As you begin this book you are greeted by P.D. James signature voice; knowledgeable, literate, forthright and professional. Her language is one of the reasons she is one of the best novelists alive - hopefully for a bit longer, too! In this book she revisits, criticizes, admires and distrusts a genre that she has inhabited for many decades, but is changing with the times. However, her dedication to the Detective tale is clear: For a genre to be so full of murder, sin, suspense and (more often than not) realistic, we find peace and harmony in a set of book where by the ending we know it will all be alright. Is it really?? James' most powerful trait is how her clean and tidy ending have a surface gloss and that underneath uncertainty still disturbs the waters. In an age where forensic science, crime scene investigators, District Attorneys and judge seem to be in the forefront of detection is there still room for old-fashioned detective stories like the one's James writes?? This book highlights the roots of the genre; the Golden Age or "cozy village" mysteries filled with eccentric characters and a nosy sleuth, while also giving a nod to the "noir" tales of Hammett and Dashiel. Above all else, James shows that it is about the mystery and the resolution, but deeper still it is about characters and their motives in their lives. We may feel comforted that the murderer is caught, yet will tremble at the thought of our own actions in a similar situation. Like the best of literature James fits the bill and proves she knows the genre she has lived in like no other.
Here is the link to bn.com to comment to this particular Message, or leave a comment here on our home site.
Here is a review of our January "Goremet" Selection from DNA Read the World online. This review mirrors many reader's views on this possible last Dalgliesh novel. I, on the other hand though this book was a wonderful way to end the series. Life is not so neat and tidy, so why should James do it in her fiction. Her books have been about people and their realistic "fictional" lives and they never go according to plan.
I am hoping anyone out there who has read the two "Goremet" book selections (The Private Patient and Original Sin) could respond to this question? Would you recommend this title or author to a friend or book group?? Would you consider reading other books by this author?? Let The Eerie Coterie know either way.
Our goal with this endeavor was to see how much people respond to recommendations and if bookclubs enjoy reading literary novels that may also be considerer "genre" books. More often than not book groups choose Fiction books that are not classified as mysteries, horror or romace, but that are full of these elements. How many out there have read a Jodi Picoult book?? She is just Fiction, but has many elements of suspense or mystery to her plot lines. It is an interesting topic and I hope to hear from you. Your feedback is most valuable!!
So far we have read two Adam Dalgliesh mysteries. Which one did you like better?? Why?? This may be easy for some and difficult for others. Please let us know what attracted you to either tale and did the get resolved to your satisfaction as a reader?