Friday, November 28, 2014

P.D. James 1920-2014

The hugely popular writer  Phyllis Dorothy (P.D.) James has died at the age of 94. She was well known for her series of novels featuring the policeman and poet Adam Dalgliesh who made his debut in Cover her Face.(1962) She has also written the dystopian novel The Children of Men, which was adapted into a film staring Clive Owen, Julieanne Moore and Michael Caine in 2006. Her final novel  Death Comes to Permberley, was a sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but featuring a murder mystery. Made into a BBC television series it premieres on the ABC this Friday 28 February.

As well as pursuing her writing career, James led an interesting and varied life. She had a long career as a civil servant, working at one time in the forensic science section of the Home Office. In 1991 she was created a life peer as Baroness James of Holland Park and sat in the House of Lords. From 1988 to 1993 she was a governor of the BBC. One famous story from her time there reounts that on a tour of the BBC Television Centre she visited the set of Doctor Who and refused to leave until she'd had her photo taken with the story's monster!

She wrote about the craft of detective fiction and shared her personal thoughts and observations on one of the most popular forms of literature in her book, Talking About Detective Fiction In an interview in 2013 James said she was working on another novel as it was, "important to write one more." Her many fans may get to enjoy her work one last time.

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