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Extended Audio Sample The Private Patient, 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 (6,272 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: P. D. James Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Adam Dalgliesh Mysteries Release Date:
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Cheverell Manor is a lovely old house in deepest Dorset, now a private clinic belonging to the famous plastic surgeon George Chandler-Powell. When investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn arrived there one late autumn afternoon, scheduled to have a disfiguring and long-standing facial scar removed, she had every expectation of a successful operation and a pleasant week recuperating.

Two days later she was dead, the victim of murder.

To Commander Adam Dalgliesh, who with his team is called in to investigate the case, the mystery at first seems absolute. Few things about it make sense. Yet as the detectives begin probing the lives and backgrounds of those connected with the dead woman—the surgeon, members of the manor staff, close acquaintances—suspects multiply all too rapidly. New confusions arise, including strange historical overtones of madness and a lynching 350 years in the past. Then there is a second murder, and Dalgliesh finds himself confronted by issues even more challenging than innocence or guilt.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The traditional comforts of the British country house mystery—puzzling plot, attractive setting, brainy detective, interesting characters—spill from P. D. James’s latest novel, The Private Patient, like harvest bounty from a cornucopia.”

    New York Times

  • “No one is better than James at maintaining this tension between the cozy and the frightful.”

    Washington Post

  • “[James is] a master…Nothing is as it first appears.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Brilliant…A jewel in [James’s] crown.”

    Pittsburg Post-Gazette

  • “Intricately plotted and suspenseful…James’ clear-eyed, often sardonic prose describes rooms and people exactly as she sees them.”

    Providence Journal

  • “Elegant…Compelling…Continues the James tradition…She comfortably tackles timeless concerns.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “The ghost of literature past haunts P.D. James’ newest novel…The novel’s pointed descriptions, its gothic settings, and its theme exploring the insidious legacies of family and class violence suggest Charles Dickens may have rested a hand on James’ shoulder while she wrote this terrific literary mystery.”

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

  • “James is in excellent form…[She] offers her readers intelligence, wisdom, dry humor, knowledge both deep and wide-ranging, humanity, compassion, understanding, and a wonderful way with words…James is one of Britain’s greatest living writers.”

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Selected for the December 2008 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Evelyn | 2/13/2014

    " My first book of the year - a well written mystery. An Adam Dalgliesh mystery. good plot, good writing. A little slow in some parts, but if you like a "who dunnit", then read this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Trina | 2/7/2014

    " I really enjoyed this mystery. Thrilling, interesting, dark in a good way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marva | 2/6/2014

    " The grand dame of english mysteries. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Caryn | 1/24/2014

    " She is one of my favorite British mystery writers. There is an ongoing character from the metro police in London. This murder takes place in the country at a private clinic where a patient is having surgery to remove a scar and winds up murdered. There are plenty of suspects and plenty of motives. It keeps you guessing. "

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