The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories



The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

P.D. James


Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time–swift, cunning murder mysteries (two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh) that together, to borrow the author’s own word, add up to a delightful “entertainment.”


The day I heard that P.D. James had died was a tremendously sad day for me. I have long classed her as one of the best authors this country has produced. I enjoyed all her novels but especially the Adam Dalgliesh ones: with Original Sin being one of my all time favourites. So when I found out Faber were publishing four of her short stories for Christmas I was absolutely delighted.

The first story tells of a family Christmas that ends in murder. With few suspects it is a perfect example of a closed room mystery.

The second story tells of a middle-aged man spying on a woman and her lover from his office at work. This is a much darker tale than the other three and leaves you feeling very unsettled.

The final two stories feature the wonderful Adam Dalgiesh, who needs no introduction even as a young sergeant just starting out using his powers of deduction and observation.

These four stories, although short, bring the usual P.D. James atmosphere with them. She says in her introduction  “…setting and characterisations to be established with an economy of words…” and she more than lives up to this.

Each story is a masterpiece, and for crime lovers, a perfect way to spend a cold winter’s evening: this book, a crackling fire and a glass of mulled wine. Enjoy.

Many thanks to Richard Fortey at Faber & Faber for giving me a copy.



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