Read A Taste For Death by P.D. James Online


When the quiet Little Vestry of St. Matthew's Church becomes the blood-soaked scene of a double murder, Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh faces an intriguing conundrum: How did an upper-crust Minister come to lie, slit throat to slit throat, next to a neighborhood derelict of the lowest order? Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless mWhen the quiet Little Vestry of St. Matthew's Church becomes the blood-soaked scene of a double murder, Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh faces an intriguing conundrum: How did an upper-crust Minister come to lie, slit throat to slit throat, next to a neighborhood derelict of the lowest order? Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless motives, Dalgliesh explores the sinister web spun around a half-burnt diary and a violet-eyed widow who is pregnant and full of malice--all the while hoping to fill the gap of logic that joined these two disparate men in bright red death. . . ....

Title : A Taste For Death
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345429162
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 0 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

A Taste For Death Reviews

  • Becca
    2019-03-20 00:28

    This had more twists than the average P.D. James novel. The action really picked up in the last hundred pages. James pays a lot of attention here to providing complete arcs for minor characters, which is a nice touch. The book doesn't just end when the detectives figure out who the murderer is. The characters continue to make choices, trying to make the best of their circumstances, and we get to explore the effects of all these actions. It's even poignant. Good stuff.

  • Ching-Bing-Ping
    2019-03-03 03:40

    P.D. James is considered as a worthy successor to Agatha Christie and is widely regarded as one of the most celebrated crime novelists of our generation. But, in spite of all that I have never enjoyed reading her books. I mostly found them boring and bland.Now, the book. The edition I was reading was a TV tie-up, with faces of two actors who played character parts in the dramatization of the novel and it was 552 pages long.Paul Berowne who is an MP and a former cabinet minister is found dead in a church, with his throat slit with his own razor, along with fellow victim, Harry Mack, a homeless tramp. This incident brings Commander Adam Dalgleish, poet and detective into the scenario to find out who was responsible for the dirty deed. He, with his team sets about his task and in the process involves Berowne’s mother, his wife and her lover, daughter, his mistress and others. The plot and the motive was very simple. It all came down to money and jealousy. So, my problem with this book was that 552 pages were too much for this book. According to me the whole matter could and should have been condensed to a maximum of 350 pages.I like my mystery novels with a liberal dose of clues and twists. I do like the psychological part, but an abundance of it turns the whole novel boring. In this case, there was serious lack of clues and twists, with an abundance of psychology. Every character was thinking, even the police was thinking, and amidst all these thought process, I could hardly find any useful bit related to the murder or the investigation. And there were conversations, long long boring conversations. The whole thing seemed that everyone was chatting, instead of providing clues or pointing out suspects they were all busy chatting!!!The ending when it came, almost seemed a blessing!!! Literally it dropped out of the sky. All those pages, full of room descriptions and insightful chats and detailed characterisations etc etc were just there to fill up the pages. I felt cheated. 552 pages and I get this???? And, there was my nemesis to deal with, super long paragraphs!!!!

  • Lobstergirl
    2019-02-24 07:34

    A just-retired, blue-blooded government minister and a tramp have their throats cut in a church in James's well plotted, nicely paced mystery. I'm a big fan of James, and of her lovely Dalgliesh in particular. She allows Dalgliesh and his subordinate, Constable Kate Miskin, to be thoughtful, well-rounded characters, deserving of our admiration. Nearly everyone else in the book (along with nearly everyone else in every P.D. James book) comes in for very harsh treatment. James is a deeply misanthropic writer. (I'm not a fan of the misanthropy.) The upper classes are chilly and condescending; the lower classes, especially the women, are sour, or bitter, or have given up on happiness. The proles, and the elderly, are always cruelly sketched:She was, he guessed, in her late thirties, and was uncompromisingly plain in a way it struck him few women nowadays were. A small sharp nose was imbedded between pudgy cheeks on which the threads of broken veins were emphasized rather than disguised by a thin crust of make-up. She had a primly censorious mouth above a slightly receding chin already showing the first slackness of a dewlap. Her hair, which looked as if it had been inexpertly permed, was pulled back at the sides but frizzed over the high forehead rather in the poodle-like fashion of an Edwardian. (Evelyn Matlock, p. 93)Her skin was cleft with deep lines running from the jaw to the high jutting cheekbones. It was as if two palms had been placed against the frail skin and forced it upwards, so that he saw with a shock of premonitory recognition the shine of the skull beneath the skin. The scrolls of the ears flat against the sides of the skull were so large that they looked like abnormal excrescences. (Ursula Berowne, p. 96)The flesh seemed to have slipped from the bones so that the beaked nose cleft the skin sharp as a knife edge while the jowls hung in slack, mottled pouches like the flesh of a plucked fowl. The flaming Massingham hair was bleached and faded now to the colour and texture of straw. He thought: He looks as archaic as a Rowlandson drawing. Old age makes caricatures of us all. No wonder we dread it. (Lord Dungannon, p. 168)A mouth is never merely a mouth, but "a moist focus of emotion." A character she doesn't like just can't win. "His tone was almost studiously polite, but neither sardonic nor provocatively obsequious." Really? You're going to hold that against him?In the weirdest, most misogynistic category, this would probably be the winner: She had the drained look which Sarah had seen on the face of a friend who had recently given birth, bright-eyed, but bloated and somehow diminished, as if virtue had gone out of her. (Evelyn Matlock, p. 393)

