Shroud For A Nightingale (Adam Dalgliesh, #4)
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Shroud For A Nightingale (Adam Dalgliesh #4)

4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  14,437 ratings  ·  217 reviews
The young women of Nightingale House are there to learn to nurse and comfort the suffering. But when one of the students plays patient in a demonstration of nursing skills, she is horribly, brutally killed. Another student dies equally mysteriously, and it is up to Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard to unmask a killer who has decided to prescribe murder as the cure for all il...more
Kindle Edition, 514 pages
Published September 4th 2008 by Faber & Faber Crime (first published 1971)
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My grandmother left this for my mother to read, and bored, I started it waiting for her in the car. Boredom, too, is the only reason I can give for my finishing it -- I was mesmerized by how entirely uninteresting it was, both the story and the literary style.

I don't read mysteries, and essentially all of my related presumptions are based on Cluedo and The Westing Game, but even compared to those, Shroud for a Nightingale is kind of a dud. So two student nurses are killed, the Scotland Yard is c...more
A nursing school inspection ends horribly with the death of a student during a demonstration of intra-gastric feeding tubes. This gruesome beginning is compounded with a second student death, and the local police are exchanged for the Yard’s Inspector Adam Dalgliesh whose implacable determination to get at the truth is welcomed by the nursing staff with varying degrees of coolness.

I’m not sure where in the series this one falls, but this Dalgliesh novel was just a bit too staid and dated to hold...more
I had heard of P.D. James before but had never read any of her works, and I didn't really know she wrote mysteries. So I was quite pleasantly surprised by Shroud for a Nightingale--so much so that I've since read another James and am onto a third.

Shroud is a great caper, written in the 70s. I think it's aged extremely well; in fact, I think the whole plot and setting is made all the more creepy and ominous by the somewhat antiquated medical procedures that figure prominently in the plot. I defy...more
Good, verging on very good, although a bit too mannered and slow. Very deep psychological portrayals of the characters provide the big win. The plot was nicely convoluted, although the denouement wasn't much of a surprise.

This was among the books listed on an ancient "all-time bests" newspaper clipping I found in my files. I think anyone who is a fan of mysteries should probably have already read it, right?
Well, it was a good book i read it with excitement and it kept my interest till the end. It was nicely written not tiring or boring at all. Also a thing that i really liked is the way the writer described the different personalities without being subjective and the fact that all these different personalities were interacting with each other throughout the book with all king of intresting behaviors that you do not usually find in most books.

i would also like to point out that Mrs P.D. James was 9...more
Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL, known as P. D. James, is an English crime writer and a life peer in the House of Lords. She was born in August 1920.

This is a book my mother gave me many years ago. I probably read it then, but had forgotten the story, so when I cam across it, I read it again.

Nightingale House is where a group of third year student nurses live while they learn the art of nursing. There is a routine inspection of the nursing school by the Gen...more
Jan 20, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Leon Panetta
Student nurses are dropping dead at the Nightingale nurse training school. Does someone there harbor a secret past? (Hint: yes.) Published in 1971, this is James's fourth novel, and of these, her most robust and satisfying. It feels miles away from her earlier, Christie-esque stylings. You wouldn't find a passage like this in any of her first three, for example:

She had given him a depressing glimpse into the stultifying lack of privacy, and of the small pettiness and subterfuges with which peopl...more
The scene is a claustophobic Victorian home where a horrific murder took place more than one hundred years ago. It is now living quarters for a half-dozen nursing students cloistered in the old mansion since the start of their training three years ago. They are supervised by Matron Taylor and several teaching Sisters, an egotistical surgeon, and a pharmacist. All of the suspects are on the first page of this exquisitely plotted mystery.

In the provincial hospital where you can smell the disinfect...more
1971, #4 Supt. Adam Dalgleish, Scotland Yard, Nightingale House, just outside London. Nursing students living in a creepy old hospital building find murder and lots of intrigue; erudite, old-fashioned closed-community/manor house style mystery but with interesting modern (~1970) twists and a bit of then-relevant British history; classic cosy police procedural.

