The slashing of a valuable painting at the renowned Ivory Gallery in London, one of the most prestigious art galleries in the world - followed by the murder of the proprietor's son-in-law, Robert, sets the stage for another finely tuned Allingham mystery. The proprietor's mother, 90-year-old Gabrielle Ivory, holds the key to the web of intrigue and danger that permeates the gallery. Gabrielle Ivory was once a society beauty. But now, nearing 90, she's largely disregarded by the younger members of the Ivory clan, who like to imagine Granny as rather a relic of a dead era. That's a mistake, and it's not their only one. A series of malicious attacks is threatening the Ivory Gallery in London. Robert Ivory and his high-strung wife, frantic to preserve the status-quo, want to chalk it all up to practical jokes gone wrong. But Gabrielle is not inclined to collude in this delusion. A brilliant standalone mystery from the author of the beloved Campion books. Golden Age Crime at its intriguing best.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.53(d)|
About the Author
Margery Allingham was born in Ealing, London in 1904 to a family immersed in literature. Her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, was published in 1923 when she was 19. Her first work of detective fiction was a serialized story published by the Daily Express in 1927. Entitled The White Cottage Mystery, it contained atypical themes for a woman writer of the era. Her breakthrough occurred in 1929 with the publication of The Crime at Black Dudley. This introduced Albert Campion, albeit originally as a minor character. He returned in Mystery Mile, thanks in part to pressure from her American publishers, much taken with the character. Campion proved so successful that Allingham made him the centrepiece of another 17 novels and over 20 short stories, continuing into the 1960s.
Date of Birth:May 20, 1904
Date of Death:June 30, 1966
Place of Birth:London
Place of Death:Colchester, Essex, England
Education:Endsleigh House School, Colchester; the Perse School, Cambridge; and the Regent Street Polytechnic, London
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Black Plumes based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I see from the other reviews that Allingham's characters here made some a little uncomfortable. Actually, I relished in them. Allingham was reared in a time when Victorian matriarchs were still visible in society, and she deftly captured one. Gabriele Ivory's actions and interactions give us as full a characterization of what intelligent women of that era were like. For that alone, it's priceless.Allingham wrote this in 1940, but she was getting her inspiration from the bewteen-the-wars period. The characters, mores, and adventures fit the period. Inspector Bridie may be a little over the top, but this was an era in which cultural and linguistic differences were much more evident than they are now in the age of television. This is a period piece, pure and simple.
It's different from most mysteries in that the main character is just worrying about the murder not trying to solve it. Didn't find the characters that interesting or likable. I want one or the other. The cover of my bantam edition incorrectly describes it as a Albert Campion mystery. He's not mentioned in the book at all. I kept wondering if he would show up at the end.