Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Case of the Late Pig, by Margery Allingham

The Case of the Late Pig, by Margery Allingham

My boys have decided that my mother collects pigs, much to her chagrin. Anytime we are out and see something with a pig motif (slippers, figurines, screen wipes, you name it!) the kids inevitably say, “Grandma Elaine needs that!” As a result a good-natured swine-themed gift exchange occurs every Christmas, with mom even getting into the action and trying to turn the tables on us: this past year, I received a copy of The Case of the Late Pig.

I was unfamiliar with the detective Albert Campion before this, but apparently he was fairly popular during the early twentieth century, and as recently as 1990 has been filmed. The story was interesting, including mysterious letters and disappearing corpses, but not really compelling enough to make me want to read other volumes in the series. I love mysteries, but this style where it is virtually impossible to solve the problem along with the sleuth isn’t my favorite. Not improving matters is that Campion’s sidekick, Lugg, spoke with a thick accent and heavy slang that really slowed down my reading: “The bloke ’oo wrote this knew you was always anxious to snuff round a bit of blood, doin’ the rozzers out of their rightful, and ’e kindly give you the tip to come along ’ere as fast as you could so’s you wouldn’t miss nothink.” All in all, The Case of the Late Pig was a pleasant diversion for a short afternoon, but not really my cup of tea.

First Sentence:
The main thing to remember in an autobiography, I have always thought, is not to let any damned modesty creep in to spoil the story.

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