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Death in Holy Orders by P. D. James

Death in Holy Orders (2001)

by P. D. James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Adam Dalgliesh (11)

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3,025462,796 (3.77)75
  1. 00
    The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald (thorold)
    thorold: You can't get much more conventional than an English murder mystery, or much more experimental than Sebald's unclassifiable prose works, but these two books do seem to have a bit more in common than their setting on the Suffolk coast. An odd mixture of gloom and playfulness, a refusal quite to reveal what's in the writer's mind...… (more)

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» See also 75 mentions

English (44)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL, known professionally as P. D. James, was an English crime writer. She rose to fame for her series of detective novels starring police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh. Wikipedia
  brendanus | Oct 18, 2018 |
A very good series if you like English mysteries ( )
  INorris | Jun 8, 2017 |
Adam Dalghiesh investigates small theological college on coast — murders — very good!

The bulk of the novel takes place at St. Anselm's, an embattled, isolated theological college on England's windswept East Anglian coast. When the body of seminarian Ronald Treeves is literally unearthed from a suffocating pile of sand, a coroner's jury turns in a verdict of accidental death. Arms manufacturer Sir Alred Treeves, Ronald's adoptive father, questions the verdict and arranges to have Dalgliesh reinvestigate the boy's death.
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  christinejoseph | Jul 15, 2016 |
P.D. James is a master of the complete fleshing out of every element of the scene, characters and story. We get an insight into the various attachments the numerous people we are introduced to have to the monastery and school. Because of the attachments, all have a motive. She artfully weaves motive and conflict with sentiment and greed. I love her descriptions of the English countryside and can easily picture the haunting setting beside a crumbling sea bank.
I cannot say any more except that I am a dyed in the wool P.D James fan, and I could not put this book down. ( )
  CathyWoolbright | Apr 20, 2016 |
A sandy cliff collapses, a theology student dies and his father suspects foul play. And so Adam Dalgliesh returns to St Anselm’s, the theological college which he visited as a boy. And so this murder mystery is cut through with Dalgiesh’s memories.
“When secrets are unspoken and unwritten they are lodged safely in the mind, but writing them down seems to let them loose and give them the power to spread like pollen on the air and enter into other minds.” So writes college housekeeper Margaret Munroe in her diary. She found Ronald’s body and was advised by Father Martin, a priest at St Anselm’s, to write about her experience as a way of coming to terms with what happened. Does she know a secret and write it in her diary?
Ronald’s death is declared accidental, a second staff member dies naturally. But then there is a third death and Dalgliesh is put in charge of the case.
His familiar team of Kate Miskin and Piers Tarrant are accepted uneasily into this closed community which is secretly worried the building houses a murderer, but outwardly tries to behave as normal. Included in the mix of clergy, teachers and students are several guests including a convalescing detective, a researcher and a university lecturer. At the heart of the mystery is the future of St Anselm’s and, if it is to close, who will inherit the building and its riches.
The motives are various, the suspects numerous. PD James plots with skill to keep us guessing, whilst layering the story with poetry, nature, art, theology and her observations of human nature. Excellent.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Mar 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. D. Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Diacon, ÉricTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kankaanpää, JaakkoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keating, CharlesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meer, Joost van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montequin, ErnestoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Raffo, AnnamariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seibicke, Christa E.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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for Rosemary Goad. For forty years editor and friend
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It was Father Martin's idea that I should write an account of how I found the body.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345446666, Mass Market Paperback)

Despite challenges from Ruth Rendell and (more recently) Minette Walters, P.D. James's position as Britain's Queen of Crime remains largely unassailable. Although a certain reaction has set in to her reputation (and there are those who claim her poetry-loving copper Adam Dalgliesh doesn't correspond to any of his counterparts in the real world), her detractors can scarcely deny her astonishing literary gifts. More than any other writer, she has elevated the detective story into the realms of literature, with the psychology of the characters treated in the most complex and authoritative fashion. Her plots, too, are full of intriguing detail and studed with brilliantly observed character studies. Who cares if Dalgliesh belongs more in the pages of a book than poking around a graffiti-scrawled council estate? As a policeman, he is considerably more plausible than Doyle's Holmes, and that's never stopped us loving the Baker Street sleuth. Death in Holy Orders represents something of a challenge from James to her critics, taking on all the contentious elements and rigorously reinvigorating them. She had admitted that she was finding it increasingly difficult to find new plots for Dalgliesh, and the locale here (a theological college on a lonely stretch of the East Anglian coast) turns out to be an inspired choice. We're presented with the enclosed setting so beloved of golden age detective writers, and James is able to incorporate her theological interests seamlessly into the plot (but never in any doctrinaire way; the nonbeliever is never uncomfortable). The body of a student at the college is found on the shore, suffocated by a fall of sand. Dalgliesh is called upon to reexamine the verdict of accidental death (which the student's father would not accept). Having visited the College of St. Anselm in his boyhood, he finds the investigation has a strong nostalgic aspect for him. But that is soon overtaken by the realization that he has encountered the most horrific case of his career, and another visitor to the college dies a horrible death. As an exploration of evil--and as a piece of highly distinctive crime writing--this is James at her nonpareil best. Dalgliesh, too, is rendered with new dimensions of psychological complexity. --Barry Forshaw, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:26 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

The untimely death of a young priest in training draws Commander Adam Dalgliesh back to East Anglia to investigate at the request of the young man's father, as Dalgliesh finds himself drawn into a complex and violent mystery.

» see all 8 descriptions

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