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In a perfect marriage of author and subject, P. D. James—one of the most widely admired writers of detective fiction at work today—gives us a personal, lively, illuminating exploration of the human appetite for mystery and mayhem, and of those writers who have satisfied it.
P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie (“arch-breaker of rules”), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they’ve created,…[more]
When the quiet Little Vestry of St. Matthew’s Church becomes the blood-soaked scene of a double murder, Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh faces an intriguing conundrum: How did an upper-crust Minister come to lie, slit throat to slit throat, next to a neighborhood derelict of the lowest order? Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless motives, Dalgliesh explores the sinister web spun around a half-burnt diary and a violet-eyed widow who is pregnant and full of malice—all the while hoping to fill the gap of logic that joined these two disparate men in bright red death….
Just recovered from a grave illness, Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called to the bedside of an elderly priest. When Dalgliesh arrives, Father Baddeley is dead. Is it merely his own brush with mortality that causes Dalgliesh to sense the shadow of death about to fall once more?
The young women of Nightingale House are there to learn to nurse and comfort the suffering. But when one of the students plays patient in a demonstration of nursing skills, she is horribly, brutally killed. Another student dies equally mysteriously, and it is up to Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard to unmask a killer who has decided to prescribe murder as the cure for all ills.
Death in Holy Orders is set in an Anglican theological college on a desolate stretch of the East Anglian coast, a locality which she has made particularly her own. When the body of the one of the students is found on the shore smothered by a fall of sand, his weathly father demands that Scotland Yard should re-examine the verdict of accidental death. Commander Dalgliesh has visited St. Anselm’s in his boyhood and, as he is due for a holiday, agrees to pay a visit, expecting no more than a nostaglic return to old haunts and a straightforward examination of the evidence given at the inquest. Instead he finds himself embroiled in one of the most horrific and puzzling cases of his career. Other visitors come to the college on the weekend of his arrival, not all of them with benign intent. One of them will never leave it alive.
The spine-tingling delights of PBS’s popular Mystery! programs are gathered in this large-format, richly illustrated book. The best of this program’s years are collected in photos, posters, reminiscences, commentary, analysis, essays, and reviews of the shows and the genre itself. Edward Gorey’s ghastly illustrations are sprinkled liberally throughout the book as are quotes from the actors and directors.
Told with P. D. James’s trademark suspense, insightful characterization, and riveting storytelling, The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children and no future.
The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live…and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race.