The Private Patient

P.D. James has once again proved that she is a master in the art of mystery writing. The Private Patient (published by Knopf Canada) is her 18th novel. She was born in 1920 … you do the math. Set primarily in Dorset, Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are sent to Cheverell Manor to investigate the death of Rhoda Gradwyn. A simple, routine surgery with a week’s recovery was what Mr. G.H. Chandler-Powell, FRCS, FRCS (Plast), MS – in otherwords Master of Surgery – had anticipated for his patient in this private facility away from the media and glare of the public. Which is exactly what Gradwyn, one of London’s most notorious investigative journalists wanted. Coming through the operation with flying colours, she is discovered dead in her bed the next morning by kitchen staff when they arrive with her breakfast. A typical scene in many a mystery, but James manages to make it different. She is an amazing writer, her characters are sharp and intelligent, her settings beautifully drawn and her mysteries first-rate. This book will be coming out in paperback shortly.  Either pick it up later for a holiday read, or bite the bullet and get it now. Why wait. I didn’t. Anyone who can still write like she does at the age of 89 sure deserves to be read.

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