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Unnatural Causes Mass Market Paperback – 1967

4.1 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Mass Market Paperback, 1967
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001JR2JRU
  • Product Dimensions: 17.1 x 10.8 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By NorfolkBooks TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 22 Jun. 2013
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have a venerable copy of the audio cassettes of this excellent murder mystery but with the absence of cassette players in more modern cars I have little chance to listen to them anymore. I've slowly been replacing the cassettes and it is nice to find that Audiogo have been working through the back catalogue and have now reached this one. My cassette copy indicates that these were issued in that format in 1992. Listening to the CD version is a joy with all the hiss and other noise associated with cassettes being eliminated.

Michael Jayston has been the reader for many of the unabridged readings of the PD James books and I think he does a fine job. My vision of Dalgleish is of a careful and precise man and Jayston's readings conjure that up for me. He reads with a clear diction and does justice to the elegant prose of PD James.

The story itself was written in 1967 and so reflects the era and is a model of the mystery genre. James' plots are always well constructed and this one is no exception. Beautifully observed tensions in English village life.

I have no reservations about recommending this as a fine mystery which is read with great skill.
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Format: Paperback
First published in 1967, Unnatural Causes was the third in PD James' Adam Dalgleish series. Following a particularly draining case, and with a difficult decision to make, Dalgleish is looking forward to a nice quiet holiday on the remote Suffolk coast with his Aunt. But no sooner has he arrived than a seemingly grotesque murder occurs. Not officially involved in the investigation, Dalgleish nonetheless becomes enmeshed in it and his holiday plans are soon in ruins.

All the PD James trademarks that make her books such a delight are here. The plethora of suspects (at one time or another I suspected almost every character including the investigating policemen as she leads the reader up a variety of garden paths), her beautiful use of language that really sets the scene and the character (and as usual I needed a dictionary close at hand, James' vocabulary is immense) and her interest in character as much as plot. But this book has something extra that makes it a real delight for me. I am a huge fan of the big four crime writers of the last century (Christie, Marsh, Allingham and Sayers) and this book appears to be part homage to and part sly laughing at James' great predecessors. Filled with characters and situations that might have come from one of those ladies books, but made realistic and three dimensional, James tips a few knowing winks while showing us the reality of a murder investigation. As well as this I found it to be an intriguing and well written mystery that held me quite gripped until the last. 5 stars.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this episode, we find the good detective on holiday - staying in a picturesque place by the sea. He is all set for a well-earned break from work, but instead walks into a murder scene. The victim is an ageing has-been author who seems to have plenty of friends, but other feelings soon become apparent. The story thus unfolds like an Agatha Christy mystery, with a great deal of interwoven dialogue and events that require all the listener's concentration to piece together into clues.

The story trundles along nicely until the final quarter, which is given over largely to confession of one sort or other. As such, the ends are all tied together neatly, but the murder plot itself is so complicated it is almost ludicrous. Even so, it's a fun story, with plenty of thrills and twists; but if you are interested in trying a pd James story, I'd try the much better story: Shroud for a Nightingale by James, P. D. on 07/03/2013 unknown edition.
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By Glenn Cook HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 July 2013
Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Audio Version of The Book.

|I do not need to go into the plot- that has been done many times by reviweres both of the printed versions and audio.

All you need to know further is is it a well narrated book and is the story any good?

Yes to both.

Well it's very well read. Michael Jayston is a very accomplished reader.
This is a wonderful book granted it has a time of 7hours and 10 minutes spread over 6 CDS this is a book for the car.
The case is one of those spindle disc types rather than the fat jewel box that disintegrate as soon as you look at them. Some hate them, I prefer them but who listens to a spindle case?

When I heard the story I was delighted and puzzled. Some of the actions and observations seemed from the 60's rather than now.
A quick check of the box revealed that this novel was first published in 1967.
To me, a baby boomer, this is wonderful it is a time I can really relate to BUT I suspect a more modern and less forgiving reader--make that listener will ... well maybe spoil the story?
For me it made it all the more interesting- each to their own.

The recipe for a really good detective story is a wonderful ploy with a well rounded and believable character to hang it on.
Adam Dalgleish is a brilliant character and. As this is her third in the Dalgleish series, he is an established character.
Next in the case of an audio book you need a good reader.
Michael Jayston is just that his change of voice and use of audience effects really helps the book along and become a really good aural experience.

The strengths of this book are the story- P D James is a master (or rather Mistress) of Detective stories. She writes really great plots and this one is no exception.

Recommended.
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