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Summary

A collection of four short stories from P. D. James, published together for the first time.

As the acknowledged "Queen of Crime", P. D. James was frequently commissioned by newspapers and magazines to write special short stories for Christmas. Four of the very best of these have been rescued from the archives and are published together. P. D. James' prose illuminates each of these perfectly formed stories, making them ideal listening for the darkest days of the year.

While she delights in the secrets that lurk beneath the surface at enforced family gatherings, her Christmas stories also provide enjoyable puzzles to keep the reader guessing. From the title story about a strained country-house Christmas party to another about an illicit affair that ends in murder and two cases for James' poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh, each treats the reader to James' masterfully atmospheric storytelling, always with the lure of a mystery to be solved.

P. D. James (1920-2014) was born in Oxford and educated at Cambridge High School for Girls. From 1949 to 1968, she worked in the National Health Service and subsequently in the Home Office, first in the Police Department and later in the Criminal Policy Department. All that experience was used in her novels. She was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and of the Royal Society of Arts and served as a Governor of the BBC; a member of the Arts Council, where she was Chairman of the Literary Advisory Panel; on the Board of the British Council; and as a Magistrate in Middlesex and London. She was an Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award and The National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature (US). She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and was created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected President of the Society of Authors and stepped down from the post in August 2013.

©1995, 1969, 1979, 1996 Holder: Author's Preface, the Estate of P. D. James; The Mistletoe Murder, P. D. James; A Very Commonplace Murder, P. D. James; The Boxdale Inheritance, P. D. James; The Twelve Clues of Christmas, P. D. James. (P)2016 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"There are very few thriller writers who can compete with P. D. James at her best." ( Spectator)
"The greatest contemporary writer of classic crime." ( Sunday Times)
"P. D. James is simply a wonderful writer." ( New York Times Book Review)
"P. D. James is one of the national treasures of British Fiction." ( Mail on Sunday)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

We miss you PD

I have read and listened to all her books, seen all the televised ones lots of times and still wish she was with us to continue her intriguing tales. We miss you PD.

These are short (tho not too short) mysteries with Adam Dalglesh as a younger officer but still with his charm and clever thinking. Both Jenny Agutter (who will always be a Railway Child to me) and Daniel Weyman narrate so beautifully that I hate it when it ends. Very enjoyable and cracking good mysteries.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant!

I really enjoyed these stories! Narrators are great - very important- and the stories are very entertaining. Wish there were more!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

4 Excellent Short Crime Stories from P.D James

What made the experience of listening to The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories the most enjoyable?

Additional Product Info: Preface by P. D. James herself - Read by Jenny Agutter

1) 'The Mistletoe Murder' - A 'true' crime story from P.D.James' past? The names have been changed but... Read by Jenny Agutter

2) 'A Very Commonplace Murderer' - A dark story, retold by a witness, 16 years after the event. Read by Jenny Agutter

3) 'The Boxdale Inheritance' - Chief Super Adam Dalglish is asked to help solve a 67 year old 'murder'. Can the present-day clergyman morally enjoy his inheritance? Read by Daniel Weyman

4) 'The Twelve Clues of Christmas' - An exciting glimpse into the early career of the then Sargent Adam Dalglish, including some humour. Read by Daniel Weyman

Who was your favorite character and why?

Although Adam Dalglish is a favourite, I really took to the war widow in the first story.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

When the then Sargent Adam Dalglish sums up the 12 Clues of Christmas.

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

Yes, but being short stories I was able to break it up into 4 sittings.

Any additional comments?

I thought 'A very commonplace murder' let the collection down a little otherwise it would have been 5 stars all round, I hope there are more of these in the archives!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Mysteries

Short stories all with a twist at the end. Entertaining and well narrated. Highly recommended to people like me who end up failing asleep while listening in bed. Not so far to go back and start all over again the following night.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

It was ok...a bit basic

Nothing special and definitely not 'christmassy' if that't what you're looking for. Stories are old school agatha christy style so if you like that sort of thing you may like this.

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Mistletoe Murderet

I've been an listening to PD James books lately to have rest from Agatha Christie.
This story book was great it's nice to hear about Adam Dalglish from the begining and they're only short stories it's great