The private patient by British crime fiction author PD
James. I began reading her mysteries when I was in high school along with other
British and French writers that genre. Many of whom were then more famous. She
reached much higher in the English social caste’s becoming a baroness and kept
on going till she died at age 94. She is best known for her fictional detective
Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard. Okay I’ll admit it from the first time I met
this Renaissance man he was the man I wanted to be like. Cool and collected and a poet at that.....
The private patient is the authors final book Dalgliesh series. It begins with a snobby woman named Rhoda Gradwyn a muckraking London journalist. But she is about to enter an clinic for the well to do. There a top-flight plastic surgeon, Mr. George H. Chandler-Powell, will at long last remove a scar from her face.
“Why now, Miss Gradwyn?” the doctor inquires. “Because I no
longer have need of it,” she answers, offering no further explanation. Hm.
Several weeks later the surgery is performed at the doctor’s
picturesque clinic, which is located in the grand old Cheverell Manor in
Dorset. The operation is a success. And then Miss Gradwyn is strangled in the
middle of the night by a mysterious person who wears latex gloves to do the
deed. This is dreadful news, not only for the victim but for her renowned
doctor, too. Having your large home combined with surgical facilities and bedrooms and a murder is bad for business. Lots of potential murderers are introduced into the fray with the manor, and a spooky English countryside.
Here’s the deal, what I liked about this authors writing was clever plots and and fabulous vocabulary. I do like to learn new words. The authors writing style was clearly unique and over the the decades became much more of the same.. Then what happened was
for some readers it grew and grew and for others it went in the opposite
direction to redundancy and disdain dislike. Let me count the ways :-) PD James could
describe any seen in detail even endless detail to the point you could actually
see it feel it and even smell it indoors or outdoors it made no difference and
her descriptions of people in every aspect brought them alive. She combined
that with references to literature, culture and history to an American it was
often fascinating. I took my high school students and spent almost a week there
seeing Shakespeare in the Barbarbacon theater and the British Museumn an as far
north as Stratford-on-Avon. it took the author about one third of the book
before she got to commander Dalgliesh and his special unit of crime solvers. That part I was worn down lost and bored
The interesting part to me was PD bringing the detectives who I knew from previous books, to a conclusion of their story in this her final book. I loved detective Kate whose rise from the bottom to near the top she broke last glass ceilings I revered Dalgliesh as a special talent and the most interesting man who seemed likely to be about to retire and marry
These detective stories used to be called who dun-its. I think this one had too many whos to figure out who dun it with all the clues I’d have to go
back and reread the first seven chapters, maybe twice. Would there be justice
and accountability? Well it was from a British author although they don’t hang
people for treason or murder like they used to. In America I think it would be
unlikely to do that. So I’ll have to watch more TV in the upcoming weeks to show the senate votes'