Kindle British Mystery Book Club discussion

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Book Club Selection > July 2018 Group Read - Cover Her Face, by P.D. James

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message 1: by David (new)

David Gooch | 4090 comments Mod
Cover Her Face, by P.D. James

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.

Discussion Leader: Shera

Book Link (Amazon UK): https://amzn.to/2Iz2XC9


message 2: by Beth (new)

Beth Stewart | 608 comments Have I read this years ago or was it on tv??


message 3: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 586 comments Mod
I was 20 and living in London the summer this book was 1st published. Little did I know it marked a new epoch, when the ‘detective story’ became ‘crime fiction’. I was still reading Dorothy Sayers and Edmund Crispin. And though I read lots of James in the past few years, I’d not got round to this one. Glad finally to read it.


message 4: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 586 comments Mod
Feels like reading E. M. Forster now, so much has changed. And yet less time elapsed between Forster’s period and my undergraduate years than from the publication of Cover Her Face till today.


message 5: by Beth (new)

Beth Stewart | 608 comments Am only on page 32 but I remembered my issue with PD James. Her books invariably introduce a whole group of people and I am constantly flipping back to the first two pages to refresh my memory as to who's who. Finally got it straight by page 25


message 6: by Beth (new)

Beth Stewart | 608 comments Finished! What's not to like about PD James (other than as noted in previous post re: too many people introduced allay once!)

I was left guessing right to the end!


message 7: by Clare (new)

Clare  (clarebears) | 62 comments I listened to books 5-15 of the Adam Dalgleish series last year. PD James was an excellent author whose observations were at times painfully accurate. Cover Her Face was made for television by Anglia Television, it starred Roy Marsden as Adam Dalgleish.

As I have mentioned I have read a lot of this series. It is a shame Cover Her Face was set after he had lost his wife and baby in childbirth. I would of been interested in reading the Adam before he became a widower.

Like Beth I was not sure who killed Sally Jupp, but I suspected it may of been Deborah Riscoe.


message 8: by Bill (new)

Bill Kupersmith | 586 comments Mod
I was working in London the summer of the year this book was first published but only now have I got round to reading it for the Kindle English Mystery Group. Although P. D. James shared with her friend Ruth Rendell the honour of making the detective story into a serious literary genre, Cover Her Face seems now to belong to the world of Agatha Christie than to ours, where crime fiction is the form of the novel that best engages serious moral and spiritual issues. Of course it was James and Rendell who accomplished it. I need to read Innocent Blood again to experience the difference. I'll write a review for the spoiler thread for the group to discuss plot details, but in summary would say that here it's an intricately constucted rather a Heath-Robinson device; too many unrelated threads have to coincide at the point of the murder and characters emerge from the backstory to account for all the clues. In hindsight the whole thing fell apart for me. The treatment of the victim's status as a single mum will remind all of us that we are extemely fortunate to be living now, not five decades ago.


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