17 November 2016

Review: THE MISTLETOE MURDER and Other Stories

  • printed in Australia by Griffin Press
  • published 2016 by Faber & Faber
  • ISBN 978-0-571-33134-5
  • 136 pages
  • source: my local library
Synopsis (Amazon)

Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time--swift, cunning murder mysteries (two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh) that together, to borrow the author's own word, add up to a delightful "entertainment."

The newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is "pure Agatha Christie." . . . A "pedantic, respectable, censorious" clerk's secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder . . . A best-selling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in fifty years earlier . . . Dalgliesh's godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder that might ease the godfather's mind about an inheritance, but which will reveal a truth that even the supremely upstanding Adam Dalgliesh will keep to himself. Each of these stories is as playful as it is ingeniously plotted, the author's sly humor as evident as her hallmark narrative elegance and shrewd understanding of some of the most complex--not to say the most damning--aspects of human nature. A treat for P. D. James's legions of fans and anyone who enjoys the pleasures of a masterfully wrought whodunit.

My Take

There are 4 stories in the collection published by P.D. James' Estate with a foreword by Val McDermid and a preface by P.D. James.

The Mistletoe Murder, first published in 1995
A Very Commonplace Murder, first published in 1969
The Boxdale Inheritance, first published 1979
The Twelve Clues of Christmas, first published 1996

The connecting theme is Christmas and "family" murders. By far the best of the lot is The Mistletoe Murder which is also the longest, and most fleshed out. They are quick reads however, so if you feel like a seasonal dabble, these may satisfy your urge. The last two are Dalgliesh stories, when he is still a young man.

My rating: 4.3

1 comment:

Clothes In Books said...

I was put off from PD James's later novels, but I do like a Christmas story, so am tempted by this collection.


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