Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review - The Private Patient by P.D. James

This is my first and hopefully not last book review.

The Private Patient has all the elements of a work of British detective fiction.
  • Victorian manor in the English countryside - Check
  • Manor is possibly haunted - Check
  • Winter - Check
  • Shady domestic staff - Check
  • Old family feud - Check
  • Famous person murdered - Check
  • High ranking detective called in from London to investigate - Check
  • Probably an inside job - Check
This is the fourteenth (according to Wikipedia) book in a "series" involving the character Detective Adam Dalgleish.  While the mystery part of the book itself stands alone, the author assumes the reader already knows all three of the detective characters in the book and doesn't do much to develop them.

If you like a good mystery, I recommend any by this author.  I think at this point I've read all of them.  She also wrote the book Children of Men, which was turned into a movie not that that long ago.  I tried to read that, but it wasn't my cup of tea so I never finished it.

Who would like this book?
  • People who liked The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo who could have done with a lot less violence and 150 fewer pages
Who would not like this book?
  • People who are bothered by a high ratio of setting description and character development to action, abuse of the letter "u"*, the words "jumper" and "trousers" and the fact that the British do things so much later in the day than us
Have you read anything by PD James?  Have a favorite mystery you want to recommend to me?

*Like the word "colour"