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Death in Holy Orders

An Adam Dalgliesh Novel

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Paperback published by Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
From the award-winning master of literary crime fiction, a classic work rich in tense drama and psychological insight.

On the East Anglian seacoast, a small theological college hangs precariously on an eroding shoreline and an equally precarious future. When the body of a student is found buried in the sand, the boy’s influential father demands that Scotland Yard investigate. Enter Adam Dalgliesh, a detective who loves poetry, a man who has known loss and discovery. The son of a parson, and having spent many happy boyhood summers at the school, Dalgliesh is the perfect candidate to look for the truth in this remote, rarified community of the faithful–and the frightened. And when one death leads to another, Dalgliesh finds himself steeped in a world of good and evil, of stifled passions and hidden pasts, where someone has cause not just to commit one crime but to begin an unholy order of murder. . . .

“Gracefully sculpted prose and [a] superbly executed mystery . . . Death in Holy Orders is among [James’s] most remarkable and accomplished Dalgliesh novels.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“An elegant work about hope, death, and the alternately redemptive and destructive nature of love.”
The Miami Herald

“Absorbing . . . [James’s] plotting and characterization [are] impeccable.”
Orlando Sentinel

“P. D. James is in top form.”
The Boston Globe

Open the exclusive dossier at the back of this book, featuring P. D. James’ essay on penning the perfect detective novel.
Show less
From the award-winning master of literary crime fiction, a classic work rich in tense drama and psychological insight.

On the East Anglian seacoast, a small theological college hangs precariously on an eroding shoreline and an equally precarious future. When the body of a student is found buried in the sand, the boy’s influential father demands that Scotland Yard investigate. Enter Adam Dalgliesh, a detective who loves poetry, a man who has known loss and discovery. The son of a parson, and having spent many happy boyhood summers at the school, Dalgliesh is the perfect candidate to look for the truth in this remote, rarified community of the faithful–and the frightened. And when one death leads to another, Dalgliesh finds himself steeped in a world of good and evil, of stifled passions and hidden pasts, where someone has cause not just to commit one crime but to begin an unholy order of murder. . . .

“Gracefully sculpted prose and [a] superbly executed mystery . . . Death in Holy Orders is among [James’s] most remarkable and accomplished Dalgliesh novels.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer

“An elegant work about hope, death, and the alternately redemptive and destructive nature of love.”
The Miami Herald

“Absorbing . . . [James’s] plotting and characterization [are] impeccable.”
Orlando Sentinel

“P. D. James is in top form.”
The Boston Globe

Open the exclusive dossier at the back of this book, featuring P. D. James’ essay on penning the perfect detective novel.
Product Details
Paperback (448 pages)
Published: January 9, 2007
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780812977233
Other books byP. D. James
  • The Private Patient

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    National Bestseller Cheverell Manor is a beautiful old house in Dorset, which its owner, the famous plastic surgeon George Chandler-Powell, uses as a private clinic.  When the investigative journalist, Rhoda Gradwyn, arrives to have a disfiguring facial scar removed, she has every expectation of a successful operation and a peaceful week recuperating.  But the clinic houses an implacable enemy and within hours of the operation Rhoda is murdered.   Commander Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate a case complicated by old crimes and the dark secrets of the past.  But Before Rhoda's murder is solved, a second horrific death adds to the complexities of one of Dalgliesh's most perplexing and fascinating cases. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    The Murder Room

    The Murder Room
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    National Bestseller  Murders present meet murders past in P.D. James’s latest harrowing, thought-provoking thriller. Commander Adam Dalgliesh is already acquainted with the Dupayne--a museum dedicated to the interwar years, with a room celebrating the most notorious murders of that time--when he is called to investigate the killing of one of the family trustees. He soon discovers that the victim was seeking to close the museum against the wishes of the fellow trustees and the Dupayne's devoted staff.  Everyone, it seems, has something to gain from the crime.  When it becomes clear that the murderer has been inspired by the real-life crimes from the murder room--and is preparing to kill again--Dalgliesh knows that to solve this case he has to get into the mind of a ruthless killer.

    The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse
    A secure and secluded retreat for the rich and powerful becomes the setting for an unsettling series of murders.Combe Island off the Cornish coast is a restful haven for the elite. But when one of its distinguished visitors is found hanging from the island’s famous lighthouse in what appears to have been a murder, the peace is shattered. Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called in to handle the sensitive case, but at a difficult time for him and his depleted team. He is uncertain about his future with his girlfriend Emma Lavenham; his principle detective Kate Miskin is going through an emotional crisis; and the ambitious Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is not happy about having a female boss. After a second brutal killing, the whole investigation is jeopardized, and Dalgliesh is faced with a danger even more insidious than murder.

    The Children of Men

    The Children of Men
    Told with P. D. James’s trademark suspense, insightful characterization, and riveting storytelling, The Children of Men is a story of a world with no children and no future. The human race has become infertile, and the last generation to be born is now adult. Civilization itself is crumbling as suicide and despair become commonplace. Oxford historian Theodore Faron, apathetic toward a future without a future, spends most of his time reminiscing. Then he is approached by Julian, a bright, attractive woman who wants him to help get her an audience with his cousin, the powerful Warden of England. She and her band of unlikely revolutionaries may just awaken his desire to live . . . and they may also hold the key to survival for the human race.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • It was Father Martin's idea that I should write an account of how I found the body.

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  • Then they watched together in silence as the fire died down and the last frail wisp of white smoke drifted over the sea.

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