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Summary

A Cordelia Gray mystery

Meet Cordelia Gray: 22, tough, intelligent, and now sole inheritor of the Pryde Detective Agency. Her first assignment finds her hired by Sir Ronald Callender to investigate the death of his son Mark, a young Cambridge student found hanged in mysterious circumstances. Required to delve into the hidden secrets of the Callender family, Cordelia soon realizes it is not a case of suicide, and that the truth is entirely more sinister.

©1972 P.D. James (P)2014 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"One of the most compulsive and acutely observed thrillers of the year - a why-dunnit, rather than a who-dunnit; a study of the complex motives that make up the cold mind of a killer." ( Daily Express)
"A very ingenious, absorbing detective story of star quality." ( Evening Standard)
"Through a language which is always sensitively precise and often more, she keeps up a ripple of subterranean humour which would sustain a whole series as good as this one.... Miss James has the eye for detail which is an absolute requirement for a detective writer. She also has tolerance and experienced wisdom." (C.P. Snow, Financial Times)

What listeners say about An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

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WOW

If you could sum up An Unsuitable Job for a Woman in three words, what would they be?

Original, unexpected plot

What was one of the most memorable moments of An Unsuitable Job for a Woman?

most of the last few chapters

Have you listened to any of Katie Scarfe’s other performances? How does this one compare?

First time listening to Katie Scarfe, spellbinding performance

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

2 sittings

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A More than Suitable Job for a Woman

PD James has left her mark on the detective genre for decades, and the introduction of Cordelia Gray is perhaps one of the bear things to come out the genre altogether. Cordelia is such a great character, it was impossible to not like her. She’s smart, fun, incredibly brave, and she knows her way around. It was quite fun having a character of the same age as the reader to go along the mystery with. As to the mystery: the clues definitely do their work. I was able to work it out before the reveal. And that’s what the crime story ought to do: the clues are fairly laid and the reader ought to arrive at the solution before the end logically. In some stories I haven’t, but with PD James, I have most of the time. This is the only time I have not sympathised with the killer in her books. Most of the time the killer is often more sympathetic than the victim, and this was not the case. Thought the victim, the more I learned about him, wasn’t entirely likeable either. But I feel that, had he more time to grow, he might have been better as a person. This is a first rate mystery with intrigue, beautiful writing, tense plot, and a genuinely diamond quality yarn. It’s more a whydunnit than a whodunnit, but that’s what makes it all the more interesting.

3 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyed this book

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, on occasion you need to leave reality behind, but a good story.

1 person found this helpful

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A. FAVORITE STORY FROM P D James

Although somewhat dated as it is many years since it was published this remains a favourite. Cordelia is an unusual detective and this story holds the readers attention. I have read the book more than once and enjoyed the story in this format. The reader has a detached tone which compliments the characters.

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very good story

A good story and we'll read by Katie Skarfe. Kept my interest throughout. Would highly recommend.

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It was alright

Beautifully written and pleasant to listen to though the story is a bit far fetched. I found it ridiculous that Cordelia would stay in the cottage crime scene without permission. Thought that was a unprofessional and creepy. And how she would hang out with the victim’s old friends and how familiar they were, it was weird. The attempt on her life seemed to be added for the sake of it, didn’t really seem warranted on the part of the would be killer, it felt disjointed. Lastly, the whole issue at the end helping in a cover up was needlessly ridiculous. It didn’t make sense. Cordelia seemed more clever and practical to do such a thing. It was a fairly fun listen but with too many far-fetched events to be taken seriously.

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Enjoyable

A worthy listen narrated with skill, but nothing particularly outstanding compared with other books of the genre, but it does illustrate that the author soon developed her craft to become one of the giants of detective fiction by the time she started writing the Adam Dalgliesh novels.

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  • L
  • 11-08-19

enjoyable whodunnit

Cordelia, an indirect protégée of Adam Dalglish, handles her first solo case. Written in 1972, the to our minds, period details of course ring true. Set in Cambridge with a cast of reasonably stereotypical characters, it was nevertheless an entertaining read.

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Pronunciation

Some words are mis pronounced which is rather irritating. Otherwise the performance is very good.

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REALLY BAD AND BORING

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

Maybe someone older??? I am honestly not sure.

Would you ever listen to anything by P. D. James again?

no

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Katie Scarfe?

the narrator was fibe

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

no it just went on and on.

2 people found this helpful