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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Causes : PD James - Unnaturally good mystery
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...
Published 14 months ago by Victor

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery Followed by an Unsatisfying End
Unnatural Causes is early Adam Dalgleish. He's still coping with his reluctance to become emotionally intimate and uses a holiday to visit his Aunt Jane as an opportunity to think things over. Will he ask Deborah Riscoe to marry him . . . or not?
Naturally, as soon as he arrives there's a mysterious disappearance followed by all kinds of bizarre events. When the...
Published on 25 Mar 2006 by Donald Mitchell


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Causes : PD James - Unnaturally good mystery, 9 July 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unnatural Causes (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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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Mystery Followed by an Unsatisfying End, 25 Mar 2006
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Unnatural Causes (Paperback)
Unnatural Causes is early Adam Dalgleish. He's still coping with his reluctance to become emotionally intimate and uses a holiday to visit his Aunt Jane as an opportunity to think things over. Will he ask Deborah Riscoe to marry him . . . or not?
Naturally, as soon as he arrives there's a mysterious disappearance followed by all kinds of bizarre events. When the mystery turns into apparent crime, Dalgleish becomes concerned for his aunt who doesn't have an alibi. A.D. is also on the outside looking in as the local CID led by Inspector Reckless seems to resent Dalgleish's presence.
The whole circumstance is made ore bizarre by the presence of many literary types in what increasingly seems to be a literary mystery written about in a mystery. There's a fascinating story within the story element that gets the book off to a strong start.
But as Dalgleish unravels the ultimate mystery, the book also comes unraveled. You get a lengthy explanation, but the end doesn't move swimmingly along like the beginning and middle do.
Perhaps Baroness James painted herself into a corner by producing such an imaginative mystery and couldn't bear to part with it when she couldn't think up a nice ending to match.
But I still recommend the book because of the strong beginning and middle. You can skip the end after the storm if you want. You'll probably like the book better if you do.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful, 5 Mar 2013
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The characters are all unpleasant, even the hero and his aunt are smug. Quite why Dalgleish has such a dislike for the ridiculously named inspector Reckless is hard to understand. The story drags on and then there is a sudden, incongruous and over dramatic ending and a completely implausible explanation for the murders which no one could possibly have deduced, although we are supposed to believe Dalgleish does so in detail (although it is never explained how he comes to his conclusions). Fortunately the murderer tapes a confession for his/her own use. As they do. Ridiculous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An exciting read, 22 Jan 2014
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A slow start but becomes really gripping with a dramatic & quick end! The author's descriptions are very graphic & enable the reader to really enter into the drama.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 12 Jan 2014
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PD James always writes a good story with great fluidity and beautiful prose. Her books never fail to please. That's all!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Causes : PD James - Unnaturally good mystery, 9 July 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unnatural Causes (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Causes : PD James - Unnaturally good mystery, 9 July 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unnatural Causes (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Causes : PD James - Unnaturally good mystery, 9 July 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unnatural Causes (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Causes : PD James - Unnaturally good mystery, 9 July 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Unnatural Causes (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Causes : PD James - Unnaturally good mystery, 9 July 2013
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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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Unnatural Causes
Unnatural Causes by Baroness P. D. James (Paperback - 20 May 2002)
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