Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories - PD James

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A superb collection of stories by the master storyteller.

I have always admired James' crime stories. This collection is a testimony to that and here there is not one but about a set of four that showcase how good she is at what she does.

Apparently, these stories were commissioned to be included during christmas time in newspapers. These four gems have been taken out of archives to be published as a book.

Her preface offers an insight into what a short story must do. It reflects her methodical approach bearing in mind the various elements to consider when writing a short story. Brilliant - and for a student of the craft - invaluable.


Mistletoe murder is about a widow being invited to a strange country house for christmas, the second is about an illicit affair that goes wrong. The Boxdale Inheritance is where Dalgeish makes an appearance and stays on to highlight the twelve clues of christmas. 

What works:
  • The stories showcase her ability as a good storyteller. They are atmospheric, strange yet they highlight the human tendency and the way the mind works when provoked to commit a crime.
What doesn't:
  • A few more stories would have really made it a reader's dream come true.

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