Wednesday, May 31, 2006


This selection was recently a Popular Library ("7-day") book. The reviewer wanted to make sure you did not miss this noteworthy title. You can now check it out for 21 days!

Barbara Wallace reviews THE LIGHTHOUSE by P.D. James (Knopf, 2005).

I loved reading this beautifully-written British murder mystery set on a private-island refuge off the coast of Cornwall. Reading this book was like taking a lovely little vacation to a fabulous remote spot except for the . . . um . . . murder. With a small contingent of two other detectives, Commander Adam Dagliesh investigates the death of Nathan Oliver, one of England’s most renowned authors. Oliver is a real creep and everyone, including perhaps his own daughter, is glad to have him gone. Nearly all the inhabitants of Combe Island, staff and guests, are found to have plenty of good reasons to want the victim dead. And then of course there is the delight of unraveling all the fascinating connections between the characters. There are lots of other British murder mysteries like this one, but finding a new one is always a treat.

Barbara Wallace, Randolph Branch Library

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Barbara wrote: "There are lots of other British murder mysteries like this one...."

The remote setting makes me wonder if The Lighthouse is a "cozy"?

There is no polite way to ask this question: after all these years, is this author the original P.D. James (for example, someone else now writes under the name of horror author "V.C. Andrews"?
That's a good question given the setting but I can assure you that this book is anything but "cozy" with its murders by hanging and by getting one's face pounded. Yuck! And neither are the characters cozy - some are extremely "well-bred" but none are particularly well-behaved. They are crusty Brits with terrible secret pasts!

And, as for your second question, she is the original P.D. James. (See James is a very old woman who has written 19 books in her second career as an author. Her previous career of thirty years was in various departments of the British Civil Service so she is well-qualified.
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