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The Mistletoe Murder And Other Stories

(Adam Dalgliesh)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  6,593 ratings  ·  1,015 reviews
Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time--swift, cunning murder mysteries (two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh) that together, to borrow the author's own word, add up to a delightful "entertainment."

The newly appointed Sgt. Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is "pure Agatha Christie." . . . A "pedantic, respectable,
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Published October 25th 2016 by Books on Tape (first published October 6th 2016)
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Jen After the murder, Gabriel noticed and (absently?) picked up the key from the sitting-room table.

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Diane S ☔
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 This author was a treasure, I feel as if I grew up with and alongside her stories. Apparently at her death it was discovered that she left twenty short stories. This short book contains four of them. Loved the introduction by Vale McDermid, a wonderful author in her own right.

The first story, the title story, had a zinger of a surprise ending. Two stories feature a young Adam Dalgliesh, and though the second was predictable, easily solvable, the first was great. Old fashioned mystery with a
Manuel Antão
Oct 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Stiletto-Sharp Crime Fiction: "The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories" by P. D. James

“But one thing in particular sets P. D. James apart from the mainstream tradition of Golden Age English crime fiction, with its stately homes and bourgeois villages where reality never rears its ill-mannered head. She understands that murder is nasty and brutal, that it is fueled by the most malevolent of motives, and she’s not afraid to face that
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cozy mystery meets satire.

I selected this book for THE MISTLETOE MURDER short story for my Yule season reading. I may or may not read the other selections at a later date. Shocking to have to admit, but this is my first PD James story. I know, I know. What have I been doing with my life? Nonetheless, I am happy to have begun the author journey with this little gem.

An English country manor Christmas setting shines with it's ragged World War II charm as the first person narrator takes us through
4.25/5! Mostly cozy (and one not so cozy!) Christmas mysteries filled with lots of little twists and surprises. This was the perfect read for this time of the year.
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The 2016 Preface to this collection of stories invokes Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, and Agatha Christie. James mentions that short story mysteries are challenging to write because the author must give their psychological studies an immediate point, without all the space that a novel presents, all in service to the surprise and satisfaction of the reader. Agatha Christie is explicitly mentioned in at least one story, but it is Sayers and Conan Doyle who I think are evoked ...more
Rachel Hall
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This anthology of four previously uncollected short stories based around a common theme of Christmas is my first read of P.D. James and this slimline volume was absolute reading indulgence! Complete with a foreword by Val McDermid which points out that despite “knowing nods to the conventions of traditional ‘cosy’ mystery stories”, P.D. James was in actual fact anything but a cosy crime author and confronted the darkness in humanity head-on. In common with other British authors of her time, ...more
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This makes my third P.D. James book in about a month's time, and I really enjoy her writing style! She combines the Golden Age of mystery with the contemporary, and it's a wonderful marriage. What I could never put my finger on before was highlighted in the Foreward to this volume of short stories written by Val McDermid, and it's the reason why I really love her writing style!

"Those settings are another hallmark of P.D. James's work. Her stories are always very specifically located in terms
It has been nice dipping into the work of P.D. James again with these four Christmas-themed stories. What a joy to read these, including one taken from her own life. I've been reading her mystery novels for years and likely will return to some and read them again. I've always liked Adam Dalgliesh on the page or in the televised series. He appears in two of these tales. James definitely will be missed but this is a nice reminder of her talents and characters. She remains as close as the nearby ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed these little short stories for this time of the year - when life can get hectic!
There are four cozy short story mysteries in the book, all taking place at Christmastime. I thought the last two were better than the I'm rating this somewhere around the middle at 3.5 stars.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This audiobook was my first selection received from Overdrive. I'm new to this app and I had fun putting holds on all sorts of ebooks and audiobooks.
I have read almost everything by P.D. James but I was very glad that I hadn't purchased this book or put it on my Christmas wish list, even as a remembrance. I found it it all not that good. It took me a short time to listen to. Her estate must be publishing everything they can find.
There are only four short stories. One featured a younger
Dec 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Each Christmas my wife and I try to find something to read that enhances the holiday. This was her gift to me.

First: I enjoyed reading the stories
Second: Part of the enjoyment was the obvious self-reflection of the characters and the author of their involvement in the classic British mystery format
Third: There were some surprises and satisfactions along the way
Fourth: I would have enjoyed these more if Christmas had really been inoculated more fully into each

You may feel differently. My thanks
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime, short-stories
This little gem is an enjoyable collection of four short stories from the late P.D. James, a master (mistress?) of the genre. Three of them were set at Christmas and two featured a young Adam Dagliesh, so was an excellent choice for a pleasurable Christmas holiday read.
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time I have read a PD James book. A very enjoyable little book of 4 short stories. It does entice me to search out more of her works.
Umut Reviews
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent one from PD James! I love her writing and this book had amazing short murder mysteries perfect for Christmas.
Katie Lumsden
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5. I enjoyed these - good fun Christmassy mystery stories. The first story, 'The Mistletoe Murder' was definitely my favourite.
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This short collection of four mysteries written by P.D. James and three of them are Christmas themed. The Mistletoe Murder, The Boxdale Inheritance, and The Twelve Clues of Christmas.

The last two are her strongest stories in this collection and they feature detective Adam Dalgliesh.

