P. D. James

(redirected from Baroness James of Holland Park)

James, P. D.

(Phyllis Dorothy James White, Baroness James of Holland Park), 1920–2014, English mystery novelist, b. Oxford. From 1964 to 1979 she worked in the forensic science and criminal law divisions of the Department of Home Affairs. Her first mystery, Cover Her Face, was published in 1962. It introduced readers to her most famous character, Scotland Yard's elegantly cerebral poet-detective Adam Dalgliesh, who appeared in most of her subsequent books. Her novels are in the tradition of English detective fiction but go beyond the stereotypical with their subtly realistic characterizations, complex motivations, and sophisticated plots. Her works include An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972), in which her female sleuth Cordelia Gray first appears; Death of an Expert Witness (1977); The Skull beneath the Skin (1982); A Taste for Death (1986), which marks the debut of Dalgliesh's assistant Kate Miskin; Devices and Desires (1989); A Certain Justice (1997); Death in Holy Orders (2001); The Lighthouse (2005); and The Private Patient (2008). In all she wrote 18 crime novels, many of which were adapted for television. James also achieved critical and popular success with her psychologically insightful non–detective novel Innocent Blood (1980). The Children of Men (1992, film 2006), set in 2027, is the tale of a dystopic Britain in which women can no longer conceive children. She also wrote Talking about Detective Fiction (2009), an inquiry into the origins and nature of the detective-story genre. In Death Comes to Pemberley (2011), James penned a sequel to AustenAusten, Jane
, 1775–1817, English novelist. The daughter of a clergyman, she spent the first 25 years of her life at "Steventon," her father's Hampshire vicarage. Here her first novels, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey,
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's Pride and Prejudice that is also a murder mystery. She was created a life peer in 1991.

Bibliography

See her memoir Time to Be in Earnest (2000); studies by N. Siebenheller (1981) and R. B. Gidez (1986).

References in periodicals archive ?
She seemed tiny, frail, but consummately gracious, as befit someone who had been honored with the OBE honorary of Baroness James of Holland Park.
The novelist, who wrote a string of books about detective Adam Dalgliesh, sat in the House of Lords for many years as Baroness James of Holland Park.
The author, who became Tory peer Baroness James of Holland Park, passed away at home in Oxford yesterday.
BIRTHDAYS: PD James, Baroness James of Holland Park, writer, 93; Tony Bennett, singer, 87; Steven Berkoff, actor/director and writer, 76; Terry Wogan, pictured, DJ and TV presenter, 75; Martin Sheen, actor, 73; Jack Straw, MP for Blackburn, 67.
Honored as Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991, P.
Baroness James of Holland Park, aka P D James, crime writer, on political correctness
Baroness James of Holland Park, whose books include the recently televised An Unsuitable Job For A Woman featuring the detective Cordelia Gray, played by Helen Baxendale, paid tribute to her fellow crime writer's work.
BIRTHDAYS: PD James, Baroness James of Holland Park, writer, 92; Tony Bennett, singer, 86; Steven Berkoff, actor/director and writer, 75; Terry Wogan (pictured), DJ and TV presenter, 74.