The British mystery writer P. D. James has died at age 94. She took a popular conventional genre, the mystery story, and brought to it her gifts as a serious literary novelist. Drawing on her work in a police forensics unit, she perfected the “police procedural” in novels of gritty realism and psychological depth. She was also a Christian who said that the final revelation of a mystery story is analogous to Judgment Day.
A good place to begin with her works is her first Adam Dalgliesh novel, Cover Her Face. (I love that allusion to the horrific 17th century tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi.) Also read her pro-life dystopian thriller The Children of Men. [Read more...]