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Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh, #1)
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Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details  ·  22,515 Ratings  ·  792 Reviews
P. D. James is “the greatest living mystery writer.” –People

Headstrong and beautiful, the young housemaid Sally Jupp is put rudely in her place, strangled in her bed behind a bolted door. Coolly brilliant policeman Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard must find her killer among a houseful of suspects, most of whom had very good reason to wish her ill.

Cover Her Face is P. D. Ja
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Audio
Published November 18th 2008 by Random House Audio (first published 1962)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shireen
May 05, 2012 Shireen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After my brain injury, PD James became a marker for me in my reading progress. Pre-injury I read every one of her books and enjoyed them tremendously for their good writing and good stories. After my injury though, with my reading ability fried, I couldn't read any of her books. Too many characters to follow, plots that meandered beyond my ability to follow, writing at a grade level higher than what I'd sunk down to... It was rather disappointing to see her new books come out over the years and ...more
Tea Jovanović
Nažalost, kod nas je bila popularnija serija snimljena po romanima o inspektori Daglišu nego sami roman P.D. Džejms... :) Ko je još nije čitao neka požuri, mnogo je propustio :)
Susan
May 03, 2016 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not read the first Adam Dalgleish novel for some time, so it was a pleasure to return to P D James and her very first book. In some ways this is a very typical mystery. The Maxie family live in the big house, in somewhat genteel poverty, with the only full time staff member the loyal Martha. As well as the housework and cooking, Mr Maxie is bedridden, so Mrs Maxie employs Sally Jupp, an unmarried mother as a house-parlourmaid. She is convinced by Miss Liddell, the Warden of St Mary’s Refu ...more
Jane
Aug 18, 2015 Jane rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Where I got the book: Audiobook on Audible.

I thought it was about time I listened to the entire Adam Dalgleish series—I’ve read some of them but certainly none of the early ones. In this 1962 story you can see the tradition that goes back to the Golden Age of the detective story in the 1930s. All the clichés are there: the stately home, the nerve-ridden war hero, the lower classes kowtowing to the upper, the vicar a sort of go-between in terms of social status.

Except that it wasn’t, of course—J
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Nikki
Oct 06, 2012 Nikki rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, crime
Meh. P.D. James is a competent writer and puts together a reasonable mystery, but there's nothing exciting about it -- I felt like I'd read it before, honestly. The Kindle version has very bad formatting, too ("that" turns into "mat", for example); no one bothered to proofread it. None of the characters are particularly interesting to me -- again, I seemed to have read all about them before, in other crime novels.

