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Find out more about Margery’s life and work, in the words of writers, experts and fans

detective fiction author margery allingham at her desk - copyright Margery Allingham Society

The Margery Allingham Society was founded in 1988 to celebrate the life and work of a great ‘Queen of Crime’. The aim of the Society is to bring together all those who share an interest in preserving, promoting and enjoying Margery Allingham’s literary work and reputation through meetings, social events, publishing and by encouraging research into her life and times.

“This is, I think, my favourite detective story. I return to it again and again, just as soon as I have forgotten enough to re-enter it. The novel has the most amazing plot of any thriller I know. It was written in 1940 at the beginning of the second world war and has an ingenious secret at its centre, which I am not going to give away in case there are still readers who can come to it as the surprise it should be. Allingham’s publishers queried the plausibility of the German plot she imagined – only to discover many years later that she had in fact imagined a secret that did really exist.” A. S. Byatt on Margery Allingham, in The Guardian

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“The history of crime fiction in the 20th century has often been presented as the evolution of the “detective story” – bloodless, lightweight, prizing plot over characterisation – into the “crime novel”: grown-up, disturbing, psychologically acute. Allingham’s Campion novels offer a rare example of this evolution taking place within the work of one author.” Jake Kerridge, The Telegraph

“The best of Margery Allingham’s work, like More Work for the Undertaker and The Tiger in the Smoke, well repay reading. And, as I well know, re-reading and re-reading.” H R F Keating, Mystery Scene

“Spending an evening with Campion is one of life’s pure pleasures” The Sunday Times

“In February 1938, Allingham took stock of her career and noted that she had published about eight million words, including fourteen thrillers; the other 6½ million words had been penned for the Amalgamated Press, D. C. Thomson and various newspapers and magazines, the majority for Girls’ Cinema.” Bear Alley Books 

“Dancers in Mourning and The Fashion in Shrouds were published in 1937 and 1938, and are the best examples of Allingham’s capacity to create the atmosphere, and machinery, and ideology, of enclosed worlds – the stage and the musical in Dancers in Mourning; the world of haute couture in The Fashion in Shrouds.” A S Byatt, The Telegraph

“The Campion series as a whole demonstrates the breadth of what’s possible in a crime novel, and Allingham’s restlessness with the genre’s constraints.” Sarah Weinman, The Wall Street Journal

“At least twice in my life I have owned the complete works of Margery Allingham, but I keep finding that some have gone astray. The detective-story collection is stockpiled in the spare bedroom, and over the years I have found that the Allinghams effortlessly top the list of Books Most Often Nicked”  Jane Stevenson, The Guardian

“My very favourite of the four Queens of crime is Allingham”  J K Rowling

“Margery Allingham has precious few peers and no superiors” The Sunday Times

“The best of mystery writers” The New Yorker





“The best of mystery writers” – The New Yorker

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