Comments: 10
Portable Magic 4 days ago
So, does that mean that the estate has hired someone to write under a PD James pseudonym, or that these are previously unpublished writings of PD James?
Neither, actually. These appear to be stories that were written for either anthologies or periodicals (same with last year's collection).
Portable Magic 4 days ago
Okay, so they're originally written by PD James and previously published, but newly collected together.
Yes, that's right.
Portable Magic 4 days ago
I've never read any PD James. Is this a good collection to start with?
Oh my goodness, you have so much wonderful reading ahead of you! Well, this is pretty light and occasional - I'd suggest starting with one of her Adam Dalgliesh novels instead. Here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/celebritynews/11258544/PD-James-the-5-novels-you-should-read.html
Start with anything except "Death Comes to Pemberley", which is a Pride & Prejudice pastiche that sharply divided her readership and isn't at all representataive of the rest of her work (I liked it, but many did not).
These story collections are fun, but they're "leftovers" - I don't think they'll ignite a burning desire to read everything she ever wrote (including her shopping lists), whereas sinking your teeth into a Dalgliesh may just do the trick! :) Characterization is one of her greatest strengths, so the novel length plays well into that.
Portable Magic 4 days ago
Hmm, The Children of Men sounds familiar. But I'll put the first Dalgliesh novel on my TBR and start with that one.
Murder by Death 4 days ago
I am one of the ones that didn't like Death Comes to Pemberley, but I am a biased reader when it comes to Austen's characters, so I might not have been fair.

Children of Men was made into a movie. Rather gritty and bleak movie, if I remember it correctly.
Portable Magic 4 days ago
Maybe that's why it sounds familiar to me. And yeah, I'm probably not going to like the Pemberley book, either, because I have yet to like any Austen fan fic, no matter what literary term people try to put on it.
Never read any P.D. James ... oh yes, I second the "all the great books you have to look forward to" sentiment. Of the books referenced in the "Telegraph" article mentioned by A Scottish-Canadian, I'm another skeptic about "Death Comes to Pemberley" -- and I'd also say, stay away from "The Private Patient" until you've read at least 1 or 2 other Dalgliesh novels. Not because I didn't like "The Private Patient" -- on the contrary, it's one of my favorite novels by James -- but because Dalgliesh has traveled a VERY long way by the time he gets to the events of that book (which is the final Dalgliesh novel she wrote), and you may want to have a sense of at least a bit of that path before you reach the very end.

In the Dalgliesh series, I'd start with book 1, "Cover Her Face", as recommended by the "Telegraph" (not her overall best, but strong for a first novel and it essentially sets the scene and tone for the whole series), then move on to book 3 ("Unnatural Causes") -- I confess I'm not much of a fan of book 2 ("A Mind to Murder") and though obviously YMMV on its contents, you're not missing much in terms of Dalgliesh's character development by skipping it initially. After these two books (1 and 3), you should have a sense whether or not you want to continue with the series. If you do, at this point there's only one thing I'll add: Before you read *any* of the final 3 books ("The Murder Room", "The Lighthouse", and "The Private Patient", respectively) you will *defnitely* want to have read "Death in Holy Orders" (book 11), because there's a string of events that begins there that is crucial to understanding where Dalgliesh is, both personally and in his career, in the final novels. (It also happens to be another favorite of mine, but again, of course YMMV.) -- Also, for the back story of Dalgliesh's later-in-the-series sidekick Kate Miskin, at some point you may want to take a look at "A Taste for Death." -- That said, though, for most of the series, it's not critical to read it in sequence.