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. Cordelia Gray, inherits a detective agency from her former partner as well as the case of a young man who also died by his own hand. He is the son of a politically purblind scientist and the unsettling details which surround the fashion of his suicide guide the investigation from a former Nanny to the equivocal circumstances of his birth and his mother's death. An impeccable pleasure to read.