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Just recovered from a grave illness, Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called to the bedside of an elderly priest. When Dalgliesh arrives, Father Baddeley is dead. Is it merely his own brush with mortality that causes Dalgliesh to sense the shadow of death about to fall once more?"Splendid, macabre," wrote the London Sunday Telegraph. "The Black Tower is a masterpiece," the London Sunday Times concurred.
Commander Dalgliesh is recuperating from a life-threatening illness when he receives a call for advice from an elderly friend who works as a chaplain in a home for the disabled on the Dorset coast. Dalgliesh arrives to discover that Father Baddeley has recently and mysteriously died, as has one of the patients at Toynton Grange. Evidently the home is not quite the caring community it purports to be. Dalgliesh is determined to discover the truth of his friend's death, but further fatalities follow and his own life is in danger as he unmasks the evil at the heart of Toynton Grange.
Read P.D. James in Large Print!It begins, dramatically enough, with a trial for murder. The distinguished criminal lawyer Venetia Aldridge is defending Garry Ashe on charges of having brutally killed his aunt. For Aldridge the trial is mainly a test of her courtroom skills, one more opportunity to succeed--and she does. But now murder is in the air. The next victim will be Aldridge herself, stabbed to death at her desk in her Chambers in the Middle Temple, a bloodstained wig on her head. Enter Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team, whose struggle to investigate and understand the shocking events cannot halt the spiral into more horrors, more murders...A Certain Justice is P.D. James at her strongest. In her first foray into the strange closed world of the Law Courts and the London legal community, she has created a fascinating tale of interwoven passion and terror. As each character leaps into unforgettable life, as each scene draws us forward into new complexities of plot, she proves yet again that no other writer can match her skill in combining the excitement of the classic detective story with the richness of a fine novel. In its subtle portrayal of morality and human behavior, A Certain Justice will stand alongside Devices and Desires and A Taste for Death as one of P.D. James's most important, accomplished and entertaining works.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The Children of Men begins in England in 2021, in a world where all human males have become sterile and no child will be born again. The final generation has turned twenty-five, and civilization is giving way to strange faiths and cruelties, mass suicides and despair. Theodore Faron, Oxford historian and cousin to the omnipotent Warden of England, a dictator of great subtlety, has resigned himself to apathy. Then he meets Julian, a bright, attractive woman, who wants Theo to join her circle of unlikely revolutionaries, a move that may shatter his shell of passivity.... And maybe, just maybe, hold the key to survival for the human race.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The first in the series of scintillating mysteries to feature cunning Scotland Yard detective, Adam Dalgliesh from P.D. James, the bestselling author hailed by People magazine as "the greatest living mystery writer."Sally Jupp was a sly and sensuous young woman who used her body and her brains to make her way up the social ladder. Now she lies across her bed with dark bruises from a strangler's fingers forever marring her lily-white throat. Someone has decided that the wages of sin should be death...and it is up to Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to find who that someone is. Cover Her Face is P.D. James' delightful debut novel, an ingeniously plotted mystery that immediately placed her among the masters of suspense.
A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen's beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem. It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy's magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth's sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy's sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball. Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth's disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery. Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.From the Hardcover edition.
The setting itself is elemental P. D. James: the bleak coast of East Anglia, where atop a sweep of low cliffs stands the small theological college of St. Anselm's. On the shore not far away, smothered beneath a fall of sand, lies the body of one of the school's young ordinands. He is the son of Sir Alred Treves, a hugely successful and flamboyant businessman who is accustomed to getting what he wants--and in this case what he wants is Commander Adam Dalgliesh to investigate his son's death. Although there seems to be little to investigate, Dalgliesh agrees, largely out of nostal-gia for several happy summers he spent at St. Anselm's as a boy. No sooner does he arrive, however, than the college is torn apart by a sacrilegious and horrifying murder, and Dalgliesh finds himself ineluctably drawn into the labyrinth of an intricate and violent mystery. Here P. D. James once more demonstrates her unrivalled skill in building a classic detective story into a fully realized novel, gripping as much for its psychological and emotional richness as for the originality and complexity of its plotting--and, of course, for the horror and suspense at its heart. Filled with unforgettable characters, brilliant in its evocation of the East Anglian scene and the religious background against which the action takes place, Death in Holy Orders again offers proof, if proof were needed, that P. D. James is not only the reigning master of the crime novel but also, simply, one of the finest novelists writing today.From the Hardcover edition.
