P. D. James

(b. 1920) Baroness James of Holland Park, English writer of detective fiction

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(1920– ),

crime writer, born in Oxford, educated at Cambridge Girls' High School. Her work in the Home Office, where she was involved with forensic investigations, has given her fiction a strong factual underpinning. Her first novel, Cover Her Face (1962), introduced the character of Commander Adam Dalgliesh, a police detective who is also a published poet. Further novels featuring the romantic, emotionally fractured Dalgliesh include Shroud for a Nightingale (1971), The Black Tower (1975), A Taste for Death (1986), Devices and Desires (1989), Original Sin (1994), Death in Holy Orders (2001), The Murder Room (2003), and The Lighthouse (2005). Her other main character, the female private detective Cordelia Gray, features in An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972) and The Skull Beneath the Skin (1982). Innocent Blood (1980) is a psychological thriller, while The Children of Men (1992) is a dystopian novel set in the year 2021.

Subjects: Literature.

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