They are beautifully crafted, and they keep you guessing till the last phrase. I enjoyed how she would insert a specific time and place for each story, each setting was life like and drawn from real places and
This collection reminded me a lot of Agatha Christie. I thought the first short story was very cleverly done and for me afterwards things just kind of went downhill from there. Two of the stories stars PD James, Adam Dagliesh characters. I found him interesting enough to pick up one of her longer books starring him. Other than that, a good way to pass the time.

This was a very short collection (only 176 pages) so I was able to read through these four short stories fairly quickly. All of them take
Bam cooks the books ;-)
*My rating falls between 3 and 3.5 stars on this one. Four short stories by the late P.D James are contained in this slim volume. The first, the eponymous "Mistletoe Murder," is a tale told by someone 52 years after an unsolved murder was committed, when everyone else involved has passed away. Now the truth can be told.

In story #2, "A Very Commonplace Murder," a man can give the accused an alibi for the murder of his lover, but to do so would put his own career in jeopardy. A crisis of
Cindy Rollins
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, 2017
I hesitated to read this last year because it had mixed reviews and I am such a fan of PD James, I hated to be disappointed in her. Of course, I was not disappointed. These stories are all excellent and at least two are brilliant. The second story, A Very Commonplace Murder, while rather distasteful, is exceptional as a crime story. This was the perfect companion for the dark, cold evenings of late autumn, sitting by the Christmas tree with a cup of strong, hot tea.
Marilyn C.

2.5 Stars - 3 Stars
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a collection of short stories in the vein of Agatha Christie.

It contained two early Dalgliesh short stories. So if you haven’t started reading that series start with this book. And be sure to read the first story last. Whilst reading it you will find out why.
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, short-stories, 2017
Festive felons...

PD James was one of my favourite crime writers for many years, so much so that for a couple of decades she was one of my elite group of “must read on publication day” authors even back when this meant paying expensive hardback prices rather than waiting for up to a year for the paperback to come out. It's been a long time though since I revisited her, so I was keen to see if her magic would still work for me in this collection. There are four stories in the audiobook, each
Zuky the BookBum
I read this novel as my BookBum Club book for November! Check out this page to find out more about my very own Book Club!

I decided I wanted to read a seasonal book this year and I found this one lurking on my shelf from last year when I also decided I wanted to read a seasonal book… but didn’t.

I’ve reviewed each of the short stories one-by-one. There’s only 4, so it’s not a massive review, don’t worry!


The Mistletoe Murder
I really loved the writing in this one! It hooked me straight away. I
Dec 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christmas
It's the busy time of year even for us retired folks because it seems to take longer to do everything. This year I was able to get myself in gear early enough to check out short, easily-read (or listened to) Christmas books. P.D. James’ name caught my eye as I am a big fan of hers. It wasn't until I began listening that I realized this was a collection of short stories. I usually avoid short stories; I don't like getting into a story, acquainted with characters just to have the story end. ...more
This book is a final gift from the esteemed novelist P.D. James. A woman who understood the detective story inside and out, who had a deep understanding of human nature, and melded those two with a writing ability that continues to be coveted by many. With a foreword written by the respected and talented author, Val McDermid, this book of four Christmas-themed mystery stories is a true gem. It will be especially appreciated by fans of James’ Adam Dalgliesh mystery series, as two of the short ...more
Feb 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four short stories set at christmas time, the first one was abit Agatha Christiesh, but was easy to figure out. The second one was not my cuppa, felt completely disconnected; But the whole thing was pretty enjoyable.
Aug 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
I am giving this 4 stars perhaps not for the pure quality of the stories (I'd probably give them a 3.5) but for the fact that this is the last opportunity to enjoy a new offering from the wonderful P.D. James. I've long been a fan of her Adam Dalgliesh mystery series and two of the four stories in this slim volume feature him, though my favorite story (the title one), is not a Dalgliesh story -- it is an eerie and atmospheric tale set at a remote country house at Christmastime during WWII. It ...more
This short volume of short stories is perfect for the holiday season. It includes a forward by Val McDermid. P.D. James pays homage to Agatha Christie not simply with the settings of two of the stories - English country manors - but mentioning her in stories. Adam Dalgleish, Jame's Met Detective, features in two of the stories. The solutions to the crimes are surprising, making this collection a great read.
Linda Boyd
This was pretty good.
Fiona MacDonald
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-books
I've always shied away from P.D. James and I don't really know why. I suppose it's because I'm not too keen on modern crime detectives and find classic ones more interesting. Either way, my eye was constantly drawn to this collection of Christmassy crime stories so I thought I would give it a go as it wasn't very long. What a treat I was in for. I had no idea James was so good at writing and so precise when creating a scene! The title story was wonderful, with all the components of a good ...more
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P. D. James, byname of Phyllis Dorothy James White, Baroness James of Holland Park, (born August 3, 1920, Oxford, Oxfordshire, England—died November 27, 2014, Oxford), British mystery novelist best known for her fictional detective Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard.

The daughter of a middle-grade civil servant, James grew up in the university town of Cambridge. Her formal education, however, ended at

Other books in the series

Adam Dalgliesh (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh #1)
  • 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)
“had found it difficult to sleep since my husband had been killed, and now I lay rigid under the canopy of the four-poster re-living the extraordinary day, piecing together the anomalies, the small incidents, the clues, to form a satisfying pattern, trying to impose order on disorder. I think that is what I’ve been wanting to do all my life. It was that night at Stutleigh which decided my whole” 0 likes
“Bereavement is like a serious illness. One dies or one survives, and the medicine is time, not a change of scene.” 0 likes
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