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Cover her Face

3.8 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B0014MXNDE
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Sally Jupp is unexpectedly attractive--and an unwed mother in an era when such still carries considerable stigma. After a sterling record at a home for "fallen women," she finds work as a maid for the aristocratic but somewhat impoverished Maxie family, and once installed shows another aspect of her personality: a perverse pleasure in creating unpleasantness for virtually every one who crosses her path. The Maxie family is largely impervious to her machinations... but when Sally goes so far as to tantalize a proposal of marriage from the Maxie son, her game of troubling the water turns lethal, and Scotland Yard's Inspector Dalgliesh is on the job.
This 1962 effort was P.D. James' first novel, and at the time it drew enough praise to immediately place among the foremost mystery writers of the day. And indeed there is much to be said for it: the story is well-constructed, the characters well drawn, and the crime is appropriately mysterious; on the whole it is a fast and fun read. But not all P.D. James fans will be impressed. Although there is more than a hint of the distinctive style and convolutions James will bring to her later work, it borrows a great deal in construction from Agatha Christie and not a little from Dorothy Sayers in terms of literary style, and Inspector Dalgliesh is not as well developed here as he will eventually become.
On the whole, I recommend the novel--but I recommend it to established fans of P.D. James, who will be interested to see her working in the "classic English murder mystery" style and enjoy comparing this debut work to the author's later and more impressive work. First timers would do better to select one of the many novels that find James at the peak of her form--with DEATH OF AN EXPERT WITNESS or A TASTE FOR DEATH particularly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Synopsis: St Cedd’s Church fete has been held in the grounds of Martingale manor house for generations. In addition to organising the event, Mrs Maxie also has to contend with the news of her son’s sudden engagement to her new parlour maid, Sally Jupp. On the following morning, Sally’s body is discovered and Detective Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh must delve into the complicated passions beneath the calm surface of English village life.
Me: I’ve only read one PD James novel before and that was her ‘sequel’ to Pride & Prejudice titled Death Comes to Pemberley. I didn’t quite like that so was interested in her normal environment. This novel is her first and looking at some other reviews they all seem to say that she improves greatly with later works and that I should have read ones of those first which I found quite interesting. I imagine that could be said for many authors.
For me it was ok. It flowed well and read quite quickly. I kept reading Mrs Riscoes' voice as that of Lady Mary in Downton Abbey but that’s the style the book was written in; of a time when the great families were dying out but still desperately trying to cling onto past glories. The dead girl’s behaviour I found baffling. Despite explanations I never quite understood the game she had been playing with everyone but again some of it may be linked to the time and attitudes during the book was written.
My biggest bugbear was the constant switch of third person narratives. Swapping during each chapter is fine but in this books James often flip flops viewpoints each paragraph. It’s not for me but others may like the style.
I do like the old style detective novels though where a crime is solved by deduction and thinking rather than today’s reliance on technology so this fits quite nicely into that. I think I will do as other reviewers suggest and try one of her later works and see how she evolves.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Martingale Manor House is the family home of generations of the highly respected Maxie family, who annually host the church fête in its grounds. This year, however, the fête is destined to deviate far from the normal, smooth if boring routine, and after it life at Martingale will never be the same.

This first novel by P. D. James I thought not as flawless as her later ones, in that her word-craft was less honed, and I felt her Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh made one or two faux pas he never would have done today. Nevertheless, the yarn is woven with her usual skill and complexity, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This the first of P D James's detective novels. It is simpler than the later ones and has more rough edges. Her changing point of view eliminates suspects unnecessarily, and the character of Dalgleish has not gathered his later idiosyncrasies (not too bad thing, perhaps). It is also very condescending towards the working class characters, something that took me by surprise and which I found distasteful.
I chose the Folio Society edition and that did give real pleasure. The illustrations are superb, and in my copy - in excellent condition despite being printed in 1982 - the print, paper, and binding are a joy.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"A houseful of people all disliking each other is bound to be explosive." Thus speaks the sardonic Felix Hearn on the eve of a fateful house party.

I'm not the best judge of whodunits, as they don't usually grab me much, and I'm rubblsh at guessing the guilty person (when I saw The Mousetrap, I picked by turns every character except the right one!) However, I decided to have a shot at Cover her Face, having greatly enjoyed Children of Men.

This is the first in the Adam Dalgleish series, and (published in 1962) uses pre-Profumo morality as the premise for using unmarried mother Sally Jupp as the murderee. As the story progresses, we find just how deep the already not very still waters of Sally's life ran; before her sudden violent end, it becomes evident how she managed to run rings round her employers, the Maxie family of Martingale. The setting, in typical Christie fashion, is a country mansion, inhabited by a family seething with conflicts among themselves and with their friends and servants, conflicts which the murder brings to the surface. However, the story diverges from the usual pattern by telling different episodes from the viewpoint of different characters, the depiction of their thoughts and feelings adding to the number of false trails. Much of the investigation revolves around the puzzle that Sally, though she died of strangulation, was also drugged: why, and was the same person responsible for both acts? Further mystery is added by the fact that this is a "locked-door murder".

I had to check back for the full quotation, as it's a very long time since I read The Duchess of Malfi: "Cover her face. Mine eyes dazzle; she died young.
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