Books by P.D. James

Together with Ruth Rendell, P.D. James is one of the most famous British mystery writers. Born in 1920, she worked in the North West Regional Hospital Board in London from 1949 to 1968 and then as home office principal in the police department until 1972


DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY by P.D. James
Released: Dec. 6, 2011

"The murder story allows only flashes of Austenian wit, and Lizzy is sadly eclipsed by Darcy. But the stylistic pastiche is remarkably accomplished, and it's nice to get brief updates on certain cast members of Persuasion and Emma as a bonus."
Yes, that's right: Now that she's made her farewells to Adam Dalgliesh (The Private Patient, 2008, etc.), Baroness James has turned to a Jane Austen sequel. Read full book review >
THE PRIVATE PATIENT by P.D. James
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 19, 2008

"Middling work for the peerless James, a whodunit as deeply shadowed by mortality as all Dalgliesh's cases ever since Shroud for a Nightingale (1971)."
James's 18th novel revisits familiar ground—an insular social setting disrupted by a shocking murder—with consummate artistry. Read full book review >
THE LIGHTHOUSE by P.D. James
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 2005

"Although the story is briefer than James's recent double-deckers (The Murder Room, 2003, etc.), readers will still revel in her matchless fullness of characterization. A stay on Combe Island really is tonic."
The doyenne of British mystery celebrates her 85th birthday by packing off Adam Dalgliesh and two members of his Metropolitan Murder Squad to investigate the violent death of a famous novelist on a remote island off the Cornish coast. Read full book review >
THE MURDER ROOM by P.D. James
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 18, 2003

"Despite a plot less ineluctable than her best (Death in Holy Orders, 2001, etc.), James creates another teeming world in which murder is only the symptom of a more pervasive mortality."
A beleaguered private museum on the edge of Hampstead Heath provides James's latest lethal biosphere. Read full book review >
DEATH IN HOLY ORDERS by P.D. James
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 19, 2001

Unconvinced that his son Ronald, an ecclesiastical student at St. Read full book review >

TIME TO BE IN EARNEST by P.D. James
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 8, 2000

"A charming, informative, and timely memoir, with vividly somber undertones, sure to be treasured by James' readers."
From British mystery writer (and recent Baroness) James, an elegantly constructed, deceptively off-the-cuff reflection on her life and times that is by turns humorous, nostalgic, instructive, and ominous. Read full book review >
A CERTAIN JUSTICE by P.D. James
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

Four weeks after she's defended Garry Ashe on a charge of murdering his disreputable aunt—in a bravura sequence that provides the most electric opening of any of James's novels—his barrister, brilliant, aloof Venetia Aldridge, is found stabbed to death in her chambers with a paper-knife, a barrister's wig on her head and her corpse soaked in fresh blood. Read full book review >

ORIGINAL SIN by P.D. James
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 7, 1995

The directors of London's venerable Peverell Press think that the suicide of senior editor Sonia Clements in the archive room of the firm's palatial offices in Innocent House is the last and most shocking episode in a series of disruptions to their business: some lost illustrations, a manuscript maliciously altered in proof, an unsigned note to one of the current authors pointing out that two other Peverell authors have recently died. Read full book review >

THE CHILDREN OF MEN by P.D. James
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 4, 1993

Perturbed by reports that sperm counts among British males have been steadily dwindling in recent years, the doyenne of the English detective story has interrupted her increasingly leisurely series of mystery novels (Devices and Desires, 1989, etc.) for a futuristic dystopia of sterility. Sometime in 1995—records the divorced, bereaved, ineffectual historian/ diarist Theodore Faron—the worldwide sperm count reached zero with the birth of one Joseph Ricardo, last of the Omega generation. Read full book review >

DEVICES AND DESIRES by P.D. James
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 1, 1989

"Strongly written, then, and thickly readable—but ultimately flabby, pale, and disappointing."
Despite ever-growing sales and stature, James' mysteries have been uneven in recent years—without the thoroughly compelling characters and milieus that made her early output so distinctive. Read full book review >
A TASTE FOR DEATH by P.D. James
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 1, 1986

"But, resonating with themes, from family responsibility to class warfare to the perils of ambition, this leisurely, somber investigation is moodily compelling most of the way through—and only disappointing in its fitful, hollow resolutions."
Like her other recent, long mysteries (Death of an Expert Witness, The Skull Beneath the Skin), James' new 480-page novel is absorbing reading, chockablock with arresting characters, edgily compelling conversation, and grainy atmospherics. Read full book review >
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: March 25, 1986

"This one's a winning combination: a spellbinding mystery replete with authentic historical minutiae, and a brooding, teeming early-19th-century locale."
A true tale of murder most foul in Regency London in which James' mystery-writing witchery is joined with Critchley's police history know-how. Read full book review >
AN UNSUITABLE JOB FOR A WOMAN by P.D. James
Released: March 22, 1973

"An impeccable pleasure to read."
P.D. James upholds the best of the British tradition, without any of the flossy, irritating side of her elders but not betters — Sayers or Marsh — and without for that matter revealing the fact that the given name behind the initials might be feminine. Read full book review >