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A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh Mysteries) Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 1 Jun 1998

107 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette: 12 pages
  • Publisher: Random House US Audio; Unabridged edition (1 Jun. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679460853
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679460855
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 6.9 x 15.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,478,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

P. D. James was born in Oxford in 1920 and educated at Cambridge High School for Girls. From 1949 to 1968 she worked in the National Health Service and subsequently in the Home Office, first in the Police Department and later in the Criminal Policy Department. All that experience has been used in her novels.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Society of the Arts and has served as a Governor of the BBC, a member of the Arts Council, where she was Chairman of its Literary Advisory Panel, on the Board of the British Council and as a magistrate in Middlesex and London.

She has won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award. She has received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and was created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected President of the Society of Authors.

She lives in London and Oxford and has two daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Writing at the peak of her form (which is very high indeed), P. D. James has produced her best book since Innocent Blood. The ideas, energy, and artistry on display in A Certain Justice could keep other, younger writers going for most of their careers; the seventysomething James tosses them off with apparent ease. It's billed as: "An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery," but in A Certain Justice the brooding poet detective takes a backseat to the murder victim--a wonderfully complex and basically unlikeable female lawyer named Venetia Aldridge--and to the equally fascinating Kate Miskin, Dalgliesh's able assistant. Thinking of another young police officer, Kate "suspected that he found something risible, even slightly ridiculous, in the traditions, the conventions, the hierarchy of policing. She sensed, too, that this was a view which AD [Adam Dalgliesh] with part of his mind understood, even if he didn't share it. But she couldn't live her life like that, couldn't be lighthearted about her career..." A Certain Justice would be the perfect mystery to ignite the enthusiasm of people who haven't read any P.D. James. Other examples of her high art available in paperback include The Black Tower, Death of an Expert Witness, A Shroud for a Nightingale, and An Unsuitable Job for a Woman. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


" "A Certain Justice" has all James' hallmarks: elegance of language, a stellar sense of place, exquisitely defined characters, and a skillfully rendered tale of moral justice." -The Globe and Mail
" Immensely satisfying in both its intricate plot and complexity of characters.... An emotionally powerful puzzler [and a] page-turning journey ... along the darker, twisted byways of human intentions." --"Publishers Weekly" starred review
" Meticulously-crafted, original, suspenseful ... ingenious ... A whacking great whodunit by the reigning queen of mystery.... A certain great read." --"The Calgary Sun
"" Irresistible.... Yet another sterling example of how [P.D. James] has been able to elevate the traditional mystery to something approaching literary art." --"Winnipeg Free Press
"" Gripping reading... With virtuoso ingenuity, James weaves a wonderfully intricate whodunit." --"The Times Literary Supplement
" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
Venetia Aldridge is a top notch criminal lawyer. She hardly ever looses a case and is able to find the holes in any argument. Her personal life isn't so rosy, however. She is basically estranged from her daughter and considered a problem by her co-workers. Her life really begins to unravel when her daughter announces her engagement - to a man Venetia has recently gotten off for murder. But when Venetia is found dead in her office two days later, it's up to Adam Dalgliesh and his team to figure out who killed her. And with all these motives and suspects, it won't be easy.
I'd heard much about P.D. James, but this was the first time I'd actually read one of her books. I found the writing style engaging and would have a hard time putting it down once I started. On the other hand, I'd have a hard time picking it up again. The beginning especially seems to give us too much background on our characters, stuff we don't need to learn until later if at all. This really slowed the story down for me.
The more I got into it, the better I enjoyed it, however. There were some nice twists along the way with an intriguing sub-plot. The last couple of chapters did seem a little anti-climatic considering what had gone before, but I was surprised by who the killer turned out to be. Using multiple view points greatly added to the story most of the time, although it did confuse me some as far as timeline goes.
I can understand why P.D. James has such a fine reputation. She can paint a picture with words like few other writers currently writing. While she may be a tad too slow for my normal taste, I'm certainly glad to see what all the talk is about. Her reputation is well earned.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 July 2011
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Having already heard Michael Jayston read P.D. James 'Death in Holy Orders' I fully expected an exemplary reading here & was not disappointed.
He is clear & well paced, avoiding accents unless absolutely necessary & even then keeping theatrics out of it.
The story here is unusual for a detective novel. It takes 11 chapters before the murder is committed & another one before inspector Dalgleish appears. Not exactly rushing things is she?!
Yet this allows for a superbly rounded back story & lots of detail in the context. In truth I found this lengthy build up the best part of the tale. The victim is a pretty ruthless & self absorbed career woman but she is not an unsympathetic character by any means. A rare successful female in a world dominated by privileged & arrogant men who hardly welcome her with open arms.
Used & given the cold shoulder she finds herself in a desperate situation with her stroppy daughter & the nutter she wants to marry, (who just so happens to have been pronounced not guilty to the murder of his aunt thanks to her mother!),.
Once the murder takes place things get a bit bogged down for a bit & I was grateful for this being read as I think I may have given up if I had been reading it myself. However once the pace picks up again the story moves along nicely and things are slowly revealed in an enjoyable manner.
Dalgleish is a likeable enough detective and avoids many of the done to death cliche's that everyone seems to use these days. However his presence in this story was perhaps a bit less than I would have hoped for.
This never really gets into top gear for pace but this has been traded for huge characterisation & plot depth. This makes for a nice change from the usual body a chapter style being touted at the moment.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 19 Nov. 2000
Format: Hardcover
P.D. James purists may argue that "Devices and Desires" is her best work to date, but "A Certain Justice" is certainly a close second! Granted, while James seems to devote less time to her leading man, Adam Dalgliesh, she nevertheless succeeds in making a more complete story--concentrating more on other characters and events (almost as if she's saying "you already know enough about Adam"!). Still, Commander Dalgliesh is in command and it is through his brilliance that the case is solved (or in this case, "cases"!).
Basically, Venetia Aldridge, a brilliant, up-and-coming criminal lawyer is found murdered (there can be no other explanation). As Scotland Yard becomes more involved (after all, it is a murder investigation and the victim is quite prominent in London legal circles), facts begin to emerge that picture a not-so-ordinary past. Venetia is no angel (not yet, anyway!)--there are suspects a-plenty and the motives run rampant, from her cleaning lady to colleagues in and out of court and to her own family members. She has a past that certainly has cut some crucial corners. She is also a woman with an attitude--an attitude that seemed not to care about making enemies. she is also the mother of a teenaged daughter, and their relationship, too, has been a bit tumultuous--dicey at best.
Venetia is found stabbed to death at her desk, and a barrister's wig placed, askew, on her head. Her body is soaked in blood. A convenient suspect is hurriedly identified (a sociopath whom she'd successfully defended in a murder trial a few years back!) but, alas, he comes up with an alibi and Dalgliesh must look to others, especially some of her jealous colleagues, for his culprit. James' plot is, indeed, convoluted and for the casual reader may be hard to follow.
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