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Summary

The acknowledged 'Queen of Crime', P. D. James, was a past master of the short story, weaving together motifs of the golden age of crime writing with deep psychological insight to create gripping, suspenseful tales. The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories contained four of these perfectly formed stories, and this companion volume contains a further six, published here together for the first time.

As the six murderous tales unfold, the dark motive of revenge is revealed at the heart of each. Bullying schoolmasters receive their comeuppance, unhappy marriages and childhoods are avenged, a murder in the small hours of Christmas Day puts an end to the vicious new lord of the manor, and, from the safety of his nursing home, an octogenarian exerts exquisite retribution.

The punishments inflicted on the guilty are fittingly severe, but here they are meted out by the unseen forces of natural justice rather than the institutions of the law. Once again, P. D. James shows her expert control of the short-story form, conjuring motives and scenarios with complete conviction, and each with a satisfying twist in the tail.

©2017 Estate of P. D. James (P)2017 Faber Audio

What listeners say about Sleep No More

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Reassuringly, with no incongruity; PD James! ;)

Despite always enjoying the work of PD James; I preferred this collection of short stories, to many of her novels.
The only downside, was that it took much longer to complete my "PD Games"!
If you've never noticed; you *will* now! 😂
There are some words she, seems incapable of omitting.
I hope, they're literary "Easter Eggs", or inside joke, because they're used SO often, but we'll probably never know!

In your next PD James books listen for these words:

Level 1. Present in EVERY book*
• Incongruous/incongruity
• Exothalmic
• Detritus

Level 2. Not as common, but still too recurrent for coincidence.
• Automaton
• Leavings (usually of the victim)

This collection was void of any level 2 words. In short stories; where the emphasis isn't on the police work, or pathology, I can forgive this.
In fact using them may have been "incongruous" 😂🤭

*Although not mentioned in each story, it has two mentions in the book.

5 people found this helpful

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Sleep No More

I love P.D. James, as a fantastic writer who is sorely missed; but the publication of her short story collections now is a very welcome treat! I loved The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories, as read by Daniel Weyman and Jennie Aggiter, and Sleep No More is another welcome treat of murder and intrigue, though not detective stories, as was P.D. James’ calling as a novelist. She wrote beautifully wonderful sentences and she mastered the short story just as much as she mastered the detective novel and brought it to the forefront of the literary world, shined its shoes and gave it a new suit for it to become now perhaps the most popular form of literature ever. She did so much for the crime genre that there is no way to repay that debt. These stories, short, tense, and wonderfully narrated, give us the full burst of flavour that James could create with her prose and her skilful plotting. I can’t wait for a third volume if it ever appears - I hope so, for it will be very very welcome and anticipated hugely.

4 people found this helpful

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How wonderful to discover these short stories

I've followed PD James' career as an author since I was a teenager. However, I'd never come across this set of short stories before.

Daniel Weyman is an excellent narrator and brings each story to life. It never ceases to astonish me just how clever PD James' plots of murder are. I'm starting to revisit the novels through audio and am getting the same amount of excitement as I did from reading them.

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A nice complication of short stories.

A nice mixture of stories, short and sweet, the narrator brought these to life very well. Worth a listen.

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Good but not PD James great

So used to PD James' wonderful meandering and intricate plots -I don't think that the short story form suits her style so well - these are good but not as intensely absorbing as her longer works of fiction