The murder of administrative officer, Enid Bolam, at the Steen Psychiatric Clinic, has staff on edge and, once again, Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh has to sort truth from lies and rumors. It's no easy task as there are plenty of suspects to go around, and good reasons to want Enid dead.
This is the fourth P.D. James mystery I've read this year. Things started off rocky with Cover Her Face, however, I really enjoyed The Black Tower and Shroud for a Nightingale. I was disappointed, though, with this book. As usual, James' narrative descriptions were deliciously vivid, but the 221 page book seemed to go on too long. The first ninety pages show Dalgleish interviewing suspect after suspect, few of whom were memorable enough to keep straight. The next twenty or thirty pages, show several of the prime suspects arriving home later that night and pondering what had happened. The different points of view and inner monologue provided background, red herrings and clues, but again it became tedious.
Quiet clue planting, shifts in POVs, detailed descriptions, and institutional settings, are certainly P.D. James trademarks. Unfortunately, they also highlight a distinct lack of action in this book. Even the capture of the killer was anti-climatic. It's kind of strange, P.D. James writes well, and, although I hate to say it (this is the great P.D. James, after all) A Mind to Murder just wasn't that interesting.