  • Craig Monson
    2019-02-28 05:42

    We know within half-a-dozen words that persons have been done to death. In a style worlds away from the twitterverse, P.D. James continues for eight pages before dishing up satisfaction for any who live by plot alone. In the meantime she takes whatever time she needs to set the scene of the crime (a sortof worse-for-wear All Saints Margaret Street, translated to a seedy neighborhood around Paddington Basin, near Paddington Station) and to introduce an incongruous pair: a spinster church lady, whose preoccupation with church vestries and high church ritual have not diverted her from Matthew 19:14, and her forsaken, independent eight-year-old protector. Only after we’ve come to care a bit about this odd couple and been kept in suspense, through a dark tunnel and past weedy thickets, does James open a door to reveal the bloody scene. It’s classic P.D. James. Some people have time for it; others don’t.After that, the spinster and the eight-year-old will largely vanish until the denouement, after which (to her credit) James sorts them out in a way more realistic than heart warmingly satisfying. In the intervening several hundred pages Adam Dalgliesh must confront both a mounting pile of corpses and the largely (if not wholly) unlikable members of a titled British family variously to blame. A female Inspector Miskin assists the Superintendant and occasionally eclipses him, which happily enriches the interaction of personalities and points-of-view. I’m guessing/hoping the author continued to play them off against one another as Dalgliesh continued his unending fight against crime in later books. Restive readers longing for a little less talk and a lot more action should welcome the plot’s later twisty turns and gunfire, though they should be forewarned that James will also take the time to pick up some of the pieces afterward.

  • Ryan
    2019-03-05 07:30

    This was my first P.D. James mystery, and it was a fine book. James' detective, Adam Dalgliesh, is apparently a poet (we are told this again and again) but we never see him writing or read any of his verse. Maybe these are present in other Dalgliesh books.James is a fine writer, but she used one narrative tool in this book of which I'm not a huge fan. The reader doesn't have complete access to the thoughts of each character, but we do have access to some of their longings, musings, and wonderings. It seems these are present just to advance the whodunit aspect of the book. So, we will read about one of the detectives putting some of the pieces of the puzzle together, thinking that the murderer must be X. That's a fine tool to use, but it appears overused here. It got to be a bit much.This was a fine book, but I'm not sure I'll read more of P.D. James. There are lots of other excellent books in the world to read.

  • Laura
    2019-03-01 04:50

    Perhaps classic murder mysteries are just not my genre. I found this book PAINFUL to read. For me it was predictable, boring and totally unsuspenseful. I never came to care about the characters. There were endless paragraphs of physical description, mostly about furniture. Ugh! The emotional breakdowns at the end were beyond unrealistic. I'm not sure how people like this stuff, but obviously they do, so what do I know?

  • Niki
    2019-03-25 04:40

    I gave it 3 stars because of the writing that is beautiful, but I would prefer only 2 stars because it's becoming boring because of too many details

  • Kelly
    2019-03-21 02:40

    Couldn't even read this on the plane with no other books on me. I watched soccer on the tv instead. SOCCER was the better option, folks. Frankly finding it hard to understand why this woman is considered such an amazing mystery writer. The fourth time they reentered the church and the light coming through the windows was given four paragraphs I knew this wasn't for me.

