The White Cottage Mystery

The White Cottage Mystery

by Margery Allingham


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Classic Crime from the Golden Age. Margery Allingham is J.K. Rowling's favorite Golden Age author.

Eric Crowther collected secrets and used them as weapons. Delighting in nothing more than torturing those around him with what he knew, there is no shortage of suspects when he is found dead in the White Cottage. Chief Inspector Challenor and his son Jerry will have to look deep into everyone's past—including the victim's—before they can be sure who has pulled the trigger. The fact that Jerry is in love with one of the suspects, however, might complicate things.

The White Cottage Mystery was Margery Allingham's first detective story, originally written as a serial for the Daily Express in 1927 and published as a book a year later. This new Bloomsbury edition is the only US edition currently in print.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781408880203
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 01/24/2017
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 230,724
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Margery Allingham is ranked among the most distinguished and beloved detective fiction writers of the 'Golden Age' alongside Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Ngaio Marsh. Allingham is J.K. Rowling's favorite Golden Age author, and Agatha Christie remarked that out of all the detective stories she remembers, Margery Allingham 'stands out like a shining light'. Born in London in 1904, Allingham published her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, at the age of 19. The White Cottage Mystery was her first detective story, written first as a serial for the Daily Express in 1927.

Date of Birth:

May 20, 1904

Date of Death:

June 30, 1966

Place of Birth:


Place of Death:

Colchester, Essex, England


Endsleigh House School, Colchester; the Perse School, Cambridge; and the Regent Street Polytechnic, London

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The White Cottage Mystery 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Crime writing from a different era. It's many years since I've read any Margery Allingham and this was a good trip back to the England of many years ago. A well-crafted mystery, well-written, a historical snap-shot of an apparently gentler time, moving between middle-class England and the South of France. Much slower pace than modern detective fiction, which made for good holiday reading.
druidgirl More than 1 year ago
This story totally reminds me of Poirot and Hastings and Sherlock and Watson. Jerry and his dad W.T. Challoner a police detective investigates the death of a blackmailer and evil man who took great pleasure in torturing the people he is blackmailing. This was a quick read, I just could not put it down. The book had a well developed plot and the characters were great. Thanks to Net Galley and Bloomsbury Publishing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When a really bad man is murdered, there are suspects and motives aplenty. Great writing style, easy to read and the murderer id a complete surprise!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is a good one but the language is terrible. I wish I could erase it. There are still people that don't have the need to swear to make themselves understood.
char27 More than 1 year ago
was a great short story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this a lot, enjoyable reading. I would read this author again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first time I have read anything by Margery Allingham. I will certainly be reading more of her works.
AreYouStillReading More than 1 year ago
"Jerry," he said, "in our business one must never be afraid to know the truth. You want me to throw up this case - a thing I could never do for my own self-respect's sake - because you're afraid to face what you believe to be true." When Jerry Challoner offers a woman a ride home from the bus stop, he had no idea what he would be getting himself involved in. After dropping Norah Bayliss off at her sister's home, he hears a gun fire and sees the maid run out in shock. Seeing that a murder has occurred, he has his father, W.T. Challoner, brought in to investigate. The White Cottage Mystery is the first book I have read by Margery Allingham. Nonetheless, I have read books from the Golden Age of Mystery fiction, including Agatha Christie books and Dorothy L. Sayers books. I have come to the conclusion that the first book written by these Golden Age authors are just not that great. I did not like The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie or Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers. The issues i have with those books are the same issues I have with The White Cottage Mystery. There is no tension. Every character W.T. investigates easily confesses to their secret. It is ridiculous. Every time you think that maybe... just maybe... you are going to get a character that is lying to you, they confess they are lying rather quickly. It makes for a rather boring mystery. I feel like the subplot of Jerry falling in love with Norah is supposed to make you keep reading, but I hated it. Norah was alright, but Jerry was stupid most of the time. He ranks up there with Arthur Hasting on my most hated sidekicks list. He was blinded by love. I felt like the character was unrealistic and it made The White Cottage Mystery almost impossible to read. I really liked the ending. While I guessed the ending, it made sense and I like how Allingham tied up the story in a morally grey way. I enjoy when mystery novels have different endings and not just "the murderer was sent to prison". I ended up really liking the character of W.T. because of his course of action in the last few chapters. (Jerry not so much...) While an interesting reading, The White Cottage Mystery is not a great place to start with classic crime fiction. Read some others before picking it up. You will enjoy it more that way. I received this book from Bloomsbury Reader via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Allingham has always been one of my favorite authors. The White Cottage Mystery is a great read, especially for a first book. The characters are engaging, the mystery fun.
NomadicReads More than 1 year ago
This book couldn't have been more awesome for me, at this time. Margery Allingham's writing somewhat resembles Agatha Christie's but with some differences that manage to make reading The White Cottage Mystery even more enjoyable. I have nothing but good things to say about this novel. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to have read such an amazing mystery! (also published on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble)
Muttcafe More than 1 year ago
I've always enjoyed Margery Allingham's novels, particularly those featuring Albert Campion. Affable and charming, yet far more astute than anyone realizes, he is a perfect Golden Age detective. Thus, I was instantly drawn to The White Cottage Mystery, Allingham's first detective novel. (It doesn't feature Campion) The story centers around the murder of an unpleasant man, whose main pleasure in life is to see people suffer. So horrendous was his nature, that neighbors and servants alike had reason to wish his death. No one is afraid to say how much they hated Crowther, but everyone is hiding "something". The question is whether the lies are related to the murder. Chief Inspector Challenor "the Greyhound" is known for getting to the truth. (Greyhound owners will easily see the resemblance - Our pets are perceptive and intelligent, but at the same time amiable and easy going. Deceptively slow, they are capable of great bursts of speed and activity.) Along with his son Jerry, he pursues the complicated truth from England to the Continent. If you are a fan of Agatha Christie, you should definitely give Margery Allingham a try. The White Cottage Mystery is an enjoyable tale with a surprising twist at the end. 4/5 I received a copy of The White Cottage Mystery from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review. --Crittermom
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
love this mystery writer
cottontopSG More than 1 year ago
loved the blend of someone from the US and Britain. also loved the description of gardens.
mater24 More than 1 year ago
all allingham books are good
CozyFan2014 More than 1 year ago
Good book! Old fashioned cozy, very nice read. BY THE WAY, most of the reviews here are not reviews at all, but attempts at using the review boxes to write vapid stories about magical cats - something that has been going on for years, without anyone on this site deleting or stopping it. Apparently it is junior high school kids who are getting around their schools' website restrictions. So the ratings are skewed for this book. To Barnes and Noble - when are you going to put a stop to this practice??
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sententious and sentimentally annoying. I strongly disapprove of books where cops cover up crimes. NOT their decision to make, whether anyone should be prosecuted or not. And I don'r,t care what era a book is set in, at no time would the brainless, bumbling son of the lead detective be allowed to tag along.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Drahthaar More than 1 year ago
Interesting and unusual concept.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For themselves will come up in one of her very first mystery novels. This was very much a period piece with the conventions of that time the non professional is the basis of most classic authors of the golden age and well into now in all those cozies page counter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a fund mystery! I enjoyed the details of the characters and the ending twist! I thought I knew for sure who the murderer was, until I found out different. If you are looking for a fast, quick mystery to take on a trip, check this one out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago