Original Sin (Adam Dalgliesh Series #9)

Original Sin (Adam Dalgliesh Series #9)

by P. D. James
4.3 15

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Original Sin (Adam Dalgliesh Series #9) by P. D. James

Adam Dalgliesh takes on a baffling murder in the rarefied world of London book publishing in this masterful mystery from one of our finest novelists.


Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of impenetrable complexity. A murder has taken place in the offices of the Peverell Press, a venerable London publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant but ruthless new managing director, who had vowed to restore the firm's fortunes. Etienne was clearly a man with enemies—a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues, one of who apparently killed herself a short time earlier. Yet Etienne's death, which occurred under bizarre circumstances, is for Dalgliesh only the beginning of the mystery, as he desperately pursues the search for a killer prepared to strike and strike again.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307822529
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/23/2012
Series: Adam Dalgliesh Series , #9
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 66,319
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

P. D. James was the author of twenty books, many of which feature her detective hero Adam Dalgliesh and have been televised or filmed. She was the recipient of many honors, including the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honor for Literature, and in 1991 was created Baroness James of Holland Park. She died in 2014.


London, England

Date of Birth:

August 3, 1920

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


Attended the Cambridge High School for Girls from 1931 to 1937 and later took evening classes in hospital administration

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Original Sin 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
nprfan1 More than 1 year ago
I don't think there can ever be such a thing as a bad P. D. James mystery. Lady James is just too good a writer to have that happen.

"Original Sin" continues her series featuring the man I consider the world's most erudite policeman (the word "cop" just doesn't apply) - Commander Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard. This time the scene of the crime is, according to the novel, the oldest publishing house in Britain - Peverell Press.

In this entry in the series, enough red herrings are tossed out that I was thoroughly in the dark until the very end - and then I remembered the actual murderer's alibi in the first killing and wondered how I could have forgotten it.

Sadly, I cannot give this book five stars, but not because of Lady James' usual excellent writing. My review is of the audiobook from Recorded Books, and the narrator needs to improve on his craft. At times, in conversations between two or more characters, I couldn't tell which one was speaking - they sounded almost exactly alike. And other points in the narration were flat and toneless; I almost felt as though I were listening to "Original Sin" as told by Mr. Spock.

I'm willing to give this narrator another chance, but I'm seriously considering getting the actual book for my next P. D. James.
Desert_Sage More than 1 year ago
Sometimes we attach ourselves to new and exciting writers of mystery; however, there is plenty of mystery in Original Sin and I highly recommend it. When murders multiply at a high end publishing house, Adam Dalgliesh finds the culprit(s) after much use of his skills at discernment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recently read Original Sin and I was very disappointed in the book. If you like detailed descriptions of characters and physical locations, then you will probably like the the novel. However, if you are looking for a mystery which keeps you wondering/guessing what is going to happen next only to discover that what you had anticipated was wrong; you, like I, will be disappointed. Ms. James is a competent writer capable of delivering prose that is elegant, but to call Original Sin a mystery is a stretch of the imagination.. CondorDC
TheEerieCoterie More than 1 year ago
This is The Eerie Coterie's February "Goremet" selection by our featured author for 2010, P.D. James. I read this book many years ago and it remains one of my personal favorites by James. What I think readers will love the most is that the setting of the murder is a publishing house! This was James' first book after her wonderful "The Children of Men" and it was definately a return to form. It is more than just the writing style, but the nostalgic feel her books have - even though they are contemporary. James writes classical detective stories, which nowadays no one really does and that is a shame. People read detective fiction as a wal to escape real life, which is funny considering there is a terrible murder at its core. With "Original Sin" it starts up with a slow introduction to the spublishing house and its characters and then hits you with the murder!! Visit BN Bookclubs to discuss this book with The Eerie Coterie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While a fan of P.D. James, this books creates the feeling that the author was off her game a bit. The usually enthralling bits of history that are usually brisk bits that move the plot along were more like long, rambles leading you to a place where you look around and realize you've gone a block too far and nearly become lost. The lack of crispness defeats the bold approach of the overall structure, presenting a landscape of figures and plot information before the crime investigation heats up. On the whole, Original Sin is a tough read, for while the overdense early stages of the book may cause the reader to rush along, you must not, or you lose too much that is important later. A good, tightening edit would have vastly improved this book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Dire straits has caught up with Peverell Press, financially and mortally. This prestigious London publishing house is sinking fast and the five surviving partners of the venerable old firm have to make some dire choices! In P.D. James¿ ¿Original Sin,¿ we find that justice may really be blind, after all. First, one of the five partners, the managing director, is found dead. What looks like a suicide, however, is not. Superintendent Adam Dalgleish, master that he is, determines that, indeed, it is not suicide, but murder. The suspects are a-plenty, as is motive. At the same time, someone is playing not-so-funny practical jokes around the offices. Another body is found, and the investigation grows. James and Dalgleish are at their best here, and the myriad avenues that the killer (or killers) seem to be taken are not much help. Everything seems so calculated. But Dalgleish soon learns that this case involves a systematic approach and he must expand his investigative horizon, which eventually extends all the way back to World War II France. Hatred, revenge, jealousy--all the ¿evils¿--abound and when the perpetrator is revealed, James does so with control and finesse. Faster paced than normally, this James book is one not easily put down, to coin a phrase.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nither do I to be honest.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im kat ive been here since last christmas. Go to mountain result one or something to see my description.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maddie tl red head with funny personality britt tall dirty blonde with a scr on her forehead* both : joined in the greek rp at greece results and then moved to pool results thwnto scarlettletter
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Prism- I joined when it was still in the PJ books!!! Sometime in July. 2011. My name is Loyal "Prism" Sonya, and I'm a daughter of Apollo and Athena. I was a goddess back when it wasn't considered godmodding to be one. -3- I have brown hair, glasses, olive skin, and wear a pink shirt under an unzipped hoody and jeans+tennis shoes. I use a huge battle-axe that turns into a leather snap bracelet. I'm goddess of light and creativity. Sparky- I joined Pris sometime in December (2011). We're identical, except I wear a sweater vest, khakis, and loafers. I use a bow and arrows, and, rarely, a one-handed sword. I'm a daughter of Ares.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yo its meh. I've been doing the pj rp since Feburary around Valentines day at the greece results. I am 19/15 (dumb time warp). My full name is Courtney Loranne Zuino. I have a twin brother named Jake(he's annoying) and I am a daughter of Zeus and I have an evil stepmother named Hera. Sometimes i loose my memory cuz of a lethe gas that hit me when I was 15/18. Its not permanent but its pretty bad. I have a three back and i'm very athletic, a rebel, and a tomboy. I have shoulder lengh black hair that has purple streaks going through it. I have eletric blue eyes and a MAJOUR FRECKLE PROBLEM ON MY FACE. My weapons are a silver braclet that my half brother Mike made me that turns into any weapon I need and my luck dagger, Bolter. I have like five gazillion half brothers and like two half sisters. So ya. BAI!!!!