I have been on a hunt for some good murder mysteries to sink my teeth into. As luck would have it, I came across this P.D. James to satiate that appetite. This is the 11th book in the Adam Dalgliesh series and the great thing is, not too much background is needed to get into this story and its protagonist. James gives enough of a peek into Dalgliesh’s past for you to understand the story and not too much, so the focus stays on the mystery at hand.
While the writing was lovely and the story kept me interested right to the end, I was not convinced about the motivations of the murderer. Neither was I very impressed at how long it took for the Dalgliesh and team to actually get to the conclusion of the case. It seemed a little forced towards the end.
Synopsis: Dalgliesh is arm-twisted into looking into the case of accidental death of Sir Alred’s adopted son, Ronald while in training at St. Anslem’s Theological College. The College is struggling to stay open, having been declared an extravagance by the Anglican Church. While Dalgliesh is at the college, the body count soon mounts, leaving no doubt that Ronald’s death was no accident. Dalgliesh’s team has the difficult task of questioning ordained priests and priests in training, as the all the inhabitants of the college become suspects in this multiple murder mystery.
Adam Dalgliesh’s character is a very interesting one, and one of the reasons I will be going back for more he has to offer. An intellectual with varied tastes, the son of a parson and a poet, he is at first glance an unlikely detective. I haven’t had enough time to really warm up to him, but I am intrigued.
P.D. James has an easy style and her writing is another aspect that I really enjoyed. The plot doesn’t race off at breakneck speed in an effort to get to the conclusion of the mystery. James takes her time with mood, setting, characters and details what make this more than a quick mystery novel.