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The Murder Room (Adam Dalgliesh Mystery Series #12) (original 2003; edition 2004)

by P. D. James

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2,389472,612 (3.75)69
Member:vancouverdeb
Title:The Murder Room (Adam Dalgliesh Mystery Series #12)
Authors:P. D. James
Info:Vintage (2004), Paperback, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:british mystery

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The Murder Room by P. D. James (2003)

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English (45)  Portuguese (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (47)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
I chose this because the author recent died and this was one of her last books. I found it a well written mystery with the obligatory "red herrings". Nothing pushes it to the top of the heap in a genre overloaded with mysteries, but it was a fine example of why P.D. James' works will stand the test of time. ( )
  mldavis2 | Aug 20, 2015 |
This was my first Adam Dagliesh mystery and I loved it. A small museum with a concentration on the inter-war years of 1919-1939 features The Murder Room, which itself specializes in infamous murders. Two murders occur which look like they're copy cats of two from The Murder Room.

At issue is the longevity of the Dupayne Museum. It was left to three siblings who all must approve renewing the lease or risk losing the museum altogether. Two of the siblings are trying to convince the third to change his mind and save the museum. Then the first murder occurs, and things are no longer straightforward. Of course, things are not straightforward, it's a murder mystery.

After reading The Murder Room, I now understand James' popularity and am happy tp jump on that particular bandwagon. ( )
1 vote AuntieClio | Dec 30, 2014 |
Read during Fall 2005

I picked this up to read super quick because I was so confused by Part 1 of the Mystery adaption and wanted to know what happens before Part 2 is on. I finished it in a tearing read at 1:30am, skipping over about 1 page of what seemed to be headed for egregious and awful animal cruelty before the grand wrap up ending. The adaption cut out several subplots which didn't impact the final outcome but were good for diverting attention from the real clues. I was fairly close in my guesses but I liked the character backgrounds that the novel gave me. All the characters were fairly warped but at least there some reason behind it. I ended up finding the relationship of Adam and Emma the most interesting and I'm looking forward to what might happen with them in the future. The actors in the TV adaption also play these roles very well and make the relationship seem very real.

I listened to an audio book in Fall 2006

My very first audio book. It wasn't as hard to listen to a book as I thought and the reader had a very pleasant voice but a very limited range of character voices. I read this about a year ago and was somewhat suprised at how much I remembered. Some of the stylistic flaws of James were more apparent in the read out loud verision but it was still highly enjoyable and now will put The Lighthouse at the top of list.
  amyem58 | Jul 14, 2014 |
I like her writing and the fullness of her characters ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Another great mystery by P.D. James. I thought the beginning was perhaps a tad longer than necessary; there was a lot of build up before the first murder happened. However, overall it was very enjoyable and engaging and made for great travel reading. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
The éminence grise of British detective fiction, James delivers another ruminative puzzler, generous in character, graceful in prose.
 
James writes with such ease and juggles her plots and characters with such control that none of this gets out of hand. . . Alas, James's efforts to inject suspense into Dalgliesh's romantic life are less effective. . .
 
There is no mistaking P. D. James's latest mystery for the work of a younger writer. . . Her characters are confused by euros and annoyed by mobile phones. . . Despite her elegiac frame of mind, Ms. James has not lost her taste for a good throttling.
 
It's a general rule of fiction that authors are happiest creating characters closest to their own age. This is because all fiction is broadly autobiographical. Male novelists in their early 20s create wincingly convincing teenagers but - by their 60s - are sketching adolescents who are merely embarrassing sexual fantasies. As an octogenarian novelist, James is showing similar difficulties of characterisation. . .
added by christiguc | editThe Guardian, Mark Lawson (Jul 5, 2003)
 
I've never really got Dalgleish. His combination of policing skill and artistic sensibility - he's an acclaimed poet - has always struck a false note for me, especially given that he's so emotionally constrained. . . In The Murder Room, even his detective skills are more assumed than demonstrated. Several people, Dalgleish included, comment on his ability to get people to tell him things. Yet in this book, you have no idea why. All he seems to do is enter a room, ask a question and the admissions come thick and fast. . . Once she does begin, though, she doesn't relent until the genuinely chilling climax. Patrician, eccentric, but still a delight.
 
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Epigraph
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
T. S. Eliot, Burnt Norton
Dedication
To my two sons-in-law
Lyn Flook
Peter Duncan McLeod
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On Friday 25 October, exactly one week before the first body was discovered at the Dupayne Museum, Adam Dalgliesh visited the museum for the first time.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141015535, Paperback)

Commander Adam Dalgliesh is already acquainted with the Dupayne Museum in Hampstead, and with its sinister murder room celebrating notorious crimes committed in the interwar years, when he is called to investigate the killing of one of the trustees. He soon discovers that the victim was seeking to close the museum against the wishes of both staff and fellow trustees. Everyone, it seems, has something to gain from the crime. When it becomes clear that the killer is prepared to kill again, inspired by the real-life crimes from the murder room, Dalgliesh knows that to solve this case he has to get into the mind of a ruthless killer.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The Dupayne, a small private museum on the edge of London's Hampstead Heath devoted to the interwar years 1919-39, is in turmoil. The trustees--the three children of the museum founder, old Max Dupayne--are bitterly at odds over whether it should be closed. Then one of them is brutally murdered, and what seemed to be no more than a family dispute erupts into horror. For even as Commander Adam Dalgiesh and his team investigate the first killing, a second corpse is discovered. Clearly, someone at the Dupayne is prepared to kill, and kill again. The case is fraught with danger and complexity from the outset, not least because of the range of possible suspects--and victims. And still more sinister, the murders appear to echo the notorious crimes of th epast featured in one of the museum's most popular galleries, the Murder Room. For Dalgiesh, P.D. James's formidable detective, the search for the murderer poses an unexpected complication. After years of bachelorhood, he has embarked on a promising new relationship with Emma Lavenham--first introduced in Death in Holy Orders--which is at a critical stage. Yet his struggle to solve the Dupayne murders faces him with a frustrating dilemma: each new development distances him further from commitment to the woman he loves. The Murder Room is a story dark with the passions that lie at the heart of crime, a masterful work of psychological intricacy.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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