The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

P.D. James

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The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time swift cunning murder mysteries two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh that together to borrow the author

  • Title: The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories
  • Author: P.D. James
  • ISBN: 9780451494146
  • Page: 500
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time swift, cunning murder mysteries two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh that together, to borrow the author s own word, add up to a delightful entertainment The newly appointed Sgt Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is pure Agatha Christie A pedantic, respectable,Four previously uncollected stories from one of the great mystery writers of our time swift, cunning murder mysteries two of which feature the young Adam Dalgliesh that together, to borrow the author s own word, add up to a delightful entertainment The newly appointed Sgt Dalgliesh is drawn into a case that is pure Agatha Christie A pedantic, respectable, censorious clerk s secret taste for pornography is only the first reason he finds for not coming forward as a witness to a murder A best selling crime novelist describes the crime she herself was involved in fifty years earlier Dalgliesh s godfather implores him to reinvestigate a notorious murder that might ease the godfather s mind about an inheritance, but which will reveal a truth that even the supremely upstanding Adam Dalgliesh will keep to himself Each of these stories is as playful as it is ingeniously plotted, the author s sly humor as evident as her hallmark narrative elegance and shrewd understanding of some of the most complex not to say the most damning aspects of human nature A treat for P D James s legions of fans and anyone who enjoys the pleasures of a masterfully wrought whodunit.From the Hardcover edition.

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    One thought on “The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories

    1. Diane S ☔ on said:

      3.5 This author was a treasure, I feel as if I grew up with and alongside her stories. Apparently at her death it was discovered that she left twenty short stories. This short book contains four of them. Loved the introduction by Vale McDermid, a wonderful author in her own right. The first story, the title story, had a zinger of a surprise ending. Two stories feature a young Adam Dalgliesh, and though the second was predictable, easily solvable, the first was great. Old fashioned mystery with a [...]

    2. Marita on said:

      Ideally to be read at Christmas time (hint: mistletoe), these four short stories are excellent palate cleansers between heavier or longer literary fare.###The Mistletoe MurderAn unexpected invitation to a family Christmas celebration leads to murder. The last paragraph of this story left me gobsmacked! ###A Very Commonplace MurderIt had all happened by chance. By chance he discovered and indulged his voyeuristic tendencies. Who knows what he might witness?Twists and turns galore###The Boxdale In [...]

    3. Vivian on said:

      Cozy mystery meets satire.I selected this book for THE MISTLETOE MURDER short story for my Yule season reading. I may or may not read the other selections at a later date. Shocking to have to admit, but this is my first PD James story. I know, I know. What have I been doing with my life? Nonetheless, I am happy to have begun the author journey with this little gem. An English country manor Christmas setting shines with it's ragged World War II charm as the first person narrator takes us through [...]

    4. Lotte on said:

      4.25/5! Mostly cozy (and one not so cozy!) Christmas mysteries filled with lots of little twists and surprises. This was the perfect read for this time of the year.

    5. Trish on said:

      The 2016 Preface to this collection of stories invokes Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy Sayers, and Agatha Christie. James mentions that short story mysteries are challenging to write because the author must give their psychological studies an immediate point, without all the space that a novel presents, all in service to the surprise and satisfaction of the reader. Agatha Christie is explicitly mentioned in at least one story, but it is Sayers and Conan Doyle who I think are evoked [...]

    6. HBalikov on said:

      Each Christmas my wife and I try to find something to read that enhances the holiday. This was her gift to me.First: I enjoyed reading the storiesSecond: Part of the enjoyment was the obvious self-reflection of the characters and the author of their involvement in the classic British mystery formatThird: There were some surprises and satisfactions along the wayFourth: I would have enjoyed these more if Christmas had really been inoculated more fully into each You may feel differently. My thanks [...]

