Wednesday, December 28, 2005
This is another one of my beloved Adam Dalgliesh mysteries. I'm very fearful that P.D. James may not be writing many more, since she is already 85 years old. Elizabeth George and Deborah Crombie are also authors who have created detectives that seem very human, and I revel in how their sleuths' and extra characters' lives are revealed, bit by bit, as each story unfolds. Unfortunately, I've already read everything they've written, too.
This story takes place in a psychiatric clinic. Dalgliesh is called in when the female administrative head is found with a chisel in her heart. As he questions the staff and patients, he realizes that more than one of them don't mind that she is dead. But of course, he sorts it all out, even turning over what seem like rock-solid alibis.
P.D. James is hailed for writing literary mysteries with intricate plots, complex characters, and an impressive vocabulary. It's no wonder other authors take it as the highest compliment when their work is compared favorably to hers.