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A Mind To Murder (An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery)
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A Mind To Murder (Adam Dalgliesh #2)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  8,255 Ratings  ·  414 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.
Published (first published 1963)
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Sheila Myers I don't think the possible unstable mental state of the murderer would've caused Dalgliesh to automatically assume a psychiatrist wouldn't be a…moreI don't think the possible unstable mental state of the murderer would've caused Dalgliesh to automatically assume a psychiatrist wouldn't be a suspect. A psychiatrist can be just as mentally unstable as his or her patients. I think, as in the other novels in the series, Adam was basing his decision on the behaviors he observed and the possible motives.(less)
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mark monday
Aug 31, 2010 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 01, 2016 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

P D James's second Adam Dalgliesh mystery was published in 1963 and so is on the 1963 list for My Big Fat Reading Project. Only three weeks earlier I had read Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar, making it a bit of a shock (pun intended) to open A Mind to Murder and find it set in a London psychiatric clinic. In between the electric shock and LSD treatments as well as psychiatric "talk therapy" sessions, the administrator of the clinic is murdered in the basement amid a confusion of scattered patient f
Sep 01, 2015 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
May 06, 2015 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
Jul 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finish
La historia nos sumerge en el crimen de la jefa de administración de la clínica psiquiátrica Steen, la señora Bolam, una mujer muy estricta y sumamente profesional en su trabajo pero que al ser tan severa en marcar las obligaciones y la rectitud de la clínica se ganó varios enemigos.

Comenzamos con el descubrimiento de su cuerpo asesinado por un cincel en su corazón más un fetiche en su regazo lo que da para sospechar de ciertas personas que trabajan en la clínica y que son pacientes.
Mientras, en
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 05, 2008 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 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
Ana Goulart
3.5 É um policial que se inscreve na categoria "whodunnit ?", muito ao estilo inglês e na linha de Agatha Christie - todos têm algo a esconder, todos são suspeitos. É um desafio à capacidade de análise e dedutível do leitor. Também gosto do inspetor, da forma como a personagem está construída. Neste 2° volume da série avança-se um pouco mais na sua história. Em comparação com os policiais modernos, sentimos falta de ação...
Aug 08, 2008 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.
Jun 08, 2013 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 01, 2015 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
Jurga Jurgita
Pasiilgusi detektyvų, vėl bandžiau prie jų sugrįžti, bet šį kartą nesėkmingai. Bibliotekoje netikėtai akys užkliuvo už juodų knygų-tiksliau visos serijos stovinčių knygų. Nutariau vieną iš jų pasiimti paskaityti, tuo labiau, kad autorė įvardijama viena iš geriausių detektyvo žanro autorių. Autorė savo rašymo stiliumi šiek tiek priminė detektyvinių romanų klasiką. Romano veiksmas vyksta uždaroje ligoninės erdvėje (praktiškai visą romaną), kuriame įtariamieji yra ligoninės personalas ir pacientai. ...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 17, 2015 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 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
Aug 11, 2016 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 02, 2014 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
Jul 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
העלילה אינה מורכבת ועוסקת ברצח במכון לטיפולים פסיכיאטריים ופסיכולוגיים. הרצח הוא רק תוצר לוואי של הסיפור האנושי ופ. די. גיימס משתמשת בו כמנוף לתיאור הדקויות של מערכות היחסים האישיות ולפיתוח אישיותו של דלגליש.
Sheila Myers
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I was happy to be able to find this earlier novel in the Adam Dalgliesh series because it supplied me with some of the main character's backstory I didn't get to read in such detail in the later books. As usual, PD James supplies interesting characters and many suspects.
Mar 06, 2008 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.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: p-d-james

(view spoiler)
Luke Paulsen
P.D. James's mystery novels are never quite about the mystery, somehow. Oh, the mechanics of the plot are interesting enough, and always well-presented. She even pulls off the occasional flourish-- as in this case-- of working some subtle social commentary into the eventual resolution. But the real meat of each book is in the character development of the suspects, each of which becomes almost its own sketch or short story. The way James digs into her characters' lives reminds me of Dickens or ma ...more
Patricia Gulley
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this when it first came out, and started browsing to see what I remembered, then couldn't put it down. The style is so what we are advised not to do, yet it works so well. Meet the characters by interviews intermingled by the opinions of the interviewer, and long paragraphs of a told story. It was a fine reread.
I thought this was pretty good, but didn't like it as much as the first Dalgliesh book. The first chapter was so long, it made me wonder if this was going to be a "bottle" book, where all the action took place in the clinic in the hours after the murder. That would have been interesting, I think. Maybe my rating is affected by my disappointment, haha.
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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)
“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.” 1 likes
“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
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