Time magazine calls her the “reigning mistress” of murder. Yes, the one and only P.D. James who turns 90 this week is truly the queen of the crime scene.
I recently read one of her earliest works, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, first published in 1972 and introducing Cordelia Gray, a plucky but vulnerable young private investigator, who is thrust into the main role after her boss commits suicide. James weaves a tale of murky family secrets set in London and Cambridge with characters from all levels of the British class system. Mark Callendar has been found hanged in the small garden cottage he fled to after dropping out of Cambridge. His wealthy father, Ronald, wants Cordelia to find out what lead him to kill himself. Cordelia knows no fear, choosing to stay at the cottage to learn more about Mark and his recent life. But this decision means Cordelia may pay the ultimate price for her investigations. The mistress of murder does not disappoint in this novel – it is the ultimate page-turner.
P D JAMES
Allen & Unwin