Look to the Lady by Margery Allingham, first published in January 1931, in the United Kingdom by Jarrolds Publishing, London, and in the United States by Doubleday, Doran, New York, as The Gyrth Chalice Mystery. It is the third novel featuring Albert Campion, accompanied once more by his butler/valet/bodyguard Magersfontein Lugg. This copy: Felony & Mayhem Press 2006 trade paper.
Val Gyrth, heir to the Gyrth family and their traditional vocation of guarding the famous Gyrth Chalice, is homeless and wandering the streets. After a mysterious chain of events, he is plucked out of danger by Albert Campion, who explains that a conspiracy of art collectors and criminals hopes to steal the treasure his family is charged with protecting.
Returning Gyrth to his family in the village of Sanctuary in Suffolk, Campion is shocked when Val’s aunt Di, a bohemian who upset the family by being photographed with the chalice, is found lying dead in a forest clearing, apparently frightened to death.
Val’s 25th birthday, at which a great secret is to be revealed to him, is fast approaching.
While the plot feels a little “old fashioned” it must be remembered this is a golden age mystery, and Campion is very much in that mold here. I’d read most of the Campion mysteries, but had skipped this one, so it was new to me. I’ve been of the opinion that the Campion books improve as the series progresses, and nothing in this one disabuses me of that thinking. A solid entry which will be enjoyed by Allingham and Campion fans but not quite the top of the heap.