September 23, 2004

Traitor's Purse

Traitor's Purse
Margary Allingham
( Penguin, 1941)
One of my favourite Campion novels, which I bought just to have it in the classic Penguin green and cream design. An amnesiac Campion wakes in a hospital, suspected of murder.

One of the reasons I like the Campion novels is that he goes through WW2 and emerges a different character. You can contrast the early novels like Mystery Mile in which he is a combination of Sherlock Holmes and Bertie Wooster with these later novels (Traitor's Purse, More Work for the Undertaker etc) in which he has ended up a government agent albeit one still with Woosterish mannerisms. Allingham writes war and post-War Britain with a staggering grinding sense of impoverishment so Campion's changing character reflects the changing eras.