Friday, 17 July 2015

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by PD James

Reviewer: JD Smith

What we thought: An Unsuitable Job for a Woman strikes of a dated title. Indeed the book was first published in 1972, and you get a feel for that period throughout the novel in both the opinions of women throughout, as well as the scenery. Written now, I dare say our MC would have been sporting a more outwardly brash and feminist persona to the Cordelia Gray we read about here. She's young, tough and intelligent ... or so the blurb tells us. In fact our third person narrator describes a more complex character than that, one which shows every facet of our keen if a little unworldly detective.

Grey has inherited the Pryde Detective Agency, and what we discover of it's previous proprietor is enough to make you want to go back and discover the novels preceding this tale. Grey has her first assignment in the form of a Why-dunnit? rather than a Who-dunnit? She's to discover the reason young Cambridge student Mark Callender hanged himself.

Grey sets about delving into the life of the Callender family and Mark's friends, hired by Sir Ronald Callender, father of the diseased, himself.

With a diverse and wholly believable cast, many of them potentially guilty of a variety of 'crimes', all is not what it seems and the truth is far more sinister than originally suspected.

This is the first novel in the series I've had the pleasure of reading and I would certainly dip back into the world of Cordelia Grey and another mystery soon.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Good old fashioned detective stories, Sherlock Holmes, female leads.

Avoid if you don’t like: Murder mysteries.

Ideal accompaniments: tea, half a pint of old ale, small sandwiches cut into perfect squares.

Genre: Mystery, Crime.

Available from Amazon

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