Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh went to Monksmere, Suffolk to spend a one-week vacation with his aunt Jane Dalgliesh. Monksmere is a small, close-knit community occupied by several eminent members in the literature circle. But when mystery writer Maurice Seton mutilated body was discovered along the Sulkfolk coast, the peaceful country life is not only disturbed but also a denouement of the complex relationships among the inklings has started to untie….
Overall there is too much narrative and too few grey cells being utilized in the book. Even though P.D. James is one of my favourite mystery writers, I hate to say that this time the crown sitting on the head of the “Queen of Crime” is dimmed by the abrupt and quite implausible ending of the story. I am quite disappointed to see that the mystery is solved by a taped confession of the murderer. Furthermore, I am neither convinced by the partnership nor the method of crime, as the murderer narrated. Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh is merely an active bystander; even Inspector Reckless from the County C.I.D. has easily outshined the detective in P.D. James’ novels during the investigation.
In spite of the flaws in the plot, it has always been a pleasure to read P.D. James’ novels, which I consider not only as a crime fiction genre but also literature. Her writings have brought us from the heart of a North American city to the countryside of East England; I can feel the gusty wind from the seashore even I am sitting in an air-conditioned, semi-crowded public transit vehicle and crawling my way to work. Even though the motive of the murderer is too far-fetched to gain my sympathy, her other characters have created a distinct impression on the readers. For example, one day if I have a chance to visit Suffolk, I certainly would avoid staying in a B& B like the Rosemary Cottage in which the dramatic, self-deceptive Celia Calthrop lives in =)...Continua
I discovered part way through reading that I must have read this sometime previously, as I could pick out certain clues, but I couldn't remember the details. For all the notoriety of P.D. James, I must admit, that I didn't find this particular story all that engaging, perhaps because I had already acquaintance with it. I must read another of this series before I make a final assessment. I did enjoy the protagonist, Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh....Continua