Monday, July 11, 2011

Cover Her Face

Cover Her Face. P.D. James. 1962. 254 pages.

Exactly three months before the killing at Martingale Mrs Maxie gave a dinner party. Years later, when the trial was a half-forgotten scandal and the headlines were yellowing on the newspaper lining of cupboard drawers, Eleanor Maxie looked back on that spring evening as the opening scene of tragedy. Memory, selective and perverse, invested what had been a perfectly ordinary dinner party with an aura of foreboding and unease. It became, in retrospect, a ritual gathering under one roof of victim and suspects, a staged preliminary to murder. 

I enjoyed P.D. James' Cover Her Face. This mystery is the first novel starring detective Adam Dalgliesh. I'm guessing that I'll love other titles in the series even more.

As is the case in any mystery series, I think readers only grow in appreciation as they read on. There's a big difference, in my opinion, between reading your first Miss Marple or your first Rex Stout, and reading your sixth. You just grow to appreciate the little things more and more as you go on. So I do have high hopes for the series. I enjoyed it enough that I'd WANT to read more in the series.

I never know quite how much to say about any murder mystery I review. I could tell you a little bit about the victim, a little bit about the suspects, a little bit about the detectives on the case. But when it comes down to it, it's not those elements that will "sell" you on the novel itself. You either like mysteries or you don't.

Cover Her Face is a nice cozy mystery set in England. The Maxie family is at the center of this mystery. For it is their somewhat-newly-hired-maid, Sally Jupp, that is the victim. The opening chapters show just how many within the family, within the community, disliked her. Some thought this single mom had a bad attitude, an inappropriate smugness perhaps. The Maxie family definitely isn't perfect--it doesn't take the detective, Adam Dalgliesh, long to figure that one out! So many people within the family--or connected to the family--are lying! But what are they lying about? what are they concealing?

For me, what makes ANY mystery novel enjoyable is the investigative process. I LOVE to witness the suspects being interviewed and interrogated. I love to hear the detectives talk about their theories as to who did it and why. And I did enjoy Adam Dalgliesh, I did.

While I wouldn't say this novel is my favorite mystery that I've read this year, it was a good read, very enjoyable, a nice beginning.

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Cindy Swanson 8:49 PM  

I've read and enjoyed several PD James books as well--right now I'm reading "The Lighthouse"!

I have a bit of a crush on Adam Dalgleish. :)

Cindy @ Cindy's Book Club

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

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I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

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