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Regular & Recurring Characters
- Beware the Silly Ones: Campion may compulsively joke, tell facetious stories, and make the most inane entrances, but you touch a client or someone he's taken a liking to, and you will go down.
- Black Sheep: he's estranged from most of his family, partially because he actually cares about and wants to help people and partially how he goes about doing so.
- Break the Cutie: One of the early chapters in Coroner's Pidgin mentions how, because of what he saw in World War II, he'll never be quite as carefree again. Sadly, this was Truth in Television for a lot of people who saw service.
- British Teeth: In universe he is noted to have a mouth full of too many teeth.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: His quirks, especially noticeable in the early works, lead others to wonder how anyone could seriously have referred them to him for help. His quirks do tone down as he gets older (though he never can quit the compulsive quipping).
- Character Tics: Campion's facial expressions become more vague and foolish when he's figured out something and very often when he's about to do something badass.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Occasionally lampshaded by Lugg or Campion himself.
- Class Clown: Campion was implied to be this in school and college.
- Cool Old Guy: Campion becomes one of these by the end of the series.
- Cultured Badass
- Deadpan Snarker
- Did Not Get the Girl: Until Amanda, all of the women that Campion is interested in end up falling in love with one of his friends or clients.
- Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: He tends to do this in a comedic manner. Needless to say, whatever Big Bad is in the story does not usually take this well
- Distinctive Appearances: The minute you hear reference to a 'tall man', a 'thin man', or a 'pale man', you know who it is because no one is referred to in that way except our hero.
- Doesn't Like Guns: due to that he'd rather not have the temptation to kill anyone, however he does carry one when jobs look to be dangerous and is, in fact, a very good shot.
- Embarrassing First Name: His real name is Rudolph, and he hates it and has done his very best to make people forget it, requiring he be called "Albert" at least as far back as college if not before then.
- Fat and Skinny: The skinny one when pretty much next to anybody, but especially next to Lugg.
- For the Funnyz: Campion can rarely resist the compulsion to make a funny, especially in the earlier books.
- Frames of Reference: In a double subversion of Smart People Wear Glasses, Campion purposely wears overly large spectacles to emphasize his non-intelligent appearance (he does, however, apparently need them for seeing long-distance).
- Gentleman Adventurer: Unlike most of the type though, he does have bills to pay and several stories start with Campion agreeing to help someone for free and Lugg wondering how Campion's going to be able to afford to do so.
- Gentleman Detective
- Gentleman Snarker: Especially as he gets older.
- Guile Hero
- Happily Married: When he and Amanda finally do.
- Heroic Self-Deprecation: Doesn't express it too much, but you find out when he writes one of his adventures himself (despite doing his best to not spoil the story with any 'damned modesty' since he was quite 'brilliant in it') that he's actually very critical of himself, doesn't see himself as a hero, and tends to get hung up on any perceived failures or mistakes he makes.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: with Lugg.
- I Have Many Names: Campion has used many pseudonyms; even 'Albert Campion' itself is a pseudonym. (It's eventually revealed that his first name is Rudolph, and implied, but never outright stated, that he is really the bastard son of King George V.)
- Knight in Sour Armor: Not an incredibly blatant version because he tends to hide both his idealism and his disillusionment under a rain of jokes and quips, but when you do get to see beneath it, he is very much this trope.
- Living Legend: Becomes this in certain circles by the end of the books.
- Magnetic Hero: Despite his quirks, compulsive quipping, and foolish manner, most people find themselves somehow looking for him to come up with a plan or following his orders without question. Is lampshaded in several books.
- Motor Mouth: In the earlier books he often goes into long complicated jokes or making up a long string of funnies on the fly, often resulting in a pre-emptive or mid-sentence collective "Shut Up!" from whatever group of people he's with even if they do respect him and know he's more than he appears.Marlowe Lobbett: "I say, do you always talk like this?"Mr. Campion: "Almost always. People get used to it in time. I can't help it, it's a sort of affliction, like stammering or a hammer toe. My friends pretend they don't notice it."
- Mysterious Past
- Sad Clown: Often uses funnies to relieve the stress of situations and hide his inner workings.
- Self-Deprecation: Doubly subverted. He'll make some sort of statement about his life, fame, heritage, or abilities that's so outrageous it's obvious he's being ironic.
- Sharp-Dressed Man
- Smarter Than You Look: By the time you realise he's not as dumb, silly, or flighty as he looks, it's too late. Far, far too late.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: One of Campion's greatest weapons. He knows how people perceive him and he'll ramp it up to eleven to enforce that image if it means he's more likely to be underestimated.
- The Social Expert
- Stealth Insult: It's fairly common for him to slip these somewhere in the middle of his usual compulsive joking.
- Technical Pacifist: Campion has a 'rule' not to kill — mostly because he doesn't want to have that on his conscience and partly because of his arrangement with the police — but he's quite ready to punch people into the wall. And the table. And the bookshelf...
- The only exception to the 'rule' was in the book "Traitor's Purse" in which he is a secret agent during World War II, though he one time did accept a government job where part of his contract was he would have to kill an agent from a vicious international art-stealing ring (though he ended up not having to do so).
- Vitriolic Best Buds: with Lugg. If they're not insulting each other, then something is wrong...
- We Help the Helpless: and his card reads: "Justice neatly executed. Nothing sordid, vulgar, or plebeian. Deserving cases preferred. Police no object."
