Margery Allingham grew up in a household where story-writing was the obvious way to earn a living. Her first novel was the outcome of a family séance held in the bleak surroundings of Mersea Island in Essex. She was hailed as a prodigy but this proved a false start and she spent several years writing up the plots of 1920s silent films before developing her central character, the languid sleuth Albert Campion.


She is regularly linked with Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers but her output is more varied, humorous and idiosyncratic. For this she is admired by top crime-writers such as P.D. James and Sara Paretsky as well as her many loyal fans.


Margery Allingham was a warm and welcoming hostess who covered up for her erring husband and refused to admit the extent of her own health problems and depression. Her sister Joyce gave Julia Jones full access to her family papers and answered the most painful questions with honesty.


This new edition is able to go further, telling the surprising story of Margery’s husband’s liaison with lesbian icon Nancy Spain. Margery insisted that the events of her life provided the raw material for her fiction. This biography offers insights into the creative process as well as a portrait of the age though which Margery Allingham lived.


“A wonderful and evocative biography” Nicci Gerrard



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