cover image Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion Returns in Mr. Campion’s Farewell

Margery Allingham’s Albert Campion Returns in Mr. Campion’s Farewell

Completed by Mike Ripley. Severn, $28.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8383-4

Ripley (The Legend of Hereward) does an excellent job of expanding a story fragment that Allingham’s husband, Pip Youngman Carter, began in 1969. Ripley sets his Albert Campion novel in that same year, with an older detective traveling to the English village of Lindsay Carfax, the scene of a number of unusual occurrences. Most recently, schoolmaster Lemmy Walker disappeared for nine days; upon his return, he refused to discuss his whereabouts. His reticence may be connected with the Carders, the shadowy organization that runs the community; 400 years earlier, the Carders had “something to do with wool.” The danger soon becomes personal for Campion. His artist niece, Eliza Jean Fitton, almost breaks her neck after someone sets a trap on a staircase. Ripley is especially good at recreating the humorous wordplay of the originals (Campion refers to a speaker as suffering from “loose vowels”), and does so in service of a well-crafted plot that plausibly places the detective, who debuted in 1929, in a more contemporary setting. Allingham fans will welcome the news that Severn has commissioned a follow-up, and newcomers will be inspired to seek out her work. (July)