- Basso Profundo: In contrast to Campion's tenor voice and fast-paced chatter, Lugg has a very, very deep, sepulchral voice.
- Not Allowed to Grow Up: Allingham inadvertently never really aged Lugg throughout the books (which span thirty years or so), and she even lampshades it in one of her short stories in which she meets up with Lugg and asks him why he doesn't age. After she realized she hadn't been making him age, she just shrugged and let him keep going as he was except for making his moustache white. By the end of the series he should be somewhere in his eighties, and still looks like he's in his fifties.
- One of the Kids: Tends to be this whenever he's around kids, making Campion both amused and sometimes frustrated.
- Reformed Criminal: He used to be a cat burglar.
- Birds of a Feather: Campion and Amanda are both highly energetic in mind and body, love to joke around a lot, love adventure, and are not concerned about sticking to their "proper" roles.
- Genki Girl: In her first appearance and the only person who can keep up with her is Campion (or, rather, they're the only ones who can keep up with each other); she slows down a bit in the later novels.
- Heroes Want Redheads
- Plucky Girl
- Redhead In Green: In her first appearance.
- Significant Green-Eyed Redhead
- Single Woman Seeks Good Man: While not ugly, Mr. Campion is not the most handsome man; Amanda fell in love with his intelligence, wit, humour, and his dedication to helping others.
- Skilled, but Naïve: is this in her first appearance. When she and Campion meet up again years later, she's matured and is the perfect partner for Campion.
- Technological Pacifist: Averted. During WWII she designs and builds war planes.
- Women Drivers: Averted. Amanda is a magnificent and elegant driver, one of the first things Campion notices about her and finds attractive when he has amnesia in "Traitor's Purse."
- Wrench Wench: Is extremely good at fixing, designing, and building mechanical things. She is actually the chief airplane designer at Alandell Aeronautics and prefers getting her hands in actually assembling the engines.
- Deadpan Snarker: Emphasis on the deadpan.
- Friend on the Force: Pretty close friend if making Campion his son's godfather is any indication.
- Happily Married
- Retired Badass: Eventually.
- Badass Baritone
- Character Tics: Is constantly using his hands to describe people.
- Face of a Thug
- Facial Dialogue: He communicates through this just about as much as through speaking, and uses this and his compulsive hand-gestures to be really quite articulate in a very weird way.
- Friend on the Force
- Hollywood Atheist: Averted.
- Knight in Sour Armor
- Odd Friendship: With Canon Avril.
- Slasher Smile: His smiles often get mistaken for this, and are prone to unnerve even people that know him well enough to know it's not a Slasher Smile.
Thos. T. Knapp
- "Blackmail" Is Such an Ugly Word: Thos. gathers information he can use to his advantage; he's quite adamant it's not blackmail.
- The Rat
- Recruiting the Criminal: Several times.
- Reformed Criminal: Eventually he becomes almost respectable.
- Running Gag: One that spans several books and many years. In his first appearance he keeps trying to tell stories of other times he and Campion worked together and Campion shutting him up, and further down the road Campion trying to tell stories about when he and Thos. worked together and Thos. shutting him up.
Canon Hubert Avril
- Badass Pacifist: And how!
- Cloudcuckoolander: Not a very blatant one, more tends towards being forgetful while thinking about something he considers more important, like washing his hands before going out after getting blood on them.
- The Cloudcuckoolander Was Right: Campion (and Charlie Luke) have learned that Canon Avril is almost always right, and you're better off listening to him.
- Cool Old Guy
- God Is Good: Believes this in contrast to Charlie Luke who doesn't believe there's a god and if there is He doesn't care.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Charlie Luke is actually a bit surprised by this. Canon Avril is highly intelligent and you can see where Campion got his enquiring mind and perception from (and even where Campion got his snarkiness, it's just Avril can control it).
- Good Shepherd
- Happily Married: Or was until his wife died a few years before he shows up in the books.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Of the more rounded sort (to others or even the reader - until you see inside his head - he can appear not so rounded). He struggles with things but he makes the right (or at least as right as he can perceive) decision.
- Odd Friendship: With Charlie Luke.
Augustus "Guffy" Randall
- Best Friends-in-Law: Becomes this with Campion after Campion marries Amanda.
- Idle Rich: Except for when Campion recruits him for a job/mission.
- Not with Them for the Money: With his wife, who became pretty fantastically rich at the end of the adventure in which he met her.
- Quintessential British Gentleman
- Blatant Liar: Is really a most terrible liar.
- Dirty Old Man
- Honorary Uncle: To Campion.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Is very narcisstic but very childlike and loyal to those he considers his friends.
- The Münchausen: He wrote his memoirs, but he decided his life was so boring that he needed to spice it up 'a bit.' He got caught out for doing so, of course, and brought to court but people were so amused by him and his fictional adventures he ended up quite well off between the book selling like mad and a stage-play being made of it.
- Brilliant, but Lazy
- The Chessmaster: He manipulated Campion into getting into the Pig Peter's case so he didn't have to pay Campion.
- Cloudcuckoolander Subverted. He only appears that way.
- Complexity Addiction: To put it mildly.
- The Nondescript: Campion says about Whippet, "Vagueness is not so much his characteristic as his entity. I don't know what he looks like, except that presumably he has a face, since it would be an omission that I should have been certain to observe."
- Smarter Than You Look
- Obfuscating Stupidity: possibly the only person to be able to out-do Campion on this front.