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Publisher's Summary

Handsome Mark Callender did not die the way a young gentleman should. He was found hanged, a lipstick stain on his mouth and a nude girl's picture nearby. The official verdict was suicide, but his aristocratic father suspects murder. He hires Cordelia Gray, a fledgling detective, to investigate. And as she follows a trail of guilty secrets and shameful sins, she concludes that the nicest people do the nastiest things!
©2001 P.D. James (P)2008 Books on Tape
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Holly Helscher on 01-20-09

quite suitable

Having been left a struggling detective agency, 22-year old Cordelia Gray sets out on her first case to discover why Mark Callander killed himself. Along the way not only does she discover the reasons behind his death, but she comes up against some very curious circumstances which put her in danger. Toward the end Cordelia makes some decisions which put her directly in the path of Adam Dalgliesh, who makes a cameo appearance in the book. Overall, P.D. James does quite a suitable job in this book which now can be considered a period piece. But its age can't disguise the twists and turns that have made the author famous. Penelope Dellaporta reads the book with panache and a clear, crisp tone, keeping the English voices distinct. This is a definite plus in a book of this style. Don't let the age of the book keep you away. It's worth it.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Marie on 11-03-15

Engaging storytelling and a mystery

I really enjoyed listening to this book. I even liked the characters, who seemed very real.
This was my first PD James mystery, as I listed to another of her books, "Children of Men," and wanted a bit more. The detective Cordelia seemed very real, and not some super sleuth or bored aristocrat slumming it or wonder woman. You or I could be her, provided that we're practical unsentimental workaholics.
My only irritation was I couldn't seem to tell what year it was until later into the story. I couldn't imagine this taking place in the now, with some antiquated things in the book, so I thought it was post WW2. Well it was a little later than that and I had to readjust the image I had in that "theater of the mind" when I had to go late 60s.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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