Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The White Cottage Mystery - Margery Allingham

The White Cottage Mystery was Margery Allingham's first mystery, published in 1928, a year before Albert Campion appeared on the scene.

Everyone hated Eric Crowther.  He knew something awful about them all and he used that secret to mentally torture them.  So everyone was delighted when he was murdered.  Unfortunately, the police still had to try to find the murderer.  Several people were in The White Cottage when he was shot to death, but they all seemed to have alibis.

Detective W. T. Challoner's son, Jerry, was on the scene, too.  He had just given a ride to a lovely girl, Norah Bayliss, whose heel was blistered.  She walked into The White Cottage and shortly after, a gunshot was heard.

It's questionable whether or not Jerry actually helped his father.  He fell in love with Norah and he often seemed to create more problems than he solved.

Jerry and his father follow a prime suspect to Paris, and then they go on to the Riviera to talk to Norah and her sister, another suspect.

Jerry's father suddenly declares the case unsolvable and refuses to talk about it.  Jerry and Norah get married and have two children.  Seven years later, during a casual afternoon in the garden, the truth is revealed.  Jerry and Norah finally understand why W. T. dropped the case.

I liked this fairly short mystery.  I didn't know who did it, but then I often don't.  It's a fast-paced book, very enjoyable.  In one of those weird coincidences, my friend Katrina and I had just decided we would read a book about the Riviera together  -  and the Riviera pops up in this book!  Strange.


  1. I read and enjoyed a lot of her books but not this one. I think it's serendipity when things like that happen, I'm looking forward to 'seeing' you on The Riviera - or is it 'in The Riviera'?

    1. This mystery was nice and straight forward, but not simple. I haven't read any of the Campion ones for a while, but my recollection is that they are more complicated.
      Yes, it will be fun to be on the Riviera together! What a coincidence that we have the exact same, rather rare book to read together.