Sunday, November 13, 2016

THE MISTLETOE MURDER by P. D. James Audio Edition

By P. D. James
Read by Jenny Agutter and Daniel Weyman
Random House Audio

    Acknowledged by all to be a first rate crime writer P. D. James was often commissioned by newspapers and magazines to write a Christmas short story.  For the first time four of those stories are presented here and are read by two exemplary voice performers - Jenny Agutter and Daniel Weyman.
    The title story is a popular novelist’s account of a crime she was involved in some 50 years earlier.  A really unpleasant person was murdered during the Christmas season in 1940.  There are very few suspects so one listens, expecting an unsurprising outcome until one is a bit shocked by the ending.  This tale is James at the peak of her powers!

        In “A Very Commonplace Murder” a clerk has several reasons for not coming forward as witness to a murder - one reason is his secret taste for pornography.  The clerk is a voyeur and thanks to his unpleasant hobby he is aware of a murder.  A man has been accused but he is not the guilty person as the clerk well knows - will he come forward and exonerate the man?

    “The Boxdale Inheritance” finds poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh reinvestigating a notorious murder at the behest of his godfather.  In the process a family secret is revealed that is so dark it must be hidden again.

    We meet a family with “an aversion to natural death” in “The Twelve Clues of Christmas.”  Adam Dalgliesh is a mite younger in this tale but nonetheless perspicacious.  He comes up with quite a few clues that catch the murderer of one who had supposedly left a suicide note.
    P. D. James is much missed but fortunately we can enjoy her works again in this highly listenable audiobook.

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