Nursing "sisters" are an alien breed to most US folks, but if you've read or watched a lot of British-set mysteries you'll have a bit of u...more
Tombom P
At several points the main character is discussing the case with his assistant and, despite the fact they've already talked about the evidence and what they think and he's the current viewpoint character and we follow both of them through everything important they do, their important deductions are covered up with sudden reported speech, like "he said what had happened, his assistant said yes that's obvious". Like are you *kidding* me how lazy can you get

The book is OK enough but the denouement...more
James has raised the stakes in the 4th Dalgliesh mystery, with murders more frequent and more brutal than in the previous books. As in the first three novels, the case hinges on information the reader simply cannot surmise from the clues in the book. In fact, there are probably enough clues here to figure this one out, at least in terms of motive, if not the identity of the murderer. But as I work my way through the Dalgleish mysteries, I'm finding that I don't make a huge effort to solve the ca...more
Katherine Clark
I am rereading P. D. James' Dalgliesh series and am a bit disappointed with it. Apparently, nostalgia had made the series appear much better than I remembered. Oh well. In the midst of reading my second Colin Dexter novel, I realized that I found it boring, so when I received Shroud of the Nightingale in the mail, I eagerly read it, only to discover that while I thought I had read all of the Dalgliesh series, I had actually missed this one. I give this book 3 stars because of the first half of t...more
#4 Adam Dalgliesh British mystery, in which the Scotland Yard detective and his team are off to a nursing school to investigate the untimely death of two nursing students--both dead by poison of different types a couple of weeks apart. One was administered during a demonstration of gastric feeding during an inspection by the General Nursing Council, when Nurse Pearce, playing the role of the patient has her stomach dissolved by a caustic substance added to the milk feed. The second death of Nurs...more
2 stars

You were such a little boring piece of a novel that I couldn't find the strength to finish you. #sorrynotsorry

I'll see you in hell, weird-looking, dough-faced and weary-eyed nurses who are completely unable to say a single interesting thing.

Thank you so much for making me lose my precious time with you.

Please do not reply.

Alex Watkins
Jul 29, 2009 Alex Watkins rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who don't work at mid-century hospitals
Shelves: mystery, 2009
This was really good, I had never read one of the many Adam Dalgliesh mysteries, only P.D. James' miscellaneous books Children of Men and An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (which does have Dalgliesh come in later). It was not my stereotype of a mystery novel, which I'm not really sure what I have in mind, but is something that I feel like I wouldn't like. The book is very cerebral, setting up timelines and alibis, so much so that it was a bit hard to keep track. I loved the end though, very exciting...more
Dec 06, 2009 Stven rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Recommended to Stven by: BBC-TV
In the fourth Adam Dalgliesh novel, P.D. James adopts a mood bordering on the gothic. The atmosphere is laden with fear, there are dark forces at work in the winds and the trees, and the house is one of mystery with the occasional single illuminated window. It's effusive for a murder mystery with a police detective, but she pulls it off convincingly. This is another fine book in the series, and of course it's the one set a the nurses' training hospital.
It's been a while since I read a PD James book. I forgot how satisfying a mystery they are. Sex & secrets abound in an incestuous small nursing school. There was a lot of talk about there being no secrets or privacy in a small dormitory like setting. And certainly everyone has secrets, both small and larger that are revealed throughout the investigation. But it's the biggest secret, the one worth killing for, that doesn't come out until the end.
Not the best of James, not even the best of her Dalgliesh stories, but a solid mystery in the classic vein. The surprise is how James pulled off a very traditional plot line with remarkably few tricks in an environment and with a cast that is believably inhabiting 1970. For comparison, look at Agatha Christie from this same period. All of her characters continue to inhabit a 1930s world, or are decrepit oldsters confused by the kids and their crazy sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Elsewhere in the...more
An OK mystery, very reminiscent of the 1970s: the marriage bar, nurses in bizarre head-dresses, and people turning up an hour early for hospital appointments to drink free tea and chat (I'm not convinced that one ever actually happened...)
Saloni Sharma
Murders and intrigue, complex affairs, anti-semitism and homophobia, this one has it all. Vintage James.
Kathryn Roach
P.D.James is one of my favorite mystery writers! This is a great read with a twist at the end.
Nightingale House is where a group of third year student nurses live while they learn the art of nursing. During a routine inspection of the nursing school by the General Nursing Council a horrible death occurs. One of the students, Heather Pearce, who is playing the part of the patient during a demonstration, is internally fed bathroom disinfectant instead of milk and dies thrashing on the floor in front of a classroom. Jo Fallon was rostered to be the patient; however, she was taken ill at the...more
Randee Baty
Shroud for a Nightingale is set in a nursing school attached to a hospital outside of London somewhere. The school itself is housed in an old Victorian mansion on the grounds of the hospital which is acknowledged from the beginning to be a very poor building for the school. But for us as readers, it adds wonderful atmosphere. And when it comes to books, I'm all about the atmosphere.

