Unnatural Causes (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Mystery) Paperback – 1 Apr 2010
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The reigning mistress of murder.
The reigning mistress of murder.
P. D. James is the greatest living mystery writer.
"People"P. D. James is the greatest living mystery writer.
"People" P. D. James is the greatest living mystery writer.
"Time" The reigning mistress of murder. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Set on the remote Suffolk coast, the third Adam Dalgliesh mystery Unnatural Causes is a thrilling work of crime fiction from P.D. James, the bestselling author of Death Comes To Pemberley.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
The book unfolds with the discovery of Maurice Seton; found floating in a small dingy, minus his hands. This macabre death throws the small group of writers into recriminations, suspicion and fear. Although the wonderfully named D I Inspector Reckless is in charge, Dalgliesh finds himself dragged into the investigation. This will take him from the idyllic countryside of Monksmere to Soho nightclubs, as he attempts to discover who was responsible for Seton’s disappearance and bizarre death.
Although this novel is set amongst a group of authors, which should appeal to me, I found this less enjoyable – or perhaps less believable – than the previous book. Of course, being P D James I still loved the plot and characters, but it just seemed a little too staged. I am, though, enjoying re-reading the series very much and enjoyed learning a little more about the taciturn Dalgliesh.
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.
This was written or at least published in 1967. Having been born in the fifties, I'm old enough to remember the sixties, and the atmosphere and writing of this story seems more of the twenties or thirties with references to maids and cooks, and expensive doctors that command a god-like reverence.
Whilst I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers et al this tale reads like Ngiao Marsh on a not- so- good day.
I cannot believe that any group of writers described as in this story would behave like spoilt, ill-mannered children in real life. The murder was unfathomable, unlike the murderer, whom I had a suspicion about after listening to cd one and was certain about after cd two.
Perhaps Ms James was writing this as a fulfilment of a contract, or to meet some kind of deadline; but to my mind the quality was way, way below her usual output. Disappointing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was disappointed in this Book 3 of the Dalgleish series, having read the later and better ones first. The book held echoes of the previous books that I had read. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Reader
I am enjoying the book, very confusing at times but have found several mistakes e.g ANTRIM when it should have read ATRIUMPublished 3 months ago by Anne
Another really well written. Finely detailed characters. A plot that held me in suspense for a fair way through. I loved it...Published 6 months ago by tonywhipp
I already have (and read several times) the paperback version but just wanted it on my kindle as well. Brilliant.Published 9 months ago by Mrs M
Wonderful evocative writing - a thriller of the highest calibre. Just loved this book and would recommend to anyone who enjoys superbly crafted detective fiction.Published 9 months ago by equestrianflizzy