P D James
This was only my second experience of P D James. Being a Jane Austen fan, Death at Pemberley was my first. So I had no expectations. I enjoyed Death at Pemberley, but I could never be sure if this was due to James storytelling or my love of all things Bennet and Darcy.
I can honestly admit, I loved it. James has a way of a setting a scene like no other. I could easily picture the Hall in which she went to stay as a young widower, her vivid descriptions pulled me in and got me trying to seek out clues and figure out the mysteries alongside our heros and heroine. I must admit, as a lover of murder mysteries and crime dramas, I thought I knew a thing or too, but I was tricked and sailed alonged with the rest of the captivated audience.
Mistletoe murder combines all my loves into one, a history of mystery and intriguing characters, a murder, a heroine and Christmas! The story may be similar to other murder mysteries but James tells it in such a way, that when the twist comes, it even fooled me. I saved this book for my lunchtime reading at work, but as I neared the end of the first story, I found I needed to know, so I took it home and completed the first story that evening.
The second story is just as intriguing and shocking. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first because I do love a story where you can love the titular character. There was nothing you could like about Ernest Gabriel, I think he was written to be a character you shouldn’t like or feel anything for, but I do love to get attached to my book characters. However, the story still kept me on the edge of my seat and even surprised me at the end. I honestly did not see the end coming, which thinking about it, was probably quite naive of me, but this just made my experience of the story even better.
For me, the third story is close to my heart as it reminds me of my parents, and is the driving force for choosing my next book. My parents watched Dalgleish on the TVs, and although I never got into that specific programme, they are the reason I love mysteries, crime dramas, thrillers and good old “who dunnits”. I would love to read more of the Dalgleish series. As I said I love a good character, and the little glimpse I got in this short story is begging me for more. The short story was incredible and really gave a glimpse into the character, and how he works. I also loved the story within this one, the idea of secrets and lies going hidden for years, is exciting and kept me interested right until the end.
The final story in the book, for me was the low point. I did not enjoy it as much, I didn’t feel the suspense or intrigue I had felt with the others. I am a lover on ending on a high, and I don’t believe this booklet did that. The story was not bad, but it gave no insight into characters, I didn’t connect with the story like I had the others. The general storytelling was missing a little bit of James usual vivid atmosphere and descriptions. It also didn’t take much for me to guess what was happening before it happened, which I like to try to solve along with the detective/main character etc.
Overall, this collection of short stories was well worth the money and gave me an insight into P D James that until now I had been missing. I can’t wait until my next visit to the book store, a P D James novel will definitely be on my list. My one objection, is in part due to the last short story, although I guess it was a little evident in all the stories. They sometimes felt a little rushed, sometimes the build up of a mystery, and the character development is what makes a story, and within a short story, there isn’t always time for that. I will definitely be recommending this book to family and friends, and I am on the look out for my next read.
I am giving this collection of short stories:
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ★ (4/5 stars)
Well worth a read, and good for a quick read on your lunch break.