In yet another page-turning installment in the bestselling Adam Dalgliesh mystery series from P.D. James, "the reigning mistress of murder" (Time), the Inspector must investigate the murder of a twisted forensic scientist and explore the dark secrets within his laboratory.When a brilliant forensic scientist is found murdered in his own laboratory, Scotland Yard is called to the scene. The victim, a well-respected, authoritative member of the scientific community, was unpleasant to and greatly disliked by those who worked closest to him, leaving detectives with a wealth of suspects and murderous motives. P.D. James' beloved detective Adam Dalgliesh is the one man who can sort through the lies, chasing down the truth to the book's powerful climax. P.D. James deftly weaves another tale of intrigue in Death Of an Expert Witness. Engaging and thrilling, she takes readers along with her troubled detective on a case rife with psychological thrills.
National Bestseller Featuring the famous Commander Adam Dalgliesh, Devices and Desires is a thrilling and insightfully crafted novel of fallible people caught in a net of secrets, ambitions, and schemes on a lonely stretch of Norfolk coastline. Commander Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard has just published a new book of poems and has taken a brief respite from publicity on the remote Larksoken headland on the Norfolk coast in a converted windmill left to him by his aunt. But he cannot so easily escape murder. A psychotic strangler of young women is at large in Norfolk, and getting nearer to Larksoken with every killing. And when Dalgliesh discovers the murdered body of the Acting Administrative Officer on the beach, he finds himself caught up in the passions and dangerous secrets of the headland community and in one of the most baffling murder cases of his career.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Adopted as a child into a privileged family, Philippa Palfrey fantasizes that she is the daughter of an aristocrat and a parlor maid. The terrifying truth about her parents and a long-ago murder is only the first in a series of shocking betrayals. Philippa quickly learns that those who delve into the secrets of the past must be on guard when long-buried horrors begin to stir."As a crime novel," wrote the London Times, Innocent Blood is "the peak of the art." "Flawlessly crafted...profoundly, masterfully moving," Cosmopolitan concurred.
Adopted as a child into a privileged family, Philippa Palfrey fantasizes that she is the daughter of an aristocrat and a parlor maid. The terrifying truth about her parents and a long-ago murder is only the first in a series of shocking betrayals. Philippa quickly learns that those who delve into the secrets of the past must be on guard when long-buried horrors begin to stir. "As a crime novel," wrote the London Times, Innocent Blood is "the peak of the art." "Flawlessly crafted...profoundly, masterfully moving," Cosmopolitan concurred.
A subtle and powerful work of contemporary fiction.Combe Island off the Cornish coast has a bloodstained history of piracy and cruelty but now, privately owned, it offers respite to over-stressed men and women in positions of high authority who require privacy and guaranteed security. But the peace of Combe is violated when one of the distinguished visitors is bizarrely murdered.Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called in to solve the mystery quickly and discreetly, but at a difficult time for him and his depleted team. Dalgliesh is uncertain about his future with Emma Lavenham, the woman he loves; Detective Inspector Kate Miskin has her own emotional problems; and the ambitious Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is worried about working under Kate. Hardly has the team begun to unravel the complicated motives of the suspects than there is a second brutal killing, and the whole investigation is jeopardized when Dalgliesh is faced with a danger more insidious and as potentially fatal as murder.This eagerly awaited successor to the international bestseller The Murder Room displays all the qualities that lovers of P. D. James's novels the world over have come to expect: sensitive characterization, an exciting and superbly structured plot and vivid evocation of place.From the Hardcover edition.
