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An Unsuitable job for a woman by P.D. James

An Unsuitable job for a woman (original 1972; edition 1989)

by P.D. James

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1,662264,330 (3.72)47
Title:An Unsuitable job for a woman
Authors:P.D. James
Collections:Your library
Tags:British crime/Adam Dalgliesh/Cordelia Gray

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


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Showing 1-5 of 25 (next | show all)
It's a shame P.D. James didn't do more with Cordelia Grey: she's much more interesting as a protagonist than Dalgleish. This was her first outing, in 1973, and she very quickly demonstrates that she's no weak and feeble Harriett. Perhaps the ending here is a little bit too contrived, but it's all good fun, and it just about makes sense, so why not? ( )
  thorold | Feb 6, 2015 |
This is my second book (even though it's the first) of the Cordelia Gray's series. I listened to the second of the series last November. This book is the introduction to Cordelia Gray whom is a) very young and b) the heiress to a privat eye firm which she was becoming in the first part of the story.
Partly the story was very gripping but there were parts where I got the feeling of a bit boreness. After inherited the firm Cordelia got her first case which took her to Cambridge. She was hired to solve the puzzle of the death of a young man whereat it looked like that he commited suicide. By uncovering his and his family's secret Cornelia Gray was able to solve the mystery as well as to establish herself in the world of the privat eyes. ( )
  Ameise1 | Jan 25, 2015 |
I wanted to like this more than I did...James is a trailblazer, the book's title proudly calling the world out on its bullshit. I thought a lot about why it never really grabbed me--have I become immune to narrative that isn't hyper-adrenalized, has the genre so completely cannibalized James that I've just read this book a hundred times already, does it lack an essential luridness that I need to become truly interested? I think perhaps all of these things are true, but mainly there was never much chance that the people--the characters--were going to impact one another in any significant way. Nothing was ever really going to happen in the book. I mean, the mystery would be solved but the real mystery is what would happen to the main character along the way. And nothing was going to happen. Cordelia is in a bubble through out. There's no chance she will fail or learn anything about herself. It's just an obstacle course, no real risk for her or the reader. I liked the sections best when she was with the rich, spoiled Cambridge kids. The chance she might get sucked into their current brought energy to the book. It remained me of so many books in those moments--The Talented Mr.Ripley, The Secret History, The Likeness...a million horror films. There's something spooky about a group of priveldged, young beauties apparently. Narrative loves to stare at them. Anyway, I hope I remember what left me flat here and can learn from it. ( )
  wordlikeabell | Nov 20, 2013 |
Odd characters with weird motivations, plus a plot that took unexpected and disturbing turns, made this book sit not quite right with me.

Favorite lines:

I have never thought of romantic love being characterized like this: "'If you mean, did we explore our own identities through the personality of the other, then I suppose we were in love or thought we were.'"

"'What do you mean by love? That human beings must learn to live together with a decent concern for each other's welfare? The law enforces that....But perhaps you prefer a more feminine, more individual definition; love as a passionate commitment to another's personality. Intense personal commitment always ends in jealousy and enslavement. Love is more destructive than hate...'"

"'Beauty is intellectually confusing; it sabotages common sense...I thought that any woman as beautiful as she must have an instinct about life, access to some secret wisdom which is beyond cleverness. Every time she opened that delicious mouth I was expecting her to illumine life. I think I could have spent all my life just looking at her and waiting for the oracle. And all she could talk about was clothes.'" ( )
  librarianarpita | Oct 2, 2013 |
This Cordelia Grey mystery may deserve 4 stars but I find myself increasingly disliking crime novels in which the guilty go uncaught or unpunished. One could argue that, since Sir Ronald Callender, Lunn, and Miss Leaming all end up dead, this isn't such a novel. However Cordelia's willingness to conceal Miss Leaming's act bothers me. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. D. Jamesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Capriolo, EttoreTranslatorsecondary 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.
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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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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743219554, Paperback)

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.

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman introduces P. D. James's courageous but vulnerable young detective, Cordelia Gray, in a "top-rated puzzle of peril that holds you all the way" (The New York Times).

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:07 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Left alone by her partner's suicide, Cordelia Gray struggles to manage the private detective agency they once shared.

(summary from another edition)

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