April 22, 2009

The Private Patient - P.D. James

I love reading a good mystery once in a while, especially one by an author that I know won't disappoint.  I think that it is partly the knowledge that there is going to be a resolution in the end, and partly the journey that gets us to that resolution - the thoughts and feelings of everyone involved.  And some of my favourite mystery authors keep the same cast of characters in terms of the investigators, and allow those character's lives to develop over the course of a series.

Some of my favourite mystery authors include P.D. James, Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Elizabeth George, Minette Walters, and of course, some of the grand masters of the genre including Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle.

This latest offering by P.D. James lived up to my expectations - interesting characters, a solid murder mystery, and good writing.  I did correctly guess the murderer about 1/2 way through, but that didn't detract from my enjoyment of the book - as I said, half of the fun comes from the journey to the resolution.  And my favourite detectives - Adam Dalgliesh and Kate Miskin - are back, and I don't think that it is saying too much to reveal that Dalgliesh and Emma get married at the end of the book :-)

The entire book, as well as the ending, beg the question of whether the author is planning another book in the series.  She is 88 years old after all, and still publishing a book every couple of years.  In terms of the characters, there are several hints throughout the book that change is afoot in New Scotland Yard, and that the Special Investigation Squad is about to be dissolved.  Plus with the happy ending of the wedding (as well as Kate and Piers getting together again), the series could end here without leaving faithful readers wanting to know what happened.  We'll have to see what happens...  I, for one, am hoping for more!

So my question for anyone who might be reading this blog - who are your favourite mystery writers, and why?

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