2008: 207. The Private Patient

“On November the twenty-first, the day of her forty-seventh birthday, and three weeks and two days before she was murdered, Rhoda Gradwyn went to Harley Street to keep a first appointment with her plastic surgeon…”

The Private Patient, P.D. James


So, I think I was mistaken when I said that The Lighthouse might be the last Dalgliesh mystery -  I think the scuttlebutt is that this might be the last Dalgliesh story.  At least this one ends in a way such that, if there were no more mysteries with the poet-detective*, one would feel a nice sense of closure (just like the last Wimsey mystery ends with Peter and Harriet married.  Sure, you’d like more, but at least it ends with an ending of sorts).    The mystery itself is quite standard James - which is to say, a well written well plotted mystery set largely among the British upper class in a setting with a set number of suspects all in one enclosed space (here a private hospital).  I enjoyed it a bit, and learned a bit about the British health care system, and I recommend it.

* What is with so many mystery novels having policemen who are something other than just policemen? I’m not even talking about amateur detectives like Miss Marple, but isn’t it enough for a policeman to solve crimes without also being a professional poet, or a member of the House of Lords or an amnesiac or suffering from post-traumatic stress, or whatever??


Date/Place Completed:  12/18/08; D.C.

Categories: Fiction; PD James Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017