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An Unsuitable Job for A Woman by P.D. James

An Unsuitable Job for A Woman (original 1972; edition 2006)

by P.D. James

Series: Cordelia Gray (1)

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2,200395,026 (3.7)75
Left alone by her partner's suicide, Cordelia Gray struggles to manage the private detective agency they once shared.
Title:An Unsuitable Job for A Woman
Authors:P.D. James
Info:Faber and Faber (2006), Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:Mystery, 20th Century, England, 2012

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An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P. D. James (1972)


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» See also 75 mentions

English (36)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Die Privatdetektivin Cordelia Gray soll in der ehrwürdigen Universitätsstadt Cambridge die näheren Umstände über den Selbstmord des Sohnes eines berühmten Wissenschaftlers erkunden. Der vermeintlich harmlose Auftrag entpuppt sich als gefährliches Manöver und führt hinter die Kulissen einer scheinbar gelassenen Idylle von Gelehrsamkeit.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
This was a 1973 Edgar nominee but, no worries. Even at that point James was a successful, much decorated author. This clever, satisfying tale features Cordelia Grey but James' beloved Dagleish hovers in the background. As always, the social fabric is woven into the plot and was a delightful aspect of the story for me, looking back to the world (can it be possible?) fifty years after publication. Best of luck with the clues but be forewarned; it isn't simple. ( )
  danhammang | Jul 1, 2019 |
Handsome Cambridge dropout Mark Callender died hanging by the neck with a faint trace of lipstick on his mouth. When the official verdict is suicide, his wealthy father hires fledgling private investigator Cordelia Gray to find out what led him to self-destruction. What she discovers instead is a twisting trail of secrets and sins, and the strong scent of murder.

Straightforward and young Cordelia Gray did a good job investigating and interviewing anyone who knew Mark. But she did do a few odd things along the way and then took a big risk in the end. I wasn’t convinced of the reason she had for taking the risk. The story was pretty interesting but a few things that were revealed at the end seemed a bit far-fetched. ( )
  gaylebutz | May 20, 2019 |
It’s smart and moves along at a good pace. Love the MC, Cordelia Gray. Being written in another country always gives me a different perspective on how books are written. I’ll be looking for more of Miss Gray books. ( )
  caanderson | Sep 3, 2017 |
When Cordelia Gray’s boss at the Pryde Detective Agency dies, he leaves her the business… and an unregistered gun. And so begins ‘An Unsuitable Job for a Woman’ by PD James, with a female private detective who is a long way away from Adam Dalgliesh, James’s famous creation, but who has been trained by an ex-copper who worked for Dalgliesh. And so the tentacles of ‘the Super’ stretch to Cambridge where Cordelia Gray undertakes her first case.
She is not a female private detective in the busybodying, gossiping style of Miss Marple or Agatha Raisin, but a liberated, independent woman who is financially motivated to make a success of her business. Employed by a Cambridge scientist, Sir Ronald Callender, to discover why his son Mark dropped out of university and committed suicide soon after, Cordelia takes up lodging in the rundown gardener’s cottage where Mark died. So much is unclear. Mark left a stew uncooked and a garden fork stuck in half-dug earth. His friends feign friendliness to Cordelia but dance around her questions. Sir Ronald’s assistant/housekeeper is superior and unhelpful. The Marklands, who employed Mark in his last few weeks, are shadows on the edge of the story. Something is evidently not right and Cordelia is soon convinced Mark was murdered. But how can it be proved?
This is a satisfying read with plenty of twists, mysteries and unexplained behaviour. The Seventies college setting in Cambridge – student parties, punting on the Cam – felt authentic. And I did not guess the ending.
Disappointingly, PD James only wrote two Cordelia Gray novels, this in 1972 and ‘The Skull Beneath the Skin’ ten years later.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Apr 15, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James, P. D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lisa, MariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rantanen, AulisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jane and Peter who kindly allowed two of my characters to live at 57 Norwich Street.
First words
On the morning of Bernie Pryde's death - or it may have been the morning after, since Bernie died at his own convenience, nor did he think of the estimated time of his departure worth recording - Cordelia was caught in a breakdown of the Bakerloo Line outside Lambeth North and was half an hour late at the office.
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Left alone by her partner's suicide, Cordelia Gray struggles to manage the private detective agency they once shared.

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