In the High Peaks

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"The Mistletoe Murder" by P.D. James

I'm happy to say that I really settled in and read a good part of the day. I'm now zooming along in Rosamunde Pilcher's Winter Solstice (Don't miss this wonderful book!) and today read one of the four short stories by P.D. James in The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories, published this year by Knopf. 

"The Mistletoe Murder" is quite tongue-in-cheek; the protagonist is a woman, a crime fiction writer in England in the early 1940s, and the entire set-up is a take on an Agatha Christie novel. But, as one might expect, even considering James's high respect for Christie, James turns the Christie treatment on its head in what turns out to be the most interesting (and I must admit most delightful) way.
The other Christmas tale in the small collection is an Adam Dalgliesh story, "The Twelve Clues of Christmas."

P.D. James noted that short stories are particularly devilish to write from a crime perspective, so it seems there were not many of them.


  1. First off...thanks for visiting my blog. I look forward to getting to know you via our reading! I've been looking for another Xmas read at this looks perfect--I have never read P.D. James, though have good friends who swear by her stories. Will definitely check this out.

    I read Winter Solstice a few years ago and thought it wonderful--I'm a big fan of Rosamond Pilcher. Keep meaning to reread The Shell Seekers and September.

    1. Jane,
      I feel so lucky to have found your blog. Our reading interests are quite similar!
      I must admit to myself that although I have not "known" you long at all; from your reading interests, I think you would find P.D. James's novels exquisite. Such a cut above 95 percent of most mysteries. She's really literary fiction with a keen psychological insight. Do try her, for sure. You won't be disappointed.

      And you know, I haven't read The Shell Seekers or September. I believe I have a copy of The Shell Seekers, though.

  2. I took your recommendation and read this before Xmas and really enjoyed it. Thanks for the post about this book.

    1. If you liked this one, you will love her full-length novels. Just saying it has me itching to read or reread one!