    7. Rachel Hall on said:

      This anthology of four previously uncollected short stories based around a common theme of Christmas is my first read of P.D. James and this slimline volume was absolute reading indulgence! Complete with a foreword by Val McDermid which points out that despite “knowing nods to the conventions of traditional ‘cosy’ mystery stories”, P.D. James was in actual fact anything but a cosy crime author and confronted the darkness in humanity head-on. In common with other British authors of her ti [...]

    8. Eve on said:

      This makes my third P.D. James book in about a month's time, and I really enjoy her writing style! She combines the Golden Age of mystery with the contemporary, and it's a wonderful marriage. What I could never put my finger on before was highlighted in the Foreward to this volume of short stories written by Val McDermid, and it's the reason why I really love her writing style!"Those settings are another hallmark of P.D. James's work. Her stories are always very specifically located in terms bot [...]

    9. Dana on said:

      I enjoyed these little short stories for this time of the year - when life can get hectic!There are four cozy short story mysteries in the book, all taking place at Christmastime. I thought the last two were better than the first I'm rating this somewhere around the middle at 3.5 stars.

    10. Rita on said:

      This audiobook was my first selection received from Overdrive. I'm new to this app and I had fun putting holds on all sorts of ebooks and audiobooks.I have read almost everything by P.D. James but I was very glad that I hadn't purchased this book or put it on my Christmas wish list, even as a remembrance. I found it it all not that good. It took me a short time to listen to. Her estate must be publishing everything they can find.There are only four short stories. One featured a younger Dalgliesh [...]

    11. Carolyn on said:

      This little gem is an enjoyable collection of four short stories from the late P.D. James, a master (mistress?) of the genre. Three of them were set at Christmas and two featured a young Adam Dagliesh, so was an excellent choice for a pleasurable Christmas holiday read.

    12. Ammar on said:

      This short collection of four mysteries written by P.D. James and three of them are Christmas themed. The Mistletoe Murder, The Boxdale Inheritance, and The Twelve Clues of Christmas. The last two are her strongest stories in this collection and they feature detective Adam Dalgliesh. They are beautifully crafted, and they keep you guessing till the last phrase. I enjoyed how she would insert a specific time and place for each story, each setting was life like and drawn from real places and perha [...]

    13. Sue on said:

      It has been nice dipping into the work of P.D. James again with these four Christmas-themed stories. What a joy to read these, including one taken from her own life. I've been reading her mystery novels for years and likely will return to some and read them again. I've always liked Adam Dalgliesh on the page or in the televised series. He appears in two of these tales. James definitely will be missed but this is a nice reminder of her talents and characters. She remains as close as the nearby li [...]

    14. Obsidian on said:

      This collection reminded me a lot of Agatha Christie. I thought the first short story was very cleverly done and for me afterwards things just kind of went downhill from there. Two of the stories stars PD James, Adam Dagliesh characters. I found him interesting enough to pick up one of her longer books starring him. Other than that, a good way to pass the time.This was a very short collection (only 176 pages) so I was able to read through these four short stories fairly quickly. All of them take [...]

    15. Bam on said:

      *My rating falls between 3 and 3.5 stars on this one. Four short stories by the late P.D James are contained in this slim volume. The first, the eponymous "Mistletoe Murder," is a tale told by someone 52 years after an unsolved murder was committed, when everyone else involved has passed away. Now the truth can be told. In story #2, "A Very Commonplace Murder," a man can give the accused an alibi for the murder of his lover, but to do so would put his own career in jeopardy. A crisis of conscien [...]

    16. Rose on said:

      First time I have read a PD James book. A very enjoyable little book of 4 short stories. It does entice me to search out more of her works.

    17. Cindy Rollins on said:

      I hesitated to read this last year because it had mixed reviews and I am such a fan of PD James, I hated to be disappointed in her. Of course, I was not disappointed. These stories are all excellent and at least two are brilliant. The second story, A Very Commonplace Murder, while rather distasteful, is exceptional as a crime story. This was the perfect companion for the dark, cold evenings of late autumn, sitting by the Christmas tree with a cup of strong, hot tea.

