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A Taste For Death: An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery…
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A Taste For Death: An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery (original 1986; edição 1986)

por P. D. James (Autor)

Séries: Adam Dalgliesh (7)

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3,137394,358 (3.83)48
When the quiet Little Vestry of St. Matthew's Church becomes the blood-soaked scene of a double murder, Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh faces an intriguing conundrum: How did an upper-crust Minister come to lie, slit throat to slit throat, next to a neighborhood derelict of the lowest order? Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless motives, Dalgliesh explores the sinister web spun around a half-burnt diary and a violet-eyed widow who is pregnant and full of malice--all the while hoping to fill the gap of logic that joined these two disparate men in bright red death. . . .… (mais)
Membro:t_l_wall
Título:A Taste For Death: An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery
Autores:P. D. James (Autor)
Informação:Lester & Orpen Dennys Limited
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A Taste for Death por P. D. James (1986)

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Mostrando 1-5 de 39 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I love the psychological insights professed by the author's characters.
  KKBucher | Apr 12, 2024 |
(1986)Very well written mystery about a man who appears to have committed suicide after killing a bum in a church vestry. Turns into a family saga when a brother-in-law turns out to have killed him after being embarrased by him.(PW)In her latest Commander Adam Dalgliesh detective novel, James subtly deepens the complexities of his personality, making him an ever more credible protagonist. When two bodies are discovered with their throats slashed in a London church, Dalgleish is called upon to solve the case. One victim is Sir Paul Berowne, former Minister of the Crown; the other is a tramp accustomed to sleeping in the church vestibule. It seems that these deaths may be tied to those of two young women who have recently been employed in the Berowne household. Dalgleish feels an unusual empathy in this case; he had known Berowne and sensed several parallels in their lives. This sense of compassion is one of the things that distinguishes James's novels. In delving into what she calls "the fascination of character," she makes each actor in the drama memorable. The characters here read Trollope and Philip Larkin; they are knowledgeable about architecture and art. Yet James's civilized digressions do not detract from the suspense of the plot. She does not employ horrific details for shock effect, but her step-by-step description of procedural details, particularly those of forensic medicine, totally immerse readers in the investigation.
  derailer | Jan 25, 2024 |
A classic murder mystery novel--the story follows Commander Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard as he investigates the murder of a wealthy and unpopular aristocrat, Sir Paul Berowne. With a complex web of suspects and motives, Dalgliesh must navigate the intricacies of upper-class British society to unravel the truth behind the murder. As the investigation progresses, secrets and tensions begin to surface, leading to a thrilling and unexpected conclusion. With her distinctive prose and intricate plotting, PD James delivers a well-written tale of murder and intrigue. ( )
  Cam_Torrens | Mar 17, 2023 |
The Baronet and the Tramp
Review of the Vintage Canada paperback (2011) of the Faber & Faber hardcover original (1986)

No one joins the police without getting some enjoyment out of exercising power. No one joins the murder squad who hasn't a taste for death. The danger begins when the pleasure becomes an end in itself. That's when it's time to think about another job. - Adam Dalgliesh makes observations during A Taste for Death


Detective Commander* Adam Dalgliesh is the head of a new elite squad at Scotland Yard CID with his old assistant Chief Inspector John Massingham and new assistant Inspector Kate Miskin. The squad has been formed to handle especially high profile cases and they are called into service when ex-Minister of the Crown Sir Paul Berowne and a street tramp are both found dead in a church vestry in a poor London parish.

Berowne had resigned his minister's post apparently on the basis of a religious experience, which was also concurrent with a poison pen letter campaign hinting at his possible involvement in the deaths of two young women who had been in employ in his household and in the accidental death of his first wife. He is spending time at the church and avoiding his family: a domineering mother, a flashy 2nd wife, a freeloading brother-in-law and several servants. There is the suspicion of murder-suicide due to the death of the tramp and the use of Berowne's own cutthroat razor in both deaths, found beside him. Dalgliesh thinks it is double murder though and the suspects mount as the squad traces all of Berowne's history and that of the family.

A Taste for Death is quite a long book for P.D. James at 624 pages in this 2011 edition. Earlier books had been mostly in the 300 to 400 page range. She uses the extra space to go even further in depth for her background characterizations of the suspects, but also about Dalgliesh's assistants Massingham and Miskin who envy each other, but do not really know the pressures the other one is dealing with in their personal lives. We learn very little new about Dalgliesh himself though, except that he apparently has not written poetry for several years now and does not expect to do so again.

Despite its length this was still a reasonably quick read for me over several days, the final 150 pages or so when the wrong 'un becomes apparent lead to a increasingly suspenseful and fateful climax.

See book cover at https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/fa/ATasteForDeath.jpg
Front cover of the original Faber & Faber hardcover edition (1986). Image sourced from Wikipedia.

