Tuesday, December 2, 2014

RIP, P. D. James

The great, great British mystery writer P.D. James died November 27, 2014, at the age of 94. She created wonderful mysteries, mysteries that are intriguing, compelling, very well written, and of high literary quality. Her books are enormously popular, selling in the millions around the world. They have also been made into very popular television adaptations. Her most famous character, featured in many of her mysteries, is the “elegant, intellectual” and “gentlemanly” detective Adam Dalgliesh (thank you, Associated Press, 11/28/14, for these phrases and for some of the information in this post),with whom some of us readers were somewhat in literary love. Although written in elegant prose, James’ novels deal with many difficult contemporary issues, such as terrorism, drugs, and child abuse. James didn’t publish her first book until she was almost 40, and had to fit her writing in around her civil service jobs. Some of her best known novels are “Cover Her Face” and “Innocent Blood.” Her 2011 novel, “Death Comes to Pemberley,” features characters and a site from Jane Austen’s novel “Pride and Prejudice,” thus attracting both P.D. James fans and those dedicated to all things Austen; I am sure a good number of readers of this novel are, like me, both P.D. James and Austen readers. I loved the book and posted on it here on 12/28/11. P.D. James received numerous awards and honors, including being made Baroness by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991. This writer has given so much pleasure to so many readers for so many years; she will be missed. But her books are still here for present and future readers to discover, read, and re-read, and I am grateful for that.

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