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Unnatural Causes (Inspector Adam Dalgliesh Mystery) Paperback – 1 Apr 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 96 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (1 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571253350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571253357
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 38,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Time"

The reigning mistress of murder.



"Time"

The reigning mistress of murder.

"People"

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.

Book Description

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.

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Top Customer Reviews

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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By S Riaz HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 May 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Published in 1967, this is the third Adam Dalgliesh mystery; following on from “Cover Her Face” and “A Mind to Murder.” Dalgliesh is still involved with Deborah Riscoe, who appeared in the first novel, and is considering whether or not to propose to her. Does he love her enough to change his life and perhaps put his work second? While considering this change, he goes to stay with his aunt, Jane Dalgliesh. An avid bird watcher, she lives in a small community near Monksmere bird reserve, which seems to be populated (apart from her) mostly by writers – either authors or critics. These include Maurice Seton, a detective novelist, Sylvia Kedge, his crippled secretary, his half brother Digby Seton, critic Oliver Latham, Justin Bryce, R.B. Sinclair, the reclusive ‘great novelist’ and romance writer Celia Calthrop and her niece, Elizabeth.

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.
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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 Verified Purchase
Now, I quite like PD James output as a rule, but this has me shaking my head. On 6 CDs and read very well as always by Michael Jayston, the story is set in a small community on the remote Suffolk coast.
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.
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