Currently unavailable.
We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all 35 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"

Harry Potter Book Boutique
--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
click to open popover

No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.




Product Details

  • Hardcover: 435 pages
  • Publisher: MacMillan Publishing Company; Large type edition edition (November 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816167885
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816167883
  • Shipping Weight: 789 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  •  Would you like to update product info, give feedback on images, or tell us about a lower price?

Product Description

Review

"P.D. James is unbeatable."--"Ottawa Citizen ""P.D. James is an addictive writer, [with] a quality of intelligence, a genuine curiosity about character, and an ability to describe the density of little known lives."--Anita Brookner "One of the most compulsive and acutely observed thrillers of the year--a why-dunnit, rather than a who-dunnit; a study of the complex motives that make up the cold mind of a killer."--"Daily Express ""James is assuredly the most gifted crime novelist writing in English today,"""--"The Toronto Star ""A top-rated puzzle of peril that holds you all the way."--"The New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

"P.D. James is unbeatable." -Ottawa Citizen

"P.D. James is an addictive writer, [with] a quality of intelligence, a genuine curiosity about character, and an ability to describe the density of little known lives." -Anita Brookner

"One of the most compulsive and acutely observed thrillers of the year--a why-dunnit, rather than a who-dunnit; a study of the complex motives that make up the cold mind of a killer."  -Daily Express

"James is assuredly the most gifted crime novelist writing in English today."-The Toronto Star

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

See all Product Description

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was game to get started with <b>Phyllis Dorothy James</b>, when she passed away. It is difficult to describe “<b>An Unsuitable Job For A Woman</b>”. Suicide is a grisly introduction but many segments were slow. Interviews with informants played out languidly, instead of cutting to revealing parts. Many private musings were worth keeping because this is how we acquaint Cordelia Gray. Her unusual upbringing, having a somewhat crooked Father whilst educated at a convent school, informs her handling of life. She takes her late partner’s training to heart all the way. Bernie Pryde was an ex-police officer, who recognized sleuthing talent in Cordelia.

A risky decision at the end is a doozey, flying against the formula of the mystery. I love authors who turn from the trod thoroughfare! My obstructions to becoming emotionally involved are that I scarcely empathized with Cordelia and cared for no other characters. I don’t think anyone could connect with her, by design or not, because her personality wavered in making itself known. Most notably, she was glum; a heavy tone that will have to lift. Three stars balance some drabness with the gifted narrating voice I enjoyed. Just when I felt pages dragging, excitement would perk them up. Cordelia was always working out something.

Observational skill and intelligence inform readers of murder. Such complexities distinguish a standard mystery from the single avenue, “cozy” type. For example, why would a thorough personality quit a nearly-finished flowerbed row? Why handcraft a soup but kill oneself before partaking of it? I love that we begin in 1977, although England twisted my impressions towards historical fiction. In her twenties, Cordelia suited Cambridge University. I love her frequent remarks that “her interviews must be the strangest ever conducted”, perched upon campus lawns! Bernie could not have achieved what she did.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I've been re-reading P.D. James this summer, more or less in sequence, a project that I highly recommend. "An Unsuitable Job for a Woman" is number five, and the first of two to feature a protaganist other than Adam Dalgleish. Instead, we're introduced to private detective Cordilia Grey, a plucky and determined young heroine, in her first solo case. The story is impecably plotted, told with a sure hand, not without its humor, psychologically credible -- a pleasure to read.
There are certain themes (e.g., the inability to love) and preoccupations (e.g., an interest in architecture) that recur throughout the P.D. James series, as is apparent when you read a bunch of them over a short period of time. Though her later novels are longer and more elaborate, I also admire the more straightforward, meticulously crafted early works. Rereading the series is a great summer project!
5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
"An Unsuitable Job For a Woman" is not just the best P.D. James crime novel I've read. It is absolutely one of the finest crime novels I've read by any author. It is also one of the finest novels (crime or not) I've read this year.
The plot keeps us guessing through a wild ride of surprises that do not stop, not even in the final pages. James' characters are always fully and well drawn, but here she really outdoes herself. From the title character, Cordelia Gray, the sole owner (against her will) of a detective agency, to every suspect, to the police superintendent (James' already famous Adam Dalgliesh) to those "minor" characters who help Gray "solve" (if "solve" is the correct word) this heinous crime and who appear in only one chapter. They are all human beings, complicated and not easily categorized, nor judged. Even the "well brought-up gentleman," Mark Callender, whose suicide Gray is hired to investigate, is as complex a character you'll find in any work of modern fiction, although we never really meet him since he is dead weeks before the novel begins.
Gray's empathy with people in trouble, her desire to do right by her client and by the dead man with whom she has no previous history, her knowledge of what is good & moral and what is not all combine to make her a fascinating protagonist. And sadly, very much like the detective Dana Andrews played in the brilliant film noir, "Laura," Gray falls in love with the man whose death she is looking into. I want very much to read the other novels of James in which she appears. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I've come somewhat late to reading P.D. James, since she's been writing mysteries for about 25 years now, and I've been reading books for almost twice that amount of time. She's my father-in-law's favorite author, so I finally decided to read one of her books, and I'm very pleased that I selected this one, because it is excellent! Even though it may have been her first published book, the quality of writing is first class, and the mystery and suspense are just right! At times it was easy to discern where the author was going, but there was always some unexpected twist or turn of the plot that kept you on your toes, and reading until much later in the night than you had originally planned. Now that I've finished this book, I intend to read more of this remarkable author's works, and I expect to enjoy them as much as I have this one.
2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
Report abuse

Look for similar items by category


Feedback