P. D. James, and Adam Dalgliesh, have matured with the years and the number of books she's written about him. I recently read one of the earliest ones and wasn't impressed. This one got under my skin very early on, even though (spoiler) the murder doesn't happen until about pg. 90 in the regular paperback edition, but Dalgliesh and his team appear very soon thereafter. There are a lot of characters at the country manor, but this is more or less a "closed room" case, where all the suspects are at the manor. I did have a bit of trouble keeping some of them straight at first, and it would have helped to make a list, as some readers did. I enjoyed the several moral dilemmas, including that posed by Dalgliesh's new fiance wanting his help with a different type of case. She ends up understanding, and the wedding comes off in a lovely scene at the end. A satisfying outing.
excellent! Dalglieshs' conflict is real and the resolution satisfying.
A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "This is an engaging murder mystery set in Dorset in the UK. A murder occurs in private surgical clinic/hospital. You will find yourself on the edge of your seat as the novel careens toward one suspect after another, finally finishing as a satisfying good read!"
Not my style. British murder mystery novel fans might likely enjoy it.
Too confusing with all the characters. This is the first book of James that I have read and it just assumes you know who is who. The story started out well, but degenerated until at the end I could barely force myself to finish it. The various characters just "dropped in" and one of them I never did find out who this was, or her relation to the story. I don't think I'll be reading any more of her books.
I love a good mystery and this book was definitely one of those! I really like this author's writing style and found myself sucked right into this story and couldn't wait to pick it up again when I was forced to put it down. Great cast of characters and great premise. Overall a very fun read.
Good story - as always. Seemed to be a lot of characters in the first few chapters - ended up keeping a list and notes. Most were needed later, but I don't like having to do that. Only other problem was tended to be a little preachy towards the end.
**spoiler alert** I was distracted by some stylistic and plot choices in the latter half of the book, which is not a good sign.
It's quite clear that PD James, now in her late eighties, is wrapping up Adam Dalgliesh's story, marrying him off and re-pairing Kate Miskin with Piers. But that's not what bothered me.
I was quite put off with the rather too obvious placement of the traditional red herring, complete with Miskin's baffling sympathetic tears on hearing the fellow's story. It seemed out of character for her, and besides, I failed to discern what had moved her so. I was also sidetracked by some rather bizarre phrasings James chose to put in the mouths of her posh characters. It's one thing to have erudite dialogue; it's quite another for that dialogue to sound odd, over-formal and clunky.
Still, a less-than-perfect PD James novel is better than most of the dreck out there, and alas, we may not be getting much more.
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