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Eine Seele von Mörder (Adam Dalgliesh, #2)
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Eine Seele von Mörder (Adam Dalgliesh #2)

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  7,552 Ratings  ·  380 Reviews
When the administrative head of the Steen Psychiatric Clinic is found dead with a chisel in her heart, Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate. Dalgliesh must analyze the deep-seated anxieties and thwarted desires of patients and staff alike to determine which of their unresolved conflicts resulted in murder.
Paperback, 277 pages
Published 1976 by Wunderlich (first published 1963)
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mark monday
Mar 30, 2013 mark monday rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: murdertime
here's a little story for you...

so a famous San Francisco lobbyist - a lively raconteur, a darling of the media, and an infamously debauched homosexual - had a birthday celebration. because this was a man who helped build the careers of many politicians, his birthday party was a rather public affair and was heavily attended by the local glitterati, including our illustrious mayor. this turned out to be an exceedingly unconventional event: activities included the carving of satanic symbols on va
May 09, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second Adam Dalgleish mystery and was originally published in 1963. Most of the novel takes place in the Steen Psychiatric Clinic, which deals mainly with affluent and often artistic patients. These problems are dealt with in ways which, in 1963, seem to herald the beginning of the Swinging Sixties – with one patient undergoing treatment using LSD. This was a time, of course, when such legal drugs were still seem as harmless and experimental.

Miss Enid Bolam was the senior administrat
Book Concierge
From the Book Jacket - When the administrative head of the Steen Psychiatric Clinic is found dead with a chisel in her heart, Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate. Dalgliesh must analyze the deep-seated anxieties and thwarted desires of patients and staff alike to determine which of their unresolved conflicts resulted in murder.

My Reactions
This is an engaging, interesting and complex murder mystery. I love Dalgliesh and his quiet, deliberate manner. I also r
Oct 19, 2015 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audiobook
Where I got the book: audiobook on Audible. Read by Penelope Dellaporta in a terribly refined voice with a few character accents

I noted with great delight that the action of this book takes place mostly in the Steen clinic, which caters to rich, upper-class patients with socially unacceptable problems such as failing marriages and Undiscussable Things (I suspect one of the Things is homosexuality, which was still a criminal offense in England back in 1963). Cures are effected by such means as el
Aug 27, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Mind To Murder (Adam Dalgliesh, #2) by P.D. James A Mind To Murder by P.D. James is the second book in the Inspector Dalgleish mystery series. In this mystery, Dalgleish and his assistant, Sgt Martin, investigate the murder of the Administrative Officer at a London psychiatrist facility. To all intents it appears that the murder is an inside job. As with the other PD James books I've read, I'm impressed with how intelligently James writes. The story is a methodical police investigation, but I enjoy how she lays out a story, the methodical inv ...more
Mary Gilligan-Nolan
I read this book many, many years ago and was looking for a quick read recently when it fell out of my wardrobe and landed at my feet. Decision made. This was first published in 1963 and it still holds up really well as a great murder mystery. It gives me a new found admiration for P.D. James, that she can still hold her own in this genre, after so many decades of writing and against so many new authors. She is still one of the best - no contest. This is an Adam Dalgleish police procedural myste ...more
May 22, 2008 booklady rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good mystery
Shelves: 2008, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 21, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tried to read this one night in a single sitting and only succumbed when I woke up with the book in my hand, still propped open by my thumb. But for an early hour demanded by work, I would have put on a pot of coffee and finished the job with relish.

I like Dalgliesh, and though I have only read the first two volumes in James's series of his exploits, I have already witnessed interesting layers in his personality. His melancholic nature is par for the genre; however, other traits pull him out o
Jun 11, 2013 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in the 1960s, this mystery offers a glimpse of the time along with the progression of a case.

