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The Murder Room
Synopses & Reviews
Commander Adam Dalgliesh, P. D. James's formidable and fascinating detective, returns to find himself enmeshed in a terrifying story of passion and mystery — and in love.
The Dupayne, a small private museum in London devoted to the interwar years 1919 — 1939, is in turmoil. As its trustees argue over whether it should be closed, one of them is brutally and mysteriously murdered. Yet even as Commander Dalgliesh and his team proceed with their investigation, a second corpse is discovered. Someone in the Dupayne is prepared to kill and kill again. Still more sinister, the murders appear to echo the notorious crimes of the past featured in one of the museum's galleries: the Murder Room.
The case is fraught with danger and complications from the outset, but for Dalgliesh the complications are unexpectedly profound. His new relationship with Emma Lavenham — introduced in the last Dalgliesh novel, Death in Holy Orders — is at a critical stage. Now, as he moves closer and closer to a solution to the puzzle, he finds himself driven further and further from commitment to the woman he loves.
The Murder Room is a powerful work of mystery and psychological intricacy from a master of the modern novel.
"James creates another teeming world in which murder is only the symptom of a more pervasive mortality." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] superbly realized setting....The plot unfolds at its Jamesian leisure; the rich, almost posh quality of its slow unveiling allows for sharp sketches of character and place....[James] ought never to be confused with such practitioners of the murder-in-the-vicarage genre as Agatha Christie. She is subtler, more sophisticated, much more adept at creating character, and her social conservatism gives her a much darker view of human nature." Martin Levin, The Globe and Mail
"[T]he premise is delicious." Telegraph (UK)
"The Murder Room is a brilliantly crafted novel, brimming with detail and rich in suspense; a further testament to James?s skills in both." Waterstone?s Books Quarterly (UK)
"James?s eye for architecture and nature is rare in most genres of the novel now, and this skill for physical description — along with her psychological acuity." The Guardian (UK)
"[James's] novels follow a formula in terms of the action and the setting, but her people rise above that pattern, their complexity giving muscle and sinew to the bare skeleton of the classical detective story." Kirkus Reviews
"James still suffers from a sort of prudery...but her imagination appears quite uninhibited." Village Voice
Commander Adam Dalgliesh, James's formidable and fascinating detective, returns to find himself enmeshed in a terrifying story of passion and mystery--and in love.
The Dupayne, a small private museum on the edge of London's Hampstead Heath devoted to the interwar years 1919-39, is in turmoil. The trustees--the three children of the museum founder, old Max Dupayne--are bitterly at odds over whether it should be closed. Then one of them is brutally murdered, and what seemed to be no more than a family dispute erupts into horror. For even as Commander Adam Dalgiesh and his team investigate the first killing, a second corpse is discovered. Clearly, someone at the Dupayne is prepared to kill, and kill again.
The case is fraught with danger and complexity from the outset, not least because of the range of possible suspects--and victims. And still more sinister, the murders appear to echo the notorious crimes of th epast featured in one of the museum's most popular galleries, the Murder Room.
For Dalgiesh, P.D. James's formidable detective, the search for the murderer poses an unexpected complication. After years of bachelorhood, he has embarked on a promising new relationship with Emma Lavenham--first introduced in Death in Holy Orders--which is at a critical stage. Yet his struggle to solve the Dupayne murders faces him with a frustrating dilemma: each new development distances him further from commitment to the woman he loves.
The Murder Room is a story dark with the passions that lie at the heart of crime, a masterful work of psychological intricacy. It proves yet again that P.D. James fully deserves her place among the best of modern novelists.
About the Author
P. D. James is the author of 17 previous books, most of which have been filmed for television. Before her retirement in 1979, she served in the forensics and criminal justice departments of Great Britain’s Home Office, and she has been a magistrate and a governor of the BBC. The recipient of many prizes and honours, she was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. In 2000 she celebrated her 80th birthday and published her autobiography, Time to Be in Earnest.
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