I think I had the same reaction to another P.D. James book, so maybe I just don't c
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trishtrash
This was James’ first crime novel, debuting DCI Adam Dalgliesh who gets far less character padding or attention than the victim, suspect pool, or even his accompanying sergeant. I enjoy James’ character building enormously, it’s really her forte, and especially the way she often leaves Dalgliesh to the role of observer, concentrating on the crime rather than the draw of a serialised detective. In Cover her Face, none of the characters are overly likeable, but they are all very strongly presented ...more
Matt Glaviano
I like keeping a crime novel handy sometimes when I’m reading a nonfiction book. I tend to find fiction a bit more relaxing, and would prefer not to read a book like The Omnivore’s Dilemma (the other book I’m reading) before bed. This was James’ debut novel, and it reads quite assuredly for being such. A well constructed, if unsurprising, mystery. I don’t mean that the identity of the killer was unsurprising; I mean that, in general, the book stuck well within the confines of its genre. One thin ...more
Miriam
Dec 10, 2015 Miriam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miriam by: Bettie
Shelves: mystery
I see Dalgliesh is James' recurring detective character, but we don't get a strong personality here. The rest of the cast, on the other hand, is a bit more complex and developed than is standard for this sort of mystery. As usual I disliked them all, and the one that I found most interesting was on page the least. At least the romance was kept to a minimum.
Bill
Jul 24, 2015 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've previously read a couple of other PD James' Inspector Dalgleish mysteries before and enjoyed very much. I like how intelligent James writes. This is the first Dalgleish mystery and I must say I enjoyed as much as the others I've read. Dalgleish is almost a peripheral character in the story, James rather focusses on the other characters/ suspects and their activities, motivations as she develops the story. Basically, Sally Juup, a housemaid is found dead (strangled) in her bedroom. All of th ...more
Tony
Dec 21, 2008 Tony rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
James, P. D. COVER HER FACE. (1962). *****. This was James’ first Detective Chief Superintendent Adam Dagliesh mystery, and marked her entrance into the field superlatively. I’ve always wanted to read these mysteries in order, but, unfortunately, read them as I found them. Some little pieces of data are given in each installment about Dagliesh that help you to know the character better, but does not affect the reading of the book at hand. In this case, there is a killing at Martingale, the ances ...more
Silvio111
Jan 23, 2012 Silvio111 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is another of P.D. James' very early Dalgliesh novels. Much like UNNATURAL CAUSES, it displays a certain dated view of society no longer seen in the 21st century. Whereas it is displayed in UNNATURAL CAUSES in the author's attitude toward disability, in COVER HER FACE it emerges in the portrayal of an unwed mother as a sly, deceitful, and wicked person who happens to be physically beautiful, but is targeted by virtually everyone around her a sinner and a wretch from whom gratitude is expect ...more
Deb
Mar 04, 2011 Deb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is a classic English mystery along the lines of an Agatha Christie story. There is the upper class family who lives in their family manor and is attended to by servants. One of these, Sally Jupp, was a meddlesome single mother and her death by strangulation is what brings Inspector Adam Dalgliesh into the the case. In typical fashion he interviews all the suspects, looks beyond the obvious solutions, and in a confrontation gets the killer to admit to the crime. Few other writers today captu ...more
Stven
May 22, 2009 Stven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all Brit mystery fans
I'm hovering between three stars and four and pick three simply because I know the later books in the series get better, and I need a way to go up! Adam Dalgliesh is my favorite P.D. James character, and though I have read many of the novels and seen most of the BBC productions featuring him, I had never actually read this 1962 book, the first in the series. It was very interesting to see the character introduced, and gratifying to find this an engrossing read, full of the sensitivity to motivat ...more
Francis
Ok, lets start with a murder, maybe in a locked room, yeah something like that, you know and then maybe the whole thing should have a closed in kinda claustrophobic feel to it, like in a country manor, yeah, I like that. Just for the fun of it, lets have it take place around a celebration or party or something like that so we can have at least five or six people around at the time. Oooh, I know, I know, lets give them all a motive for wanting to have done the victim in. Man, this is getting good ...more
Mo
3 1/2 stars

• Was this a terrifically plotted mystery? No

• Was I satisfied by the ending? Not really

• Was this book eminently readable? Yes

• Did I enjoy the book? Yes

• Will I read more of this series? Yes

(view spoiler)
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Snort
Sep 15, 2012 Snort rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Death Comes to Pemberley" so says P.D. James, but before risking any sensibilities, I thought it wise to dip a tentative toe into her first novel, in order to judge whether she may do Austin justice. Many will agree that "Pride&Prejudice" is such Perfection that I'm loathe to destroy it with inferior associations, which is why I have yet to embrace the blood-thirsty "Pride&Prejudice&Zombies" (despite my hearty appetite for the Walking Dead), and why it took me 7 years to watch the K ...more
Leah
Jun 11, 2012 Leah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable murder mystery.

I've been curious about P.D James for a while now, so I bypassed my bulging 'Golden-Era' crime novel shelves and tried this second generation lady mystery author. On the whole, I wasn't disappointed.
James writes well, engages the reader with the characters, and has some very strong opinions on the state of society as she saw it, which she was definitely not afraid to air. Some of the topics to get a tongue lashing from her included the morality of youth, unmarried
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Patricia
Jan 10, 2010 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was my first PD James. Since I'm a fan of mystery, I thought it was time I read the mistress of the genre. I decided to start at the beginning with first in the Adam Dalgliesh series written in 1962. It took me a while to get used to the style, so accustom am I to mystery writers of the the 90s, like Patricia Cornwall, Kathy Reichs, and Nevada Barr-- who write high energy modern crime drama. But I cut my teeth on Agatha Christie, so it was not long before I was in the swing of things.

Cover
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Laura
I enjoyed this visit back to the first mystery series I ever picked up in my late teens. Sometimes, it's a good thing that my memory is so poor, as this felt like a first-time read.