The Steen Psychiatric Clinic is a small clinic dedicated more to neuroses than psychoses. Its doctors offer different types of treatment, from Freudian analysis to Lysergic Acid treatment. (At first I thought that this latter meant treatment for those who have used LSD. Instead, it is the use of LSD in overcoming inhibitions and getting to the root of problems. This treatment involves giving a do
Sep 02, 2015 Rosemary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading the Inspector Dalgliesh books out of order, just as I come across them. This happens to be the second in the series. It was written in 1963 and concerns the murder of the Administrative Officer (that's like the manager) of a private psychiatric clinic in London. The psychiatric methods are dated, but not too much time is given to arguing the merits of each, thank goodness. Just enough to show that the staff shrinks have differing views and sometimes complain about each other to the A ...more
Nancy Oakes
not nearly as enjoyable (imho) as "Cover Her Face," but still an okay read. I've noticed in these two that while Dalgliesh gets onto a certain clue that sends him right to the murderer, there really isn't much here about investigative technique or something that he does especially to solve the crime. Oh well.

brief summary, no spoilers
The scene of the crime is the Steen psychiatric clinic, and the victim is the administrative head of the place, a miss Bolam. She is killed in the records room with
Jan 29, 2015 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The second P.. D. James mystery. This one takes place mostly in a National Health mental health clinic and contains a wonderful variety of characters - a handsome young porter who is an artist in his real life, a detail-oriented office manager who is not sympathetic to the patients who come to be seen, several psychiatrists who tend to dismiss each other's areas of expertise, and several nurses, secretaries, art therapy practitioners, and so on. One is murdered (hit over the head with a carved w ...more
After enjoying P.D. James' later novels in the Adam Dalgliesh series, I decided to work my way through the entire series. In this novel, the murder happens immediately, and then Dalgliesh shows up and starts interviewing the suspects. That's fine but the story didn't capture my interest at that point since I wasn't invested yet in the characters. I only really started to enjoy the novel after the first of second CD when the interviewing section was over.

I've come to enjoy P.D. James's detective
I like reading books that are set in England, and I especially like books that have to do with the English elite. This novel was not as interesting to me as #1 “Cover Her Face’, because the setting and characters were not as appealing. This mystery was set in a psychiatric clinic, and had none of the cache of the English 'Upper Crust' to lend it interest.

There was only one very thin thread which connected this to the first in the series. I would consider that this book could stand on its own.

There are few crime and mystery authors whose books I reread (for reasons obvious), and PD James and Agatha Christie have a prominent place among them. This was a reread for me, but seemed like a new story, as I read it a long time ago and had totally forgotten the circumstances leading to the murder. I quite enjoy PD James' style. I like reading about Dalgleish and team. The background for this mystery is a private psychiatry clinic, whose administrating officer is found dead in the records roo ...more
Apr 19, 2011 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually listened to the CD version, but it wasn't listed. As always, it took awhile to get into the book since the first part of any of Ms. James' books sets the stage for what happens. It takes a little while to remember the characters just like when one meets a group of people. But like all of Ms. James' mysteries that I've read, the story gathers momentum like a stone rolling downhill and becomes thoroughly involving. Also like all of her mysteries, there is irony and the effect of the sto ...more
Anila Jayakrishnan
Oct 04, 2016 Anila Jayakrishnan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2016, p-d-james
Adam Dalgliesh's second is a mystery set in the city. Though the settings may have changed, our main man Dalgliesh is still the master mystery solver. This book gives us further insight into our detective. The reader gets a step closer to our protagonist and also his fears and rumblings. As for the book itself, another good mystery by the master author. What makes it a great read is how the author keeps you guessing and how she traverses the reader through the different lives involved in the mur ...more
Dec 07, 2014 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the second of this author's books involving Adam dagleish as the detective in charge of a murder investigation at a psychiatric clinic. It is interesting but I did not find myself getting very involved with any of the plethora of characters thrown in. Her later mysteries showed her development of her protagonist to a better degree
Aug 27, 2008 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great one - it's amazing how well she conveys the perspective and mental state of each character without disrupting the pleasures of the traditional whodunnit structure.
May 11, 2008 C rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
It was alright. I found it difficult to follow all the characters in the beginning. Couldn't keep it straight who was who.
Yves Jean-Risme
Miss Bolam, Administrative director of clinical Steen was brutally murdered. by whom, we don't know, but what we know is that no one will regret her because nobody loved her. although very competent, she had succeeded in alienating all the psychiatrist and therapists, nurses, the doorman, the Handyman and even some patients. Not easy in these conditions to find the culprit, the one who planted her a pair of scissors in the chest. But the commissioner is smart and strenght to cook all these, idea ...more
Bryn (Plus Others)
Unlike the first book, this one feels much more definitely set when it was written (1963) -- there are lots of women working and little bits of hospital politics due to the NHS and other things which ground it in its moment. There was lots that I liked about it, but I never felt really engaged in the mystery aspect -- I think if the victim is deeply unlikeable, it helps the reader if either one of the suspects really needs things to be solved in order to get on with her/his life, or if the detec ...more
I liked this second book in the series slightly more than the first. The same issues still apply--too many characters for any real character development and an ending that seems rushed. We learned a bit more about Dalgliesh, but not nearly enough to make him a compelling character. I did enjoy the way he found the possible motivation for the murder. I'll probably try the next book at some point since James is so highly revered. But I'm not in any rush.
Oct 28, 2016 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sleuthing
And speaking of reading more in the series, I was able to polish off this one (left half done when Oyster tanked) since my library has been expanding its ebook selection on Overdrive. I feel like this has a much tighter plot and even Dalgliesh missed a crucial clue to put him in the same place as the reader. Doesn't help solve the age issue since this one comes only 3 years after the first.
Jan 15, 2017 Gmaharriet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty good mystery, considering that it was written in 1963. Except for there being an abundance of "call boxes", rather than cell phones, it could have happened in the current times.