  • John Frankham
    2019-03-04 00:49

    First read this on publication in 1986, having read all the preceding Adam Dalgleish series avidly. I stopped after this one! A superb writer, with great descriptive powers and psychological insight into her wide range of characters, the increasingly morbid descriptions of murders, etc, became distasteful, as if she felt the need to match her more gruesome competitors. Also, beneath her insights lies a nasty contempt for the lives of those without sufficient class/breeding, and this seems not just to be a realistic view given to particular characters, but her own basic view of humanity. A shame.

  • Richa
    2019-03-11 00:29

    PD James has lingered a lot. She delves so much on each scene, it becomes really boring at times. For instance, at the very beginning, she has gone into so much of detail about the dead bodies and their setting that it has actually become extremely morbid.It is very generous of her to want to share her vision completely, to the last minute detail, but it negatively affects the mind's ability to hold interest in her work. There should have been some leeway given to the reader to imagine some part of the story. She snuffs off that desire by her constant detailing.Having said this, I can credit her with successfully managing to get a human element in her narrative. She succeeds in involving you in her characters. You can understand her characters and all makes sense eventually.The mystery wasn't ground breaking. It started vague and slow, but it picks up steam as it progresses. When the end came, it was quite predictable.This could have been a good read, if it wasn't so long and descriptive. Accepting that the intentions were honourable, the editors should have intervened to make it more crisp, as a mystery need be.

  • Kay
    2019-03-14 05:35

    This was the second book I'd read in the Adam Dalgleish series. I nearly finished reading it a few months ago and, admittedly, struggled through it so much that I started it all over again. This time, I got through it. However, I found that I kept losing track of all the characters and had to keep referring back in the book to find out how each was related to the other. The primary story involved the finding of two dead people in a church vestry by an older female parishioner and a young boy she had befriended. The deceased were recently-resigned British political figure and a street bum. Dalgleish and his sidekicks go on to investigate the complex scene to discover whether it was murder, suicide, and the many people who might have been involved. I wouldn't recommend this particular story to new readers of P.D. James. Save it for a time when you've gobbled up other stories of hers.

  • Mary
    2019-03-01 02:42

    This is #7 of the Adam Dalgliesh cop-poet mysteries series (and I think the first mystery that I have read by the very prolific PD James). While I think having the protagonist be both a cop and published poet is interesting (from a character development perspective), I found the two elements to be grating at times (e.g., when Adam goes off on wordy, literary tangents, or the author gives long descriptions of Victorian architecture, etc). However, I did find the plot itself to be pretty good, with a few twists and turns along the way, and I would definitely read another mystery story by PD James.

  • James
    2019-03-09 06:49

    This is a superbly clever crime novel. While the who and how around the murder of a former minister and a tramp found in the vestry of a neglected church is interesting and satisfying, what's sets the book apart is the intelligence and subtlety with which the author draws her characters. Usually even well plotted crime novels depend on a coterie of stereotypes who collectively ham it up for the readers in various wince worthy ways. With this novel I came for the thrills of murder most gruesome but stayed for the wonderfully developed characters. Will definetly read more of this series.

  • Yelena
    2019-02-25 07:47

    As always, PD James crafts her characters with such richness and psychological depth, that the story line almost becomes irrelevant.

  • Deirdre
    2019-03-06 01:37

    The past is indeed another country.

  • Laura Garcia
    2019-03-26 08:42

    I though it was a good book

  • John
    2019-02-23 08:42

    A very good mystery. But the author goes again and again into some sort of psychological analysis of each and every word, look and gesture of each character over and over again. Seemed excessive and made the book too long.

  • Ilinca
    2019-03-12 08:50

    I do pick up new James novels from time to time, but always with the same misgivings. It's a bit like not giving up on visiting your alcoholic brother, though you know he's most likely going to start sober and be drunk and unreliable by the time the visit draws to a close.I do like P.D. James quite a bit, but I love Agatha Christie. P.D. James is a much better writer; Christie is a much better plotter. With James's mysteries, even the best ones, you never know, and can never trust, where the plot is going: there might always be a new element added right before the end that completely twists the path of the story. With Christie's best mysteries, clues are faithfully laid at the reader's feet, cumulatively and with little trickery. *** minor spoilers ahead *** A Taste for Death is a great example: it's well written, captivating, then a new witness steps in close to the end. New lines of inquiry open up all the time. So there is no element of suspense - and you kind of want that in a mystery novel, right?