I love the way James writes. She has a great sense of place, and is able to concisely communicate various people's states of mind amazingly well. She is also able to manage this equally well from a man's or a woman's point of view.

The murderer was a surprise, and there were a couple of twists at the end I didn't see
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Daniel
Nov 21, 2013 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At long last, I picked up a P.D. James book. My Mother has talked about these books for years, and they remain some of her favorites (which is saying a lot, given the sheer number of books my Mother has devoured).

This really worked for me. I love the prose and the narrative voice. The story passes through the perspective of various characters and each is written well. Some of the observations made about these characters are wicked and even humorous. The mystery itself has familiar trappings and
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Shannon
Jul 23, 2010 Shannon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Was able to finish this book but couldn't really care how it ended up - not one redeeming character and very little development of the Detective. I'm assuming this is because this is a series so why make me like the Detective and want me to read more about him and his cases. . .don't focus on him but rather the boring, selfish other 'suspects' and 'victim'. To be fair I should read at least one more in the series to see if it gets better (based on other reviews it sounds like it gets better). Ho ...more
Ed
#1 in the Adam Dalgliesh series. Author P.D. James had her writing debut with this English manor house mystery. A girl hired from the local home for unwed mothers has stunned the family and friends assembled for dinner by replying to her mistress' suggestion that she change into her uniform and help the maid by replying "Would that be appropriate, madam, for the girl your son has asked to marry him?" When she has apparently overslept the next morning, she is found choked to death with the door t ...more
Carol
Dec 14, 2014 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the earlier works of this author and takes place for the most part in an upper class English home and again has a goodly amount do characters. I guess because I did not understand the vagaries of English society this story did not appeal as much. I will continue with her later works which I found more entertaining, but give this lady a lot of credit. For an early novel it was convoluted and well written
Stacey
This was my first P.D. James, and it definitely won't be my last. A gorgeous mystery. Love, love, love.
Susan
May 08, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it
This story reminded me of all those Agatha Christie mysteries where the exact time, detail and circumstance predicted who the murderer was. Inspector Dalgliesh works the same way.

The cast of characters were so well brought forth that I couldn't help but feel like I knew and liked - or not - how they were. And the author threw in enough red herrings to keep me guessing till the end, and even then I didn't get it right!

However, since I listened to this on audio borrowed from my library, the discs
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Tracie
Mar 28, 2015 Tracie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: challenge-2015
I am captivated by P.D. James' writing. Her mysteries are complex, interesting, and full of "I never saw THAT coming". The perfect combination.

Timothy Taylor
Jan 19, 2016 Timothy Taylor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The whodunnit aspect of this is slick, but the social attitudes of the early 60s are shocking. The victim is a single mother in service who gets done in one night, orphaning the little sleeping child beside her, and the perp. is one of the country house set (this is not a plot spoiler as Dalgliesh is telling us quite early on that it is family or guests whatdunnit). The real shocker is that when all is wrapped up we learn that the perp. gets sent down on a short manslaughter charge rather than f ...more
Fanficfan44
Jun 07, 2015 Fanficfan44 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently read a P.D. James book that was #14 in the Adam Dalgliesh series and really enjoyed it so I decided to start the series from the beginning. Cover Her Face is book 1 in the series and it is a very traditional Agatha Christie-esque style mystery, locked room, secluded manor house, upstairs-downstairs tensions, a victim with many enemies, questionable alibis for many of the suspects and the parlour reveal scene at the end. This book is definitely a example of the classism and morality of ...more
Lori
Feb 01, 2015 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer
Feb 13, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
For the life of me, I don't know why I love PD James so much! The truth is, you can't begin to fathom the solution to the mystery that seems to unfold all at once, in the very last few pages, providing very little satisfying closure (no "afterward!" no big meeting with all the suspects, gathered around the fireplace while the sleuth deduces the killer!). And... I will be honest: there is very little to like about ANYONE in any of her books. I don't know why I care. I guess that's a testimony to ...more
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Madison Mega-Mara...: Cover Her Face 1 3 Nov 11, 2012 08:20PM  
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P. D. (Phyllis Dorothy) James was 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 served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BB
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More about P.D. James...

Other Books in the Series

Adam Dalgliesh (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • A Mind to Murder (Adam Dalgliesh, #2)
  • 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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