Just another GR refugee. Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.
The Crime at Black Dudley is the first Albert Campion mystery. It came out in 1929, and is probably best compared to Agatha Christie or Dorothy L. Sayers novels of the same period. (For Christie, this is the era before any Miss Marple, or most Poirot - think Partners in Crime, The Big Four, or The Secret of Chimneys.) For this novel is a game of country house murder, "big crooks," and a detective with an aristocratic imbecile facade.
Oddly, though, Albert Campion is not the main character of his own introduction story - he doesn't even appear in all of it, though he is indeed the most interesting character in the novel. Our putative hero is the rather boring Dr. Abbershaw. He might have been dashing in 1929 (I don't know, I wasn't there), but today he reads as a fairly earnest character, though at least I can say that he's more rounded than the rest of the cast. The four ladies are either plucky, weepy, or insane (as needed), and the gentlemen are all correct and proper for their era and class.
Except Mr. Campion, which I suspect is one reason why there were many more Campion novels (some 25 or so), of which he was the actual principal character. (Alas, no Lugg in this one.)
So: fun if you like murder mysteries 1920s style, or have read a Campion and are a completist (I know the tendency). Not deep, in plot or in writing, but an amusing way to spend a couple of hours.
My copy courtesy of Bloomsbury and Net Galley - much thanks.