The second book to feature Scotland Yard investigator Adam Dalgliesh, A Mind To Murder is a "superbly satisfying mystery" (Chicago Daily News) from bestselling author P.D. James.On the surface, the Steen Psychiatric Clinic is one of the most reputable institutions in London. But when the administrative head is found dead with a chisel in her heart, that distinguished facade begins to crumble as the truth emerges. Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate and quickly finds himself caught in a whirlwind of psychiatry, drugs, and deceit. Now he must analyze the deep-seated anxieties and thwarted desires of patients and staff alike to determine which of their unresolved conflicts has resulted in murder and stop a cunning killer before the next blow.
Commander Adam Dalgliesh, P. D. James's formidable and fascinating detective, returns to find himself enmeshed in a terrifying story of passion and mystery -- and in love.The Dupayne, a small private museum in London devoted to the interwar years 1919 -- 1939, is in turmoil. As its trustees argue over whether it should be closed, one of them is brutally and mysteriously murdered. Yet even as Commander Dalgliesh and his team proceed with their investigation, a second corpse is discovered. Someone in the Dupayne is prepared to kill and kill again. Still more sinister, the murders appear to echo the notorious crimes of the past featured in one of the museum's galleries: the Murder Room.The case is fraught with danger and complications from the outset, but for Dalgliesh the complications are unexpectedly profound. His new relationship with Emma Lavenham -- introduced in the last Dalgliesh novel, Death in Holy Orders -- is at a critical stage. Now, as he moves closer and closer to a solution to the puzzle, he finds himself driven further and further from commitment to the woman he loves.The Murder Room is a powerful work of mystery and psychological intricacy from a master of the modern novel."You can't possibly know him.""I can know enough," Emma said. "I can't know everything, no one can. Loving him doesn't give me the right to walk in and out of his mind as if it were my room at college. He's the most private person I've ever met. But I know the things about him that matter."But did she? Emma asked herself. Adam Dalgleish was intimate with those dark crevices of the human mind where horrors lurked which she couldn't begin to comprehend. Not even that appalling scene in the church at St. Anselm's had shown her the worst that human beings could do to each other. She knew about those horrors from literature; he explored them daily in his work. Sometimes, waking from sleep in the early hours, the vision she had of him was of the dark face masked, the hands smooth and impersonal in the sleek latex gloves. What hadn't those hands touched? She rehearsed the questions she wondered if she would ever be able to ask. Why do you do it? Is it necessary to your poetry? Why did you choose this job? Or did it choose you?-- from The Murder RoomFrom the Hardcover edition.
Adam Dalgliesh takes on a baffling murder in the rarefied world of London book publishing in this masterful mystery from one of our finest novelists. Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of impenetrable complexity. A murder has taken place in the offices of the Peverell Press, a venerable London publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant but ruthless new managing director, who had vowed to restore the firm's fortunes. Etienne was clearly a man with enemies--a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues, one of who apparently killed herself a short time earlier. Yet Etienne's death, which occurred under bizarre circumstances, is for Dalgliesh only the beginning of the mystery, as he desperately pursues the search for a killer prepared to strike and strike again.
