Saturday, May 30, 2009
Another reviewer has said that James demands a bit more of her readers than others. How true. This one also took me over a week to read, but it was worth it. Adam Dalgleish, the detective inspector is James' renaissance man. He is also a poet, a thinker, and a cool customer who serves as an intelligent mentor to his two subordinates, detectives Kate Miskin, and John Massingham. This particular mystery concerns the death of an M.P. He was found in the vestry of a small Anglican church with his throat cut, his razor near his hand, and a dead tramp nearby. Was it suicide or was it murder? There is a well drawn cast of characters: the deceased's mother, his pregnant wife and her lover, the housekeeper, the chauffeur, the vicar, several little old ladies, the brother-in-law, the daughter and her lover, and the old lady and young boy who found the body. Each has a piece of the puzzle, and James weaves them together elegantly. No spoilers, so I can't say much more, but the motivation of each is examined, cast-off, re-examined, and it is not until the end that we have an excellent resolution. I'm betting you can still find this one in libraries and at yard sales this time of year. It's worth it.