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Friday, 6 February 2015

Review: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, P.D. James

I think this may be the year when my enthusiasm for crime fiction may need to be curbed, as it would be so easy to not read much of anything else! Granted, I've only read two crime books, and by only two different authors, but they are such a thrill to read and so satisfying to find out the 'whodunnit'.

Enter Cordelia Gray, the protagonist of the book. Cordelia is clever, quick, and perceptive, and when she inherits the Private Detective business from her boss (who commits suicide at the beginning of the book) she wastes no time in diving into a case that's handed to her on a plate (a sorely needed case, as the business was not doing so well). The case is a suicide - a scientist in Cambridge had a son who committed suicide and he wants to find out why he did.

Every so often throughout the book, we're treated to a kind Guy-Ritchie-Sherlock-Holmes scene, in which Cordelia looks upon a situation remembering what her late boss would have told her - examine every detail, the kinds of details she needs to be looking for, etc.

The book is paced well, the description flowing without bogging down the reader, and just enough detail to tease without giving it away. It's not just a simple whodunnit, either - the story carries on for a while after we find out the truth, in which the motives are examined. It's refreshing, since a flat ending it seems such an easy trap to fall into.

Thoroughly recommend for anyone who wants to venture into crime fiction but doesn't know where to start.

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