Friday, October 4, 2013

Cleopatra Ain't the Only Queen of Denial: Hide My Eyes (1958), by Margery Allingham

"Don't they make you tired?" he said, referring no doubt to womenkind in general.  "Cruel to themselves half the time, cruel to themselves."

Don't look now....
What's your favorite Margery Allingham crime novel?  It's been de rigueur for some time now to say The Tiger in the Smoke, but, truth be told, that one's not mine.

Purely as a matter of personal enjoyment I prefer the splendid romantic fantasia Sweet Danger, the manners detective novels Death of a Ghost and Dancers in Mourning, the Wodehousian The Case of the Late Pig, the atmospherically rich More Work for the Undertaker, the amnesia thriller Traitor's Purse and the late, dark thriller Hide My Eyes.

Hide My Eyes is in print, both in the US and the UK, so perhaps an odd choice for a forgotten book, but it seems so much in Tiger's shadow that I feel it's a justified choice.  I should have the full review up on Saturday.

In the meantime, I wanted to pass along this link, to th Crime Writers' Association's Margery Allingham Short Story Competition for Unpublished Short Stories.  Those of you with creative inclinations in this direction should check it out!

Also, all the essays now are in for the Doug Greene festschrift (including two on Margery Allingham), so I hope to talk about this in more detail soon.


  1. Look forward to your review - I have just been reading Julia Jones's biography of MA (which I greatly enjoyed) and it left me wanting to re-read many of them. HIde My Eyes I think I read as a teenager and I think found difficult, so definitely should try it again as a grown-up - allegedly!

  2. Thank you Clothes in Books - MA would have LOVED your blog! But yes Hide My Eyes is difficult. I hope the biography will have explained why that might be so - and also why it's such a huge achievement (in my opinion).

  3. Thanks Clothes (I'll be informal ;) ). I definitely recommend Julia's bio too and I'll be pulling it off the shelf upstairs for the blog piece. I share Julia's opinion of the book, despite my partiality to classical detection. As I recollect Christie was a great fan of the book as well.