I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
My first Allingham, and fittingly, her first too. Definitely not my last.
DCI Challenor's son is on his way home to London one evening when he sees a young woman stepping off the bus with a heavy load and stops to offer her a ride to her home. Moments after leaving her there, he and the local constable hear the rapport of a shotgun and on returning find a man most definitely dead and a hallway full of suspects.
This is a very short read, relative to today's average mystery, coming in at just 157 pages. But it's a fast-paced 157 pages and Allingham dispenses with anything monotonous or that might smack of filler. The timeline jumps from one paragraph to another; sometimes by just a few hours, sometimes a few days, towards the end, a few years. This might really aggravate some readers but if you're familiar with Golden Age mysteries, you won't find it unusual.
I thoroughly enjoyed it; so much so that it was 1am when I finally shut the light off, having finished the entire book in one sitting. She had me guessing the entire way through, and not once did I come close. I found DCI Challenor's advice at the end appalling; it would never fly in our time, but in the age it was written, it would have been standard.
A very good mystery and from my first peek, I'd say Allingham is under valued as a master of mystery, but to be sure, I'll have to read a few more - as soon as possible.