There were lots of twists and red herrings. I changed my mind several times about "whodunit". I was surprised in the end by several things. Lots of fun!
Oct 26, 2016 Kabrada rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
After several weeks of struggling, I had to abandon the audio version of this book and finish it by reading the ebook. Roy Marsden not only has a very soporific voice, he frequently stops speaking mid-sentence, pauses, then continues. I did not enjoy his reading at all.
Nov 24, 2016 Cyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The interesting thing about this book is the way the writer kept Dalgliesh moving along with the reader and making both of us notice how we try to make the simple answer convoluted.
Laura Beth
Too many suspects that I could not distinguish from each other. All the doctors, nurses, and administrative, and support staff ran together and none stood out enough to tell apart as I listened to the book. Might have been a better read in the text version. I also had trouble keeping straight the hierarchy in the clinic and I felt that it played a role in the story. I am not sure if the issues with this were caused by the publication date or the English hospital system. Titles such as head admin ...more
Ruah Swennerfelt
Will now continue reading PD James mysteries.
Tatiana Pereira
Well-written, proper murder mystery. Not one of the most innovative or surprising of crime novels, but still well worth reading.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: A Mind to Murder 1 3 Nov 14, 2012 06:20PM  
P.D.James 5 43 Oct 16, 2012 09:04PM  
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P.D. (Phyllis Dorothy) James was the author of over 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 served as a magistrate and as a governor of th
More about P.D. James...

Other Books in the Series

Adam Dalgliesh (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh, #1)
  • Unnatural Causes (Adam Dalgliesh, #3)
  • Shroud for a Nightingale (Adam Dalgliesh, #4)
  • The Black Tower (Adam Dalgliesh, #5)
  • Death of an Expert Witness (Adam Dalgliesh, #6)
  • A Taste for Death (Adam Dalgliesh, #7)
  • Devices and Desires (Adam Dalgliesh, #8)
  • Original Sin (Adam Dalgliesh, #9)
  • A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, #10)
  • Death in Holy Orders (Adam Dalgliesh, #11)

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“She strutted into the room, armour-plated in white linen, belligerent as a battleship. The bib of her apron, starched rigid as a board, curved against a formidable bosom on which she wore her nursing badges like medals of war.” 0 likes
“Right and wrong stood for him as immutable as the two poles. He had never wandered in that twilight country where the nuances of evil and good cast their perplexing shadows.” 0 likes
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