An Adam Dalgliesh mystery. Set in her beloved East Anglia, Death in Holy Orders is the fourteenth novel in P.D. James' Adam Dalgliesh series and a thrilling work of crime fiction filled with intrigue and suspense.
Death in Holy Orders is set in an Anglican theological college on a desolate stretch of the East Anglian coast, a location which she has made particularly her own.
When the body of one of the students is found on the shore smothered by a fall of sand, his wealthy father demands that Scotland Yard reexamines the verdict of accidental death. Dalgliesh has visited St. Anselm's in his boyhood and, as he is due for a holiday, agrees to pay a visit, expecting no more than a nostalgic return to old haunts and a straightforward examination of the evidence given at the inquest. Instead he finds himself embroiled in one of the most horrific and puzzling cases of his career. Other visitors come to the college on the weekend of his arrival, not all of them with benign intent. One will never leave it alive.
Death in Holy Orders, a masterly exploration of an isolated and beleaguered community coping with the evil and disruption of murder, has all the qualities which distinguish P. D. James as a novelist: the sensitive evocation of place, a complex and credible mystery, respect for forensic detail, and the tension of a plot that never flags.
P. D. James was a best-selling and internationally acclaimed crime writer. She was the creator of Adam Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray and their long, successful series of mysteries. Her works include Cover Her Face (1962), An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972), Innocent Blood (1980), Children of Men (1992), and the Jane Austen-inspired Death Comes to Pemberley (2011).
James was born in Oxford in 1920. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy, and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award. She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983, and created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected president of the Society of Authors and stood down from this role in 2013.