I am very fond of crime fiction.
I hadn’t read any of P.D. James’s works until I read The Mistletoe Murders which I was given as a present. I immensely enjoyed that series of short Christmas-related stories. So, when I received this P.D. James anthology of short stories I was keen to get into it.
Apart from anything else, I often only get short bursts of time to read, so short stories are great. These stories are very different though, from the Grisham and Coben stories I so often read. Often these start from the end, providing information of the actual conclusion of the crime, including who and how it was done and then work their way back, filling in extra details along the way.
Each of these six short stories were excellent, each enjoyable in their own way, though a few, really were my favourites. ‘The Girl who Loved Graveyards’ was a particularly fascinating story, unfortunately over very quickly, being only twenty-something pages long. Never-the-less, the detail it provided was amazing.
Another, ‘The Murder of Santa Claus’ was one of the longer stories. I probably enjoyed it most. It was of a more conventional whodunnit style, with a linear framework, but also with a hook and twist.
‘The Victim’ was particularly macabre – a story of revenge right from the start. There are three others besides these, each equally cleverly written, but the ones I mention above struck more of a chord for me.
James writes like no other crime writer I have read. Her attention to the characters and plot are impeccable.
I can’t recommend this anthology more highly.