“Campion at Christmas – Four Holiday Stories” by Margery Allingham.

This was a review copy kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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I have not previously read any of Margery Allingham’s Campion stories, although I believe that I have seen or heard an episode or two on television and on the radio. Therefore, as it was the third day of December, I began reading this collection of festive tales from the “golden age” of detective fiction with great anticipation. I was very much looking forward to this book.

Sadly, these four Christmas stories all left me very disappointed.

Only one of them, “The Case of the Man with the Sack”, has a worthwhile mystery element to it. While the other three are festive in theme, for me, they are poor examples of detective fiction. “Happy Christmas” is the most disappointing of them; unless I am mistaken and missed it, Campion does not even appear in this one.

Would this discourage me from reading further, and fuller, Albert Campion mysteries? I’d like to think not but, with so many other novels competing for attention, I’d have to be especially drawn to another Margery Allingham tale.

The first tale, “On Christmas Day in the Morning”, is taken from The Mysterious Mr Campion, first published in 1963.

“Happy Christmas” is from the 1962 Christmas Edition of Woman’s Own Magazine.

“The Case of the Man with the Sack” from The Allingham Minibus of 1973.

“Word in Season – A Story for Christmas” from 1965’s Mr Campion’s Lady.

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