During a teaching demonstration of how to insert a feeding tube, a student nurse is somehow fed poison instead of t...more
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Such fascinating and intriguing characters cause one to realise how relatively few people (if any) one ever gets to know well in any education, employment, or social circle. The methods used to bring about untimely death here range from the horrifically physically painful to the psychologically nasty; which in the setting of one of the most caring of professions (how often are nurses referred to as ‘angels’?) emphatically succeeded in distinctly unnerving this reader.

This is a book which also ma...more
This is the first P.D. James book I've ever read, and one of the few murder mysteries I've read recently and enjoyed. Her main character, Adam Dalgliesh of Scottland Yard, reminds me a lot of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot -- arrogant, overly confident, opinionated. And as with Poiriot, I didn't like Dalgliesh. But my dislike for him as a character didn't detract from the story's brilliance.

I managed to narrow the suspects down to two and was quite proud of myself when toward the end one of my...more
Paula Dembeck
I have read a couple of the PD James crime series with Adam Dalgleish in the last few years, and now have gone back to the beginning to start from the first book of the series and work my way through. This is number 4, a novel in which Dalgleish's character is far from fleshed out and we actually know very little about him.

The crimes take place at Nightingale House, a residence and teaching facility for nurses. A student nurse, substituting for a patient, dies during a teaching demonstaration to...more
It's never a good sign when you'd rather do housework than finish reading a book. I was afraid I wouldn't enjoy reading this, but it's a Book Club Choice so I tried, honest I did! I've never enjoyed reading murder mysteries - never. I thoroughly enjoy watching English murder mysteries on TV done by BBC; therefore, I've decided to watch this on DVD rather than put myself through the torture of reading it. There are soooooooo many books on my bookshelves that I WANT to read instead.
Πολυ καλο βιβλιο, σε εκπλησσει το τελος του. Αν και καποια πραγματα δεν κολλουσαν καθολου, οπως (view spoiler)...more
I will admit that though I enjoy the many writings of P.D. James, this is my least favorite of her novels thus far. There was a certain amount of pessimism and an overt lack of attempt to create character appreciation within the reader. It seems, also, that the protagonist is a cardboard cutout and lacking the emotion he seems to present in other parts of the Dalgliesh series. The grotesque overtones of Masterson's escapades also seemed out of place and a bit choppy. I hope that my next reading...more
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P. D. James is the author of twenty books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the United States and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department of Great Britain's Home Office. She has served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. In 2000 she...more
More about P.D. James...
Death Comes to Pemberley The Children of Men Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh, #1) The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh, #14) The Black Tower (Adam Dalgliesh, #5)

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“He didn't want her; he wanted me. Well, you know how it is."

Dalgliesh did know. This, after all, was the commonest, the most banal of personal tragedies. You loved someone. They didn't love you. Worse still, in defiance of their own best interests and to the destruction of your peace, they loved another. What would half the world's poets and novelists do without this universal tragicomedy?”
“I had to make a moral decision. If you are proposing to commit a sin it is as well to commit it with intelligence. Otherwise, you are insulting God as well as defying him, don't you think?” 0 likes
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