    18. Zuky the BookBum on said:

      I read this novel as my BookBum Club book for November! Check out this page to find out more about my very own Book Club!I decided I wanted to read a seasonal book this year and I found this one lurking on my shelf from last year when I also decided I wanted to read a seasonal book… but didn’t.I’ve reviewed each of the short stories one-by-one. There’s only 4, so it’s not a massive review, don’t worry!~The Mistletoe MurderI really loved the writing in this one! It hooked me straight [...]

    19. Leah on said:

      Festive felons PD James was one of my favourite crime writers for many years, so much so that for a couple of decades she was one of my elite group of “must read on publication day” authors even back when this meant paying expensive hardback prices rather than waiting for up to a year for the paperback to come out. It's been a long time though since I revisited her, so I was keen to see if her magic would still work for me in this collection. There are four stories in the audiobook, e [...]

    20. Judy on said:

      It's the busy time of year even for us retired folks because it seems to take longer to do everything. This year I was able to get myself in gear early enough to check out short, easily-read (or listened to) Christmas books. P.D. James’ name caught my eye as I am a big fan of hers. It wasn't until I began listening that I realized this was a collection of short stories. I usually avoid short stories; I don't like getting into a story, acquainted with characters just to have the story end. Howe [...]

    21. Amina on said:

      Four short stories set at christmas time, the first one was abit Agatha Christiesh, but was easy to figure out. The second one was not my cuppa, felt completely disconnected; But the whole thing was pretty enjoyable.

    22. Kirsty on said:

      I felt that P.D. James' posthumous The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories would provide the perfect almost-Yuletide read. I must admit that I've not read many of her books yet (in fact, so far I've only got to a shocking three of them). Here, two standalone short stories are presented - 'The Mistletoe Murder' and 'A Very Commonplace Murder', both of which are wonderful - along with two which feature Adam Dalgliesh, the detective whom many would argue James is most well-known for creating.James' [...]

    23. Barbara on said:

      This short volume of short stories is perfect for the holiday season. It includes a forward by Val McDermid. P.D. James pays homage to Agatha Christie not simply with the settings of two of the stories - English country manors - but mentioning her in stories. Adam Dalgleish, Jame's Met Detective, features in two of the stories. The solutions to the crimes are surprising, making this collection a great read.

    24. Fictionophile on said:

      This book is a final gift from the esteemed novelist P.D. James. A woman who understood the detective story inside and out, who had a deep understanding of human nature, and melded those two with a writing ability that continues to be coveted by many. With a foreword written by the respected and talented author, Val McDermid, this book of four Christmas-themed mystery stories is a true gem. It will be especially appreciated by fans of James’ Adam Dalgliesh mystery series, as two of the short s [...]

    25. Fiona MacDonald on said:

      I've always shied away from P.D. James and I don't really know why. I suppose it's because I'm not too keen on modern crime detectives and find classic ones more interesting. Either way, my eye was constantly drawn to this collection of Christmassy crime stories so I thought I would give it a go as it wasn't very long. What a treat I was in for. I had no idea James was so good at writing and so precise when creating a scene! The title story was wonderful, with all the components of a good classi [...]

    26. Anbolyn on said:

      I am giving this 4 stars perhaps not for the pure quality of the stories (I'd probably give them a 3.5) but for the fact that this is the last opportunity to enjoy a new offering from the wonderful P.D. James. I've long been a fan of her Adam Dalgliesh mystery series and two of the four stories in this slim volume feature him, though my favorite story (the title one), is not a Dalgliesh story -- it is an eerie and atmospheric tale set at a remote country house at Christmastime during WWII. It ha [...]

    27. Charlotte Smith on said:

      Not a bad book really enjoyed the 4 short stories. Two stories are Adam dalgliesh as well.

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