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A Taste for Death by P. D. James

A Taste for Death (1986)

by P. D. James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Adam Dalgliesh (7)

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2,471273,671 (3.83)36



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English (26)  Danish (1)  All languages (27)
Showing 1-5 of 26 (next | show all)
Always love PD James
  madcatter | May 29, 2016 |
I have loved everything I have read by P.D. James. I like the way we learn about the private lives of the main characters. It makes them seem like real people. ( )
  scot2 | Mar 5, 2016 |
Two men found dead in a church: murder and suicide, or double murder? One a politician, the other a tramp. Because this is a PD James novel we know it is murder, but we don’t know why or who by. This novel differs from the preceding six in this series because of its length [656 pages], compared with its predecessor ‘Death of an Expert Witness’ [400 pages]. For this we get extra plot twist and turns, more detail about the potential suspects, more internal monologues, and more of the literary depth which characterizes the later Dalgliesh novels. Some readers will appreciate the extra detail, others may prefer a quicker moving, shorter, crime novel.
The story is book-ended by the meeting and subsequent relationship between Miss Emily Wharton and 10-year old Darren Wilkes. They find the bodies and after that their very human story is lost in the swirl of police procedure and suspicion, accusations and alibis.
Commander Adam Dalgliesh heads up a new squad to solve serious crimes which need sensitive handling. This murder of Sir Paul Berowne, a government minister, is the squad’s first case. On Dalgliesh’s team is John Massingham, familiar from earlier novels, and newcomer Kate Miskin. Miskin’s storyline is a welcome female perspective in a male-dominated job [this book was first published in 1986].
This was the first PD James novel I read, I still have the original paperback. Certainly I have a clear memory of a man called Berowne murdered in a church. It was the beginning of a fondness for Adam Dalgliesh and I have read every one of his series since.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
1 vote Sandradan1 | Oct 30, 2015 |
This is a mystery with an unknown victim. Other than a flashback to a brief meeting from AD's point of view, we never meet the murdered man. Since the whole plot and murder motive revolve around some supposed religious epiphany he may have had, and we never see him before or after the change which this experience is said to bring about, the story lacks conviction and plausibility. I had to reread the early chapters twice: what religious experience? Did he actually have a religious experience? Are Anglican religious experiences really that low-key? Is such a nebulous, undefined religious experience sufficient to make a man change his whole life, and if so, to what? If we ever learn that Berowne actually had plans (join a L'Arche community? serve in a leprosy mission?) I missed that part. And the more we (through AD) learn about the man, the less the whole thing makes sense. Meanwhile, Kate is introduced, does a lot of thinking to which we are privy, and makes herself a believable, sympathetic and three-dimensional character. I could have enjoyed a book about Kate and her appalling grandmother. Or a book about young Darren. Just leave out that boring murder and its nebulous victim. ( )
1 vote muumi | Mar 30, 2015 |
A very unconvincing story that drags on and on. Only the subplot involving Kate is touching. some other minor characters are nicely thought out (darren, the mistress) but others are just a nuisance (the priest, the murderer, the widow). definitely not PD at her best. ( )
  pepe68 | Jan 12, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (17 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. D. Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kattelus, KirstiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Some can gaze and not be sick,

But I could never learn the trick.

There's this to say for blood and breath,

They give a man a taste for death.

-- A. E. Housman
To my daughters,

Clare and Jane

and in memory of their father,

Connor Bantry White
First words
The bodies were discovered at eight forty-five on the morning of Wednesday 18 September by Miss Emily Wharton, a sixty-five-year-old spinster of the parish of St. Matthew's in Paddington, London, and Darren Wilkes, aged ten, of no particular parish as far as he knew or cared.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446323527, Paperback)

Dalgliesh must solve the double murder of two very different kinds of victims: one an illustrious former member of Parliament, the other an alcoholic derelict. "Her best and most ambitious tale to date."--Time. Reissue.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:52 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Commander Adam Dalgleish investigates the throat-slash murders, in a London church, of Sir Paul Berowne, former Minister of State, and a tramp named Harry Mack, murders that lead Dalgleish onto surprising English pathways.Adam Dalgliesh and his two young assistants search for clues in the deaths of two men found in the vestry of a London church--one rich and elegant, the other an alcoholic tramp.… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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