The Queen of Crime 100th Birthday! Celebrating P.D. James

It is no secret to those who know me well that P.D. James and Ruth Rendell are my two long-time favourite crime writers.

Today, August 3rd, would have been the 100th birthday of Phyllis Dorothy James, the Queen of Crime.

P.D. James born 3 August 1920; died 27 November 2014

The late Phyllis Dorothy James was a prolific novelist who was constantly honing her craft right up to her death at age 94 years.  Her love of words and description shines through her many novels.  She was the recipient of many honors, including the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature, and in 1991, she was honoured with the title of Baroness James of Holland Park. In 2008, she was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame.

P.D. James was the author of twenty novels, fourteen of which featured her staid and contemplative detective, Adam Dalgliesh (pronounced “dal-gleash”).

P.D. James’ obituary

P.D. James in quotes

An interview with P.D. James

In honour of the centenary of her birth, Vintage Books has re-issued one of P.D. James’ outstanding short stories. This story was originally published in Great Britain in “The Detection Collection“, edited by Simon Brett and published by Orion in 2005.


When our narrator was just twelve years old, he was unmercifully bullied by a schoolmate. Since then he has vowed to himself that someday he will kill Keith Manston-Green, his tormentor.

Willing to wait decades to dispatch the bully who tormented his youth, our narrator has a plan—and the unwavering patience and brutal fortitude to enact its every chilling step. With merciless, meticulous efficiency, James takes us into the mind of a seemingly ordinary man, beneath whose unassuming guise lurks a true Machiavellian genius—for murder.

P.D James’s mastery of the written word is evident in this classic crime short story. The prose fairly drips with cunning, bitterness, and the overwhelming thirst for revenge. With an ingenious twist on the final page, it was more than even I hoped for. The Queen of Crime’s reign lives on.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this short story from Vintage Books (an imprint of Penguin Random House) via Edelweiss.

Publication date: July 21, 2020   Publisher: Vintage Books

ISBN: 9780593312179      ASIN: B08B5DNHZH    18 pages

P.D. James 1920-2014

The late Phyllis Dorothy James was a prolific novelist who was constantly honing her craft right up to her death at age 94 years. Her love of words and description shines through her many novels. She was the recipient of many honors, including the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature, and in 1991, she was honoured with the title of Baroness James of Holland Park. In 2008, she was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame.

P.D. James was the author of twenty novels, fourteen of which featured her priggish and contemplative detective, Adam Dalgliesh.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
This entry was posted in Authors, Edelweiss, Short stories and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to The Queen of Crime 100th Birthday! Celebrating P.D. James

  1. Angelilie says:

    I really like your beautiful blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and a very interesting blog. I will come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. See you soon. 🙂

    Like

  2. James McEwan says:

    A wonderful lady who I admire for her lifetime of achievements.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. stargazer says:

    I am a big fan of P.D. James as well. I’ve never read any of her short stories, perhaps I’ll see if I can find this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. She entertained a lot of people with her writing. Excellent feature, Lynne.

    Like

  5. Damyanti Biswas says:

    I do enjoy P.D.James.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hello Lynne. You introduced me to James. Till last year I’d never read anything by her. Cover Her Face is the one I read. I liked it.

    Liked by 1 person

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