‘Coroner’s Pidgin,’ by Margery Allingham

Novel, 1945

Crime mystery, set in the last knockings of World War Two, involving a tricky plot of art theft, kidnapping and a cast of fairly diverse and dastardly characters. London has a downbeat, authentic feel to it, with characters raising pigs and living in bombsites, so giving an example of how things are somewhat grim, but treated with a matter-of-fact humour. Albert Campion is also very much more prominent in this book than in some others in which appears. If the plot whirls, twists and gets a little lost in places, the book’s atmosphere is fantastic, smoky and across different social boundaries, even if it is predominantly concerned with those in society’s higher echelons.

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