I read A Taste for Death as part of my continuing 2022 binge re-read of the P.D. James novels, which I am enjoying immensely. I started the re-reads when I recently discovered my 1980's P.D. James Sphere Books paperbacks while clearing a storage locker. To keep to the order of the series I realized that I had to newly source A Taste for Death, which I had not previously read. I was able to find a nice copy of the 2011 Vintage Canada paperback.

Trivia and Links
* In Book 1, Adam Dalgliesh was a Detective Chief Inspector, in Books 2 to 4 he is a Detective Superintendent and in Books 5 to 14 he is a Detective Commander.

A Taste for Death was adapted for television in 1988 as part of the long running Dalgliesh TV-series for Anglia Television/ITV (1983-1998) starring actor Roy Marsden as Commander Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard. You can watch the 6 episodes of the 1988 adaptation starting with Episode 1 on YouTube here. With a 5 hour running time, this adaptation is very faithful to the original novel.

See photograph at https://m.media-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BZTUxMWFjZDEtMjRiNS00M2EzLWJhZTAtNDU5MDcy...
Actor Bertie Carvel as Commander Adam Dalgliesh in the 2021 TV adaptation of "A Taste for Death". Image sourced from IMDb.

The new Acorn TV-series reboot Dalgliesh (2021-?) starring Bertie Carver as Adam Dalgliesh adapted A Taste for Death as Episodes 5 & 6 of Season 1. Season 1 adapted Books 4, 5 & 7. With a 3 hour running time, this adaptation edits out a considerable portion of the novel and the final confrontation takes place in a different location and with some different characters. ( )
  alanteder | Aug 24, 2022 |
Once upon a time [WARNING: Name Drop Alert] I had occasion to meet Baroness PD James (and I have a signed first edition to show for it!) and it was hard to believe that this diminutive elderly lady with the twinkle in her eye could write prose like this: "Do you remember the time when you thought you couldn't boil an egg?" Whoops! Wrong book. Let me try again: "There were two of them, and she knew instantly, and with absolute certainty, that they were dead. The room was a shambles. Their throats had been cut and they lay like butchered animals in a waste of blood. Instinctively she thrust Darren behind her. But she was too late. He, too, had seen. He didn’t scream but she felt him tremble and he made a small, pathetic groan, like an angry puppy. She pushed him back into the passage, closed the door, and leaned against it. She was aware of a desperate coldness, of the tumultuous thudding of her heart. It seemed to have swollen in her chest, huge and hot, and its painful drumming shook her frail body as if to burst it apart. And the smell, which at first had been tentative, elusive, no more than an alien tincture on the air, now seemed to seep into the passage with the strong effluvium of death."
The 'shambles' is the case that Inspector Adam Dalgliesh, Scotland Yard's finest, must unravel. And, considering the social milieu Dalgliesh travels in (he is a lauded published poet), and that one victim is a knighted Tory politician (the other man is Harry, 'only' a tramp), the investigation immediately is drawn into the highest realm of the British upper class. Now, this is the point where I have discovered that the study of a novel, with a teacher or a reading group (in this case The Guardian's August Book Club) you may learn precepts that otherwise would be missed. For example, I have enjoyed many of James procedurals, never noticing how her stories are drenched in Tory politics and class bias. From The Guardian: "James’s 1986 [A Taste for Death] is considered one of her finest, and contains many of her classic tropes: Anglicanism, religious doubt, troubled Tories and involved discussions of what makes good and bad coffee. There are fantastic descriptions of London, from high church architecture to the mud and slick of dingy canal towpaths, via grace and favor apartments and rundown social housing." But, then there's this: the lives and loves of the privileged are lovingly detailed, but the lowly "others" are dismissed in a perfunctory fashion. And teachers or social workers or domestics have their aspirations condescended to. Nonetheless, this crime procedural was first rate and, politics and class aside, I will concede that it is a lovingly drawn portrait of Margaret Thatcher's England peopled with characters who resonate with ugly foibles one loves to hate. ( )
  larryking1 | Sep 20, 2020 |
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P. D. Jamesautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculado
Capriolo, EttoreTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Dellaporta, PenelopeNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Kattelus, KirstiTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
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Some can gaze and not be sick,

But I could never learn the trick.

There's this to say for blood and breath,

They give a man a taste for death.

-- A. E. Housman
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To my daughters,

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The bodies were discovered at eight forty-five on the morning of Wednesday 18 September by Miss Emily Wharton, a sixty-five-year-old spinster of the parish of St. Matthew's in Paddington, London, and Darren Wilkes, aged ten, of no particular parish as far as he knew or cared.
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When the quiet Little Vestry of St. Matthew's Church becomes the blood-soaked scene of a double murder, Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh faces an intriguing conundrum: How did an upper-crust Minister come to lie, slit throat to slit throat, next to a neighborhood derelict of the lowest order? Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless motives, Dalgliesh explores the sinister web spun around a half-burnt diary and a violet-eyed widow who is pregnant and full of malice--all the while hoping to fill the gap of logic that joined these two disparate men in bright red death. . . .

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