Cover Her Face:<P> Sally Jupp was a sly and sensuous young woman who used her body and her brains to make her way up the social ladder. Now she lies across her bed with dark bruises from a strangler's fingers forever marring her lily-white throat. Someone has decided that the wages of sin should be death...and it is up to Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh to find who that someone is. <P> A Mind to Murder:<P> On the surface, the Steen Psychiatric Clinic is one of the most reputable institutions in London. But when the administrative head is found dead with a chisel in her heart, that distinguished facade begins to crumble as the truth emerges. Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate and quickly finds himself caught in a whirlwind of psychiatry, drugs, and deceit. Now he must analyze the deep-seated anxieties and thwarted desires of patients and staff alike to determine which of their unresolved conflicts has resulted in murder and stop a cunning killer before the next blow. <P> Unnatural Causes:<P> Maurice Seton was a famous mystery writer--but no murder he ever invented was more grisly than his own death. When his corpse is found in a drifting dinghy with both hands chopped off at the wrists, ripples of horror spread among his bizarre circle of friends. Now it's up to brilliant Scotland Yard inspector, Adam Dalgliesh, and his extraordinary aunt to uncover the shocking truth behind the writer's death sentence, before the plot takes another murderous turn. <P> Shroud for a Nightingale:<P> The young women of Nightingale House are there to learn to nurse and comfort the suffering. But when one of the students plays patient in a demonstration of nursing skills, she is horribly, brutally killed. Another student dies equally mysteriously, and it is up to Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard to unmask a killer who has decided to prescribe murder as the cure for all ills. <P> The Black Tower:<P> Just recovered from a grave illness, Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called to the bedside of an elderly priest. When Dalgliesh arrives, Father Baddeley is dead. Is it merely his own brush with mortality that causes Dalgliesh to sense the shadow of death about to fall once more? <P> Death of an Expert:<P> When a brilliant forensic scientist is found murdered in his own laboratory, Scotland Yard is called to the scene. The victim, a well-respected, authoritative member of the scientific community, was unpleasant to and greatly disliked by those who worked closest to him, leaving detectives with a wealth of suspects and murderous motives. P.D. James' beloved detective Adam Dalgliesh is the one man who can sort through the lies, chasing down the truth to the book's powerful climax.
An Unsuitable Job For a Woman:<P> The first of the Cordelia Gray mysteries, introducing the vulnerable young detective. <P> The Skull Beneath the Skin (Cordelia Gray #2)<P> Private detective Cordelia Gray is invited to the sunlit island of Courcy to protect the vainly beautiful actress Clarissa Lisle from veiled threats on her life. Within the rose red walls of a fairy-tale castle, she finds the stage is set for death.
When the notorious investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn booked into Mr Chandler-Powell s private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring and long-standing facial scar, she had every prospect of a successful operation by a distinguished surgeon, a week's peaceful convalescence in one of Dorset's most beautiful manor houses and the beginning of a new life. She was never to leave Cheverell Manor alive. Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder, and later a second death, which are to raise even more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt. A new detective novel by P. D. James is always keenly awaited and The Private Patient will undoubtedly equal the success of her worldwide bestseller The Lighthouse. It displays the qualities which P. D. James's readers have come to expect: a masterly psychological and emotional richness of characterisation, a vivid evocation of place and a credible and exciting mystery. The Private Patient is a powerful work of contemporary fiction.
Hailed as "mystery at its best" by The New York Times, Shroud for a Nightingale is the fourth book in bestselling author P.D. James's Adam Dalgliesh mystery series.The young women of Nightingale House are there to learn to nurse and comfort the suffering. But when one of the students plays patient in a demonstration of nursing skills, she is horribly, brutally killed. Another student dies equally mysteriously, and it is up to Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard to unmask a killer who has decided to prescribe murder as the cure for all ills.
Invited to protect an actress within the rose red walls of a fairy-tale castle, Detective Cordelia Gray finds the stage is set for death.Actress Clarissa Lisle has always been famous for her ravishing beauty--and her unscrupulous manipulations. Now on the death-shrouded island of Courcy, her schemes win her a starring role in a nightmare in which she can trust no one--not her deceived husband; her dangerously insecure stepson; her ominously genial host; her dependent, desperate cousin; or her cruelly amusing ex-lover. Soon Detective Cordelia gray finds that nothing is as it seems on Courcy--especially after the curtain goes down. Here she must delve into ancient secrets and guilt-stained pasts--and risk her life to stop a brilliantly cunning murderer who has set the stage for her death.
In a perfect marriage of author and subject, P. D. James--one of the most widely admired writers of detective fiction at work today--gives us a personal, lively, illuminating exploration of the human appetite for mystery and mayhem, and of those writers who have satisfied it.P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens's Bleak House and Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie ("arch-breaker of rules"), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they've created, from Sherlock Holmes to Sara Paretsky's sexually liberated female investigator, V. I. Warshawski. She compares British and American Golden Age mystery writing. She discusses detective fiction as social history, the stylistic components of the genre, her own process of writing, how critics have reacted over the years, and what she sees as a renewal of detective fiction--and of the detective hero--in recent years.There is perhaps no one who could write about this enduring genre of storytelling with equal authority and flair: it is essential reading for every lover of detective fiction.From the Hardcover edition.
