Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

James' Return Is Cause for Cheer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

James' Return Is Cause for Cheer

Article excerpt

ORIGINAL SIN By P.D. James 421 pages, Knop, $24

THE NEW NOVEL by P.D. James, "Original Sin," will be cheered by mystery lovers as her return to the genre of which she is the acknowledged master - the classic British detective story.

Her last book, "The Children of Men," was a non-mystery novel with an almost science-fiction theme, set in a future time when all the men in the world have become sterile and no children are being born. Many of her fans, expecting something different, were probably mystified by it.

In this novel, James' intellectual poet-detective, Adam Dalgleish, is in top form, along with his two assistants, Kate Miskin and Daniel Aaron. They must solve a complicated crime, involving three murders at a venerable publishing company in London, the Peverell Press.

The first to be killed is the company's chief executive officer, Gerard Etienne, a victim of carbon monoxide fumes from a defective gas heater in a small room at the publishing house. But there's no doubt it's murder, not an accident or suicide, because a toy stuffed snake has been wrapped around his neck, with its head crammed into his mouth. …

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