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Mystery Monday Review – The Fashion in Shrouds

The Fashion in Shrouds by Margery Allingham

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

This 1938 whodunnit combines mystery, romance, and novel of ideas. It’s set in a fashion house and peopled with glamorous and good-looking characters.

The mystery: an irresponsible brute of an aristo is poisoned in his own plane and this convenient death may or may not be related to a suicide whose skeleton is found by the hero Albert Campion.

The romance: three professional women must balance their successful careers with romance and marriage to suitable men. The novel of ideas: the obstacles to balancing career and love for women.

Although in our post-modern days these issues are rather dated, the book is worth reading for the character of Georgia Wells, stage-actress and femme fatale who is the illustration of Rebecca West’s observation, “The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots.” Idiotic in the original Greek sense that Georgia is vain, selfish, egocentric, and childishly cares only about her own goals and pleasures. Georgia is an incredible creation, right up there with Uriah Heep and Elizabeth Bennett’s Silly Mother.






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