Day 2014: Best exclusives coming to a UK independent record shop near you
Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark
Lady Gaga and Ozzy Osbourne's lyrics named hardest to understand
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Are you turning into your dad? The top ten signs you've embraced dad-ism revealed as survey says 38 is age men turn into their father
- 2 Overheard in Waitrose: documenting the chatter in 'Britain's poshest supermarket'
- 3 Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Grace Dent on TV: Game of Thrones has jumped the shark