“My very favourite of the four Queens of Crime is Allingham” J. K. Rowling
Margery Allingham was an English writer of detective fiction, recognised as one of the four Queens of Crime alongside Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers and Ngaio Marsh.. In her time she sold more copies of her books than Christie. She is best remembered for her golden age stories, featuring stories featuring gentleman sleuth Albert Campion.
“Margery Allingham stands out like a shining light. And she has another quality, not usually associated with crime stories, elegance” Agatha Christie
Margery Allingham was born in Ealing, London in 1904 to a family immersed in literature. Her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, was published in 1923 when she was 19. Her first work of detective fiction was a serialized story published by the Daily Express in 1927. Entitled The White Cottage Mystery, it contained atypical themes for a woman writer of the era. Her breakthrough occurred in 1929 with the publication of The Crime at Black Dudley. This introduced Albert Campion, albeit originally as a minor character. He returned in Mystery Mile, thanks in part to pressure from her American publishers, much taken with the character. Campion proved so successful that Allingham made him the centrepiece of another 17 novels and over 20 short stories, continuing into the 1960s.