Two men lie dead in the vestry of a London church, their throats cut with brutal precision. One is Sir Paul Berowne, rich, cultivated and elegant; the other is an alcoholic vagrant. Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless motives, Adam Dalgliesh explores the sinister web spun around a half-burnt diary and a violet-eyed widow who is pregnant and full of malice--all the while hoping to fill the gap of logic that joined these two disparate men in death...From the Trade Paperback edition.
The great British mystery novelist P. D. James, otherwise known as the Queen of Crime, has redefined the genre over a career spanning close to forty years. TIME magazine called her the "reigning mistress of murder," whose vivid and compelling novels have made her one of the world's leading crime writers. Biographers have urged her to allow them to write about her life, but she has always kept them at bay, valuing her privacy.However, at the age of seventy-seven, P. D. James decided for the first time in her life to keep a diary for one year, foremost as a record of her thoughts and memories for her family and herself, but also as a "fragment of autobiography" for publication. As she beautifully describes the salient events of a dizzying year full of publicity duties, giving lectures and fulfilling other public commitments, she lets the memories flow, wandering back and forth through the years to illuminate an extraordinary life and to give striking insights into the craft of writing. The book became a New York Times bestseller - as have all of her recent books - and does more than simply satisfy the curiosity of her many fans.Mystery author Eric Wright wrote in The Globe and Mail that "The final effect is not of a fragment, but of a finished miniature portrait of the artist in her 77th year. ... The form she has invented, a kind of public diary, creates an intimacy that a major autobiography would never achieve. ...a revealing portrait of a gifted human being, full of common sense and humour, someone we would like to know."In the book, James comments on everything from architecture to literature to fox hunting to the decline of moral values in modern Britain, and shares with us her love of reading and the joys of family life (she has two daughters, who live in the United States, and several grandchildren). However, she refuses to delve too deeply into the painful areas of her personal life now well in the past, though she has clearly experienced some hard times. "They are over and must be accepted, made sense of and forgiven, afforded no more than their proper place in a long life in which I have always known that happiness is a gift, not a right." Readers have found this reservation admirable and elegantly refreshing in a time of "self-rummaging, self-serving autobiography" (Joan Barfoot, The London Free Press). Still, hints of pain slip in, and we may sometimes read between the lines.Time to Be in Earnest is a privileged and engrossing look into the life and mind of one of the great mystery writers alive today, one who has earned comparisons with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L. Sayers. James is also deeply thoughtful, a remarkable woman who witnessed much over the course of the twentieth century. Whether describing motherhood in London during the bombardments of the Second World War, her fine career as a civil servant in the British Home Office, or her later life as a formidably successful writer, she sheds light on a lifetime of exceptional achievements.From the Trade Paperback edition.
The third installment in the classic Adam Dalgliesh mystery series, Unnnatural Causes is another must-read page-turner from bestselling author P.D. James, "the reigning mistress of murder" (Time).Maurice Seton was a famous mystery writer--but no murder he ever invented was more grisly than his own death. When his corpse is found in a drifting dinghy with both hands chopped off at the wrists, ripples of horror spread among his bizarre circle of friends. Now it's up to brilliant Scotland Yard inspector, Adam Dalgliesh, and his extraordinary aunt to uncover the shocking truth behind the writer's death sentence, before the plot takes another murderous turn. Unnatural Causes inspired Cosmopolitan to fervently hope, "if we're lucky, there will always be an England and there will always be a P.D. James."
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman introduces bestselling mystery author P.D. James's courageous but vulnerable young detective, Cordelia Gray, in a "top-rated puzzle of peril that holds you all the way" (The New York Times).Handsome Cambridge dropout Mark Callender died hanging by the neck with a faint trace of lipstick on his mouth. When the official verdict is suicide, his wealthy father hires fledgling private investigator Cordelia Gray to find out what led him to self-destruction. What she discovers instead is a twisting trail of secrets and sins, and the strong scent of murder.