P D James Books

James is a truncation of the name of an English woman of letters whose birth name was Phyllis Dorothy James White. She also used the name Phyllis James. P.D. James, who has since died, was born in August 1920 in Oxford upon England. A one-time London resident, she passed away on November 2014 in her nineties. Among the literary figures that influenced James include English penman Henry Graham Greene,and penwomen Jane Austen and Dorothy Leigh Sayers.

Order of Adam Dalgliesh Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Cover Her Face 1962 Description / Buy
2 A Mind to Murder 1963 Description / Buy
3 Unnatural Causes 1967 Description / Buy
4 Shroud for a Nightingale 1971 Description / Buy
5 The Black Tower 1975 Description / Buy
6 Death Of An Expert Witness 1977 Description / Buy
7 A Taste for Death 1986 Description / Buy
8 Devices and Desires 1989 Description / Buy
9 Original Sin 1994 Description / Buy
10 A Certain Justice 1997 Description / Buy
11 Death in Holy Orders 2001 Description / Buy
12 The Murder Room 2003 Description / Buy
13 The Lighthouse 2005 Description / Buy
14 The Private Patient 2008 Description / Buy

Order of Cordelia Gray Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 An Unsuitable Job for a Woman 1972 Description / Buy
2 The Skull Beneath the Skin 1982 Description / Buy

Order of P.D. James Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Innocent Blood 1980 Description / Buy
2 The Children of Men 1992 Description / Buy
3 Death Comes to Pemberley 2012 Description / Buy
4 The Mistletoe Murder 2016 Description / Buy
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For her formal education, P.D. James schooled at the famed Cambridge Girls’ High School before learning healthcare administration studies. Though renowned for penning notable literary works, P.D. James, once worked in the civil service among them home office and criminal division.

P.D. James first published in her early forties; however, she started writing at a young age and became a full-time author hard on the heels of her retirement. Long story short, James has penned tens of books and her niche was crime, contemporary, and thriller genres.

P.D. James debuted in the early 1960s and her debut book has since been expounded to form a 14-book novel series named Adam Dalgliesh; James’ bibliography consists of both standalone novels and series, and her other series is a duology. There are over 85 editions of the first book in Adam Dalgliesh series. The first edition was originally published in 1962, titled Cover Her Face; and this book is shelved under the fiction, mystery (particularly detective fiction and murder mystery sub-genres), crime, thriller, adult fiction, and British literature genres.

The major character in P.D. James’ debut book is named Adam Dalgliesh. Protagonist Adam Dalgliesh is a poetry-loving British national. Dalgliesh is witty, affluent, a recluse, and widower. He drives a high-end car. A homicide detective, Dalgliesh commands a unit in the New Scotland Yard.

The critical moment in the first book in the Adam Dalgliesh series, Cover Her Face, is the strangulation of an angelic, strong-willed and youthful single mother-cum-domestic servant in her quarters. The house is teeming with persons of interest and a plethora of motives for murder of the victim, named Sally Juup. The ensuing story as detective Dalgliesh pinpoints the killer is intriguing in this murder mystery that heralded P.D. James’ fruitful crime writing career.

P.D. James Awards

Author P.D. James clinched several literary prizes. For instance, in 1987, James bagged the Macavity Awards, in the Best Mystery Novel category, thanks to her 1986 book named A Taste for Death; in 1988, the French version of the said book won James Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere. In 1986, the book won CWA Silver Dagger, in the Fiction category; and, in 1987, it was nominated for the Edgar Award, in the Best Novel category.

In 2010, P.D. James’ book 2009 book named Talking about Detective Fiction won two literary prizes: it clinched the Anthony Award, in the Best Critical/Nonfiction category; and bagged the Macavity Awards, in the Best Fiction category. In 2010, this book was also nominated for the Edgar and Agatha awards, in the Best Critical/Biography and Best Critical Non-Fiction categories, respectively. In 1999, P.D. James clinched the Edgar Grand Master Award and was the recipient of Cartier Diamond Dagger in 1987.

P.D. James Books into Movies and TV Shows

These are some of the film adaptations of P.D. James’ books. P.D. James’ 1992 book named Children of Men was made into a similarly titled 2006 film; the film star is Clive Owen who appears as Theo Faron. In the 1982 film named An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, Pippa Guard portrays Cordelia Gray. James’ 1977 became the 1983 TV miniseries titled Death of an Expert Witness wherein Roy Marsden portrays Adam Dalgliesh. 1984 TV series named Shroud for a Nightgale is based on a 1971 book, starring Roy Marsden. To sum it up, James’ first ten books in the Adam Dalgliesh series were adapted for the silver screen, and Roy Marsen starred in all.

Best P.D. James Books

These are the best three books in P.D. James’ bibliography. The first is the aforementioned Cover Her Face.

A Taste For Death: This is the seventh book in the serialized Adam Dalgliesh. Detective Dalgliesh is on his mettle after creating a unit aimed at investigating politics-oriented sensitive crimes.

Talking about Detective Fiction: As the title proclaims, this is a discussion of detective fiction and a glimpse into the literary works of notable writers that specialized in the detective niche.

Other Book Series You May Like

Readers who liked P.D. James’ literary work also liked these book series. Colin Dexter’s 14-book “Inspector Morse” series features Oxford-based DCI Morse who is attached to the crime division of Thames Valley Police. Martha James’ 23-book “Richard Jury” series features protagonist Richard Jury, a Scotland Yard investigator. Ngaio Marsh’s 32-book “Roderick Alleyn” series features an English homicide detective-cum-police hero named Roderick Alleyn.

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