  • Neena
    2019-03-10 04:27

    I read P D James after such a long time and I am glad to have read A Taste for Death. The plot is absolutely gripping and tight. I enjoyed the story until the end though certain things like the way characters behave in different situations seemed contradicted to their expected behaviour. However, P D James has portrayed all the characters beautifully but still I found something lacking in character development. For example, the way Sir Paul did not put fight for his life in the end was confusing in my opinion. He was surely not suicidal. In addition, his choice of Barbara as his wife did not go well the way his character was portrayed by the author. Other than this, I enjoyed the book all the way. There was lots of suspense element present in the story though killer’s motives were bit unjustified. An enjoyable read over all!

  • Chris
    2019-03-17 00:41

    Back when my cable company had the wonderful Ovation channel, I watched an hour long show from the 70s about Agatha Christie. Not because I like Christie; I don't but because as an English major, I felt obliged to watch it (does anyone else feel this way?). One of the people interviewed on the show was P.D. James. Her comments about Christie vocalized why I didn't like Christie (I couldn't quite explain why I didn't like her). Because of this, I picked up A Taste for Death at a used book sale.A Taste for Death isn't James' best book. I think The Murder Room, for instance, is far better. It is still a good book with wonderful characters.

  • Helen
    2019-03-18 05:39

    A writer's writer, P.D. James has a flair for description that makes me swoon. I felt like all her characters were whole people, with complexities and pasts as yet unplumbed. Her mystery was sufficiently confusing; her villain sufficiently disturbing. One thing I noticed is that James has a quirk of saying "denuded." She doesn't rely on it, but does say it with greater frequency than most authors. I found several other little tics like that, none of which were grating, but most of which would be obvious to the attentive reader. This would have been five stars, but James's tendency to ramble (or perhaps my own inattention) sometimes caused me to lose the thread of the tale

  • Dave
    2019-03-17 03:38

    I don't know how I missed PD James's books in my earlier mystery reading--a preference for amateur detectives, I guess. This is an excellent police procedural, if not perfect. The characters are much more real and well-rounded than Agatha Christie, say, and part of the interest is how their personalities and choices serve the same purpose as red herrings did in earlier mysteries. Still, more real doesn't mean completely real, and she sacrifices some of the reality--particularly of the minor or weak characters--for the sake of taking the story where she wants it to go. But I will read more.

  • Rob
    2019-03-10 01:22

    Not my favorite of the Dalgliesh series but wonderful description. Less focus on Adam and more on Kate, who has just been added to the special investigative team. The climatic scene with Kate and her grandmother is highly contrived, yet moving nonetheless. Kate is propping her grandmother (just mugged the day before)on the toilet while held hostage by the novel's murderer when Kate learns for the first time the story of her mother and father.

  • Francis
    2019-02-26 01:24

    PD James writes good mysteries, yet for me, her writing lacks compassion. I get caught up in the mystery but then like her protagonist I find myself becoming detached, unemotional, just doing my job. Doing my job like a consummate professional, intellectually challenged, persevering, robotic, searching for clues, trying to solve puzzles. But then people matter more than the puzzles. Which leaves me intellectually stimulated, yet empty a heartless poet.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-17 08:41

    Convoluted who-dun-it, but James' detailed British descriptions and references were trademark. Occasionally I wished for more brevity, but more often I could appreciate the richness of visual or sensual detail provided by the author and the intellectual complexity of the plot compared to many contemporary mystery novels. I see why P.D. James has the reputation she does and will read more by her.

  • Todd Miles
    2019-03-21 06:48

    PD James is one of my favorite fiction authors. Her ability to craft a mystery is remarkable. Establishing setting and characters is fundamental to the genre of narrative and she does it intentionally and as well as anyone. I have even incorporated some of James's comments on writing into my hermeneutics lectures. Good novel, great novelist.

  • Lizzytish
    2019-03-03 02:26

    One of the better ones. I enjoyed the character development of Kate. This book delves more into life and people and their choices as much as the murder. The descriptions can be a bit overdone and I find myself skimming.

  • Carey Combe
    2019-03-09 07:33

    Great set of characters, good plot, Dalgliesh one of my all-time favourite detectives..

  • Mark Ellis
    2019-03-24 00:47

    Hadn't read PD James in a while. Slightly disappointed with this book which I found overlong and a little slow. It was however beautifully written.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-02-24 07:39

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