When notorious investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn booked into an exclusive clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring facial scar, she had every prospect of a successful operation by a distinguished surgeon, followed by 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 swiftly called in to investigate, but when a second death occurs, the situation raises an even more complicated problem than the question of innocence or guilt...Displaying all P. D. James' distinctive richness of characterisation and vivid evocation of place, "The Private Patient", read by Michael Jayston, is a powerful, dark and thrilling mystery that ranks among her finest novels.
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.