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Extended Audio Sample The Murder Room, by P. D. James Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,710 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: P. D. James Narrator: Charles Keating Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Adam Dalgliesh Mysteries Release Date:
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Commander Adam Dalgliesh, P. D. James’ formidable and fascinating detective, returns to find himself enmeshed in a terrifying story of passion and mystery, and in love.

The Dupayne, a small private museum in London devoted to the interwar years 1919–1939, is in turmoil. As its trustees argue over whether it should be closed, one of them is brutally and mysteriously murdered. Yet even as Commander Dalgliesh and his team proceed with their investigation, a second corpse is discovered. Someone in the Dupayne is prepared to kill and kill again. Still more sinister, the murders appear to echo the notorious crimes of the past featured in one of the museum’s galleries: the Murder Room.

The case is fraught with danger and complications from the outset, but for Dalgliesh the complications are unexpectedly profound. His new relationship with Emma Lavenham (introduced in the last Dalgliesh novel, Death in Holy Orders) is at a critical stage. Now, as he moves closer and closer to a solution to the puzzle, he finds himself driven further and further from commitment to the woman he loves.

The Murder Room is a story dark with the passions that lie at the heart of crime, a masterful work of mystery and psychological intricacy. It proves yet again that P.D. James fully deserves her place among the best of modern novelists.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Expertly plotted and elegantly written, the novel will stand with the best of her always-fine work. And as usual with a James novel, the characters are drawn with care and sympathy. The Richmond Times-Dispatch
  • James whips up a thought-provoking, finely crafted literary murder mystery. . . . The Murder Room is a riveting and well-constructed read. San Jose Mercury News
  • Elegant language and deft, intricate characterizations. Pittsburg Tribune-Review
  • James writes of the whydunit rather than the whodunit and her grasp and appreciation for the boundless perplexities of human behavior deeply enriches her books. Philadelphia Inquirer
  • The eminence grise of British detective fiction, James delivers another ruminative puzzler, generous in character, graceful in prose. The Village Voice
  • Elegantly constructed, beautifully written . . . [The Murder Room] is cause for rejoicing. . . . [It] is that much-sought-after but rare combination of reading that both transports the reader to another world and engages the imagination. St. Louis Post-Dispatch
  • “Difficult--and delightful--as it is to believe, P. D. James keeps getting better. . . . The Murder Room might be the best mystery novel of 2003. . . . This is a book to savor . . . with writing so felicitous the reader doesn't want it to end. Indianapolis Star
  • Riveting. . . . The Murder Room possesses everything we desire from James. . . . [Her] lovely, clear prose travels at a stately pace, never cluttered by random violence or unnecessary characters, taking us where we need to be with assurance, intelligence and grace. No word or action is wasted; everyone and everything matters. The Chicago Tribune
  • Ms. James skill is impressively displayed. The New York Times
  • P.D. James is surely one of the best living writers of English. [The Murder Room]’s typical James–wonderful English settings, fine writing, psychological depth. Rocky Mountain News
  • Any ranking of today’s best crime writers would surely put Britain’s P.D. James at or near the top. This subtly told, character-driven novel, which emphasizes people over plot, provides, as usual, a richly-rewarding reading experience. The San Diego Union-Tribune
  • Immensely satisfying, with James introducing her large cast and its secrets with consummate skill. The Washington Post
  • Carefully crafted . . . [with] richly portrayed characters. . . . P. D. James can still spin an intricate web of psychological suspense that demands the reader's attention and involvement. . . . James tells this tale in lucid language, with a wry eye on people and their faults. San Antonio Express-News
  • James' strength as a writer lies in her ability to craft characters with depth. She doesn't just supply names and ages but gives readers a sense of her characters' desires and motives (and not just murderous ones). Fort Worth Star-Telegram
  • The Murder Room is James’s most suspenseful, atmospheric novel in years and has no shortage of surprise twists. The New York Times Book Review
  • Another elegant tale of murder, mystery, human misery and the wonder of loveÉ. James explores the lowest of depravity . . . with the most elegant prose. USA Today
  • Riveting . . . exquisite, absorbing. . . . The Murder Room possesses everything we desire, no, long for, from James. The Miami Herald
  • Elegant . . . smooth storytelling. . . . The culprit remains convincingly elusive until the end. Houston Chronicle
  • A perfectly cozy read for a cold, foggy night when you feel like curling up with a cup of tea. Entertainment Weekly
  • Sophisticated literary entertainment. . . . Masterful detailing of people and place. . . . Acute psychological portraits. . . . [A] carefully crafted tale. The Orlando Sentinel
  • Literate prose, sprinkled with enough deliciously British details to satisfy even the most diehard Anglophile. . . . [James is] an enormously appealing novelist. The Boston Globe

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Erica | 2/12/2014

    " a solid read. great for mornings on the elliptical. sure, perhaps not the most challenging of books, but as mysteries go, i enjoyed it, and who can resist a murder set in modern day england? plus the writing's pretty decent for what some could consider a beach read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Rebecca | 2/4/2014

    " Thought it was good. Didn't realize there was a club of 'super sleuths'. Seeing how they figured out and decided on what the person was like or what the victim looked like was fascinating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Richard | 2/1/2014

    " So, this is the fourth book by P.D. James that I've read in the past month or two, and I feel about it exactly as I felt about the first three; engaging and intelligent writing style, well-drawn characters, compulsively readable, and a crappy ending. Why are her endings so blah? They're so anti-climactic. I end up feeling like, "Oh. I see. So that was who did it. And that was why. Humph, well, okay." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by 2bnallegory | 1/29/2014

    " This was a good story, but somewhat slow and I did not care for the last death. "

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