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The Murder Room
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This is another classic P. D. James mystery novel. At an age where many writers would be happy to lay down their pen (or switch off their computers) she still comes up with enthralling stories, vivid characters and plots full of surprises. Her acute observation of the human mind, foibles and reactions has sharpened with time.
The story is set in an eccentric little museum in London and the Murder Room houses exhibits relating to murders committed during the 1920's and 1930's. The focus is on a trunk that once contained the body of a murdered girl. The family who owns the museum is divided over whether to close it or continue to operate it, but some of the activities in the museum are more - shall we say "unusual" - than others and many people would be negatively affected if it closed.
Introducing characters in a mystery novel is difficult to do well, but James does it better than anyone. The reader is never left trying to remember if Neville was the doctor or the curator. She also introduces us to the peripheral characters who are affected by the crime, fleshing each one out rapidly, but leaving a clearer impression than most writers make with their main characters.
This is a mature writer, still at the peak of her power to draw readers into strong stories and to make them care about characters who may be a little off-beat, but never the usual caricatures of the English. There is a richness of texture in this book. The investigators, chiefly Adam Dalgleish and Kate Miskin have gained some maturity and a measure of understanding of themselves as well as their suspects.
I can recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a classic English mystery.
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on September 3, 2003
The Murder Room PD JAMES
P.D James has done it again. I think this is the 18th time she's done it. She is an extremely talented storyteller with prose like honey! Often you read her work and you forget your reading and feel as if your watching a play or movie. And as always her settings are unlikely places for murder and violence. I suppose these are the qualities that distinguish her murder mysteries from all the others. This book is all about real people and emotion and is not to be missed for the mystery enthusiast. Besides, it's a fantastic airplane read. Now if you're looking for a few other interesting titles that will keep you glued to your seat look no further than these, Buckland's Hot List: most creative, The Butterfly: A Fable (Singh); most engaging, The Alchemist (Coelho); most interesting, Life of Pi (Martel); most enlightening, 9-11 (Chomsky); most thrilling, The Lovely Bones: A Novel (Sebold); and finally, the most creative, engaging, interesting, enlightening and thrilling book of all, The Little Prince (Saint-Exupery). These are the books I'd recommend to my family, friends, students, and wife. There are many more, trust me, but these are the first that come to mind (for having left an impact slight or proud as it may be). If you have any questions, queries, or comments, or maybe even a title you think I should add to my list, please feel free to e-mail me. I'm always open to a good recommendation. Thanks for reading my brief but hopefully helpful review. Happy reading. Donald S. Buckland, Editor.
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on September 3, 2003
The Murder Room PD JAMES
P.D James has done it again. I think this is the 18th time she's done it. She is an extremely talented storyteller with prose like honey! Often you read her work and you forget your reading and feel as if your watching a play or movie. And as always her settings are unlikely places for murder and violence. I suppose these are the qualities that distinguish her murder mysteries from all the others. This book is all about real people and emotion and is not to be missed for the mystery enthusiast. Besides, it's a fantastic airplane read. Now if you're looking for a few other interesting titles that will keep you glued to your seat look no further than these, Buckland's Hot List: most creative, The Butterfly: A Fable (Singh); most engaging, The Alchemist (Coelho); most interesting, Life of Pi (Martel); most enlightening, 9-11 (Chomsky); most thrilling, The Lovely Bones: A Novel (Sebold); and finally, the most creative, engaging, interesting, enlightening and thrilling book of all, The Little Prince (Saint-Exupery). These are the books I'd recommend to my family, friends, students, and wife. There are many more, trust me, but these are the first that come to mind (for having left an impact slight or proud as it may be). If you have any questions, queries, or comments, or maybe even a title you think I should add to my list, please feel free to e-mail me. I'm always open to a good recommendation. Thanks for reading my brief but hopefully helpful review. Happy reading. Donald S. Buckland, Editor.
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on August 29, 2003
P.D. James is by far the best mystery novelist around. Her writing, plot and character development are unsurpassable. This book is no different. It's powerful and suspenseful, and a true psychological thriller. There are a lot of copycats out there, but none can touch Ms. James. In this book Dalgliesh investigates a gruesome murder at a small private museum. This museum is dedicated to displays of art, literature, pop culture, etc. in the years in Britain between the two great wars, and one of the displays is a "murder room" where information is set out about infamous murders that happened during this time in English history. When the first murder occurs, it looks like a copycat from one of the earlier murders. Before Dalgliesh and his team can solve the first murder another body turns up which reinforces the copycat theory. Dalgliesh manages to solve the cases, but not before we see a lot of unexpected complications. James can magically transcend genres and she accomplishes that brilliantly with this novel.
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on August 4, 2004
My best friend brought me this book to read while I was sick in bed. I thought, "Yeah, right. Like I'm going to read that!" But I started in and couldn't put it down! What a great story, with twists and turns and characters that you WANT to follow around. This book is great--please try it when you're well! would also recommend McCrae's THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD for something that will REALLY knock your socks off!
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I must admit the first 200 pages were long and boring but as soon as the plot kicked in it was very hard for me to put the book down. The intrigue was captivating and at the end I can honestly say I enjoyed the novel.
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on June 29, 2013
PD James' well worth re-reading all her Dagleish and company books. Still an awesome series of mysteries. I hope she lives and writes forever!
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on August 26, 2014
love it
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