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Death of an Expert Witness [Paperback]

Baroness P. D. James
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Jan 2006
When a young girl is found murdered in a field, the scientific examination of the exhibits is just a routine job for the staff of Hoggatt's forensic science laboratory. But nothing could have prepared them for the brutal death of one of their own. When the senior biologist is found dead in his laboratory Commander Dalgliesh is called to the bleak fens of East Anglia, where the murderer is lying in wait to strike again.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber; Export - Airside ed edition (5 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571230040
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571230044
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 406,617 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


'The greatest contemporary writer of classic crime.' Peter Kemp, Sunday Times 'P. D. James is one of the national treasures of British fiction... Each new book gives pleasure not just for macabre crimes or ingenious solutions but its density of experience.' Malcolm Bradbury, Mail on Sunday 'Unlike so many crime writers, James still has the power to move, fascinate and astonish.' Independent 'James... manages to invest even a simple mystery novel with a depth and intelligence that few in her trade can match.' The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Stunning paperback repackages celebrating the world's pre-eminent crime writer and over forty years of detective fiction. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars James (and Dalgleish) score another victory! 6 Nov 2000
By A Customer
P.D. James fittingly wears the crown as "queen of the mystery writers"! And in "Death of an Expert Witness" the title is clearly shown and deserved. Again, James brings in Chief Inspector Adam Dalgleish of Scotland Yard, and once again, this venerable, brilliant, and honorable investigator is in good form. James usually presents a model in human behavior--she's good at this--and gives Dalgleish the full run to work out the inconsistencies, the red herrings, and finally the truth of the case. Dr. Lorrimer is a cold, efficient, dislikeable scientist; now he is a cold, efficient, and dislikeable corpse. Dalgleish must find out why he was killed--and it is more than merely because he was disliked. What did he know that panicked his murderer? After all, he was cold, efficient, dislikeable, and very knowledgeable, "an expert witness," as it were. Bring along a dictionary, as James' vocabulary is challenging--but not distracting--and her works are refreshingly intelligent and worth the effort it may take!(
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic whodunnit 6 Sep 2010
After having read a spate of mediocre detective fiction, I really enjoyed this one. The quality of the writing is high yet the narrative is easy to read. And, most importantly for such a book, the mystery itself is a great puzzle. The downside is that P.D. James' style of writing tends to leave her giving a lot of page space to develop the characters and when there are a number of 'closed room' suspects this can lead to the pace of the narrative dragging a little. But otherwise, this was a fantastic read.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A little dated I think now 4 Jun 2014
This is the 6th Adam Dalgliesh book by PD James. Like the 5 that went before it, it feels dated. It was written in 1976/77, so that probably shouldn't be surprising.

In this book, a biologist working for the Forensic Science Service is killed in his lab in East Anglia, and it's Dalgliesh's responsibility to find out who did it, along with the murderer who killed a subsequent person in the book.

Personally, the datedness wasn't that much of a problem for me. What bugged me was that it was a little predictable. These "country house style" mysteries get a little samey after a while, and I've read 6 of PD James' books lately. This said, I suspect that you'll like the book if you haven't read that sort of book in a while (and don't mind the datedness).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping 5 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
P D James at her very best - fabulous writing and great story line - what more does anyone want or need?
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2.0 out of 5 stars doom & Gloom 4 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
She may be listed as a quality writer but her choice of Suffolk areas are painted in melancholy; I find them depressing, also her plots (those few that I have read anyway) are much of a muchness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 8 Jun 2012
By Mike
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It was a very interesting book to read and very hard to put it down, when other matters should be attended to!!! Mike
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