James, P. D


Paperback copy of “The Murder Room” signed and inscribed while on the “QE2”

Categories: ,


Type: Signed paperback book
Description: Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park (1920- 2014), known professionally as P. D. James, Oxford-born English novelist and life peer, rise to fame came with her series of detective novels featuring police commander and poet Adam Dalgleish.

She began writing in the mid-1950s, using her maiden name (“My genes are James genes”). Her 1st novel, Cover Her Face, featuring the investigator and poet Adam Dalgleish of New Scotland Yard, was published in 1962.  Dalgliesh’s last name came from a teacher of English at Cambridge High School, his first name is that of Miss Dalgliesh’s father. Many of her mystery novels take place against the backdrop of UK bureaucracies, such as the criminal justice system and the National Health Service, in which she worked for decades from the 1940s. She held positions as a civil servant within several sections of the Home Office, including the criminal section, and worked in government service until her 1979 retirement.

On 7 February 1991, James was created a life peer as Baroness James of Holland Park, of Southwood in County of Suffolk and sat in the House of Lords as a Conservative. An Anglican and a lay patron of the Prayer Book Society, her 2001 work, Death in the Holy Orders, displays her familiarity with the inner workings of church hierarchy. Her later novels were often set in a community closed in some way, such as a publishing house, barristers’ chambers, a theological

In 2008, she was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame at the inaugural ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards.

During the 1980s, many of James’s mystery novels were adapted for television for the UK’s ITV network, broadcast in the US on the PBS network, with Roy Marsden playing Dalgliesh. The BBC adapted Death in Holy Orders in 2003, and The Murder Room  in 2004, both as one-off dramas starring Martin Shaw as Dalgliesh. In Dalgleish (2021), Bertie Carvel starred as the titular, enigmatic detective–poet. Six episodes, shown as 3 two-parters, premiered on Acorn TV in Nov. 2021 in the US.

Her novel The Children of Men (1992) was the basis for the 2006 feature film Children of Men directed by Alfonso Cuaron and starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, and Michael Caine.  A 3 episode adaptation, Death Comes to Pemberley, written by Juliette Towhidi, was made by Origin Pictures for BBC One, first shown in the UK over3 nights from 26 December 2013 as part of the BBC’s Christmas schedule, with Anna Maxwell Martin as Elizabeth, Matthew Rhys as Mr. Darcy, and Matthew Goode as Wickham.

15th paperback edition of “The Murder Room” first published by Faber and Faber Limited in 2003, published in Penguin Books as paperback edition 2004. 7 x 4 ¼, 541 pps, signed and inscribed (likely in person) on title page, adds September 4 2005 date and “QE2” (Cunard ocean liner “Queen Elizabeth 2”).

The Murder Room was the 12th in the Dalgleish series, taking place in London, particularly the Dupayne Museum on the edge of Hampstead Heath in London’s Borrough of Camden. The Dupayne Museum is an eclectic collection of English memorabilia from the period between WW I & WW II. The murder room of the title refers to a room displaying relics of murders that occurred during this period. The Dupayne Museum is the property of 3 siblings in the midst of a family row over whether or not to renew the lease on the building that houses the museum. When Neville Dupayne is killed in a manner mirroring one of the murders displayed in the Murder Room, Commander Dalgliesh is called in to investigate. Emma Lavenham, a character from Death in Holy Orders, becomes important in this novel as a romance develops between her and Commander Dalgliesh. The novel ends with a love letter from Dalgliesh to Lavenham, in which he asks her to marry him. She accepts his proposal.

Condition: Very good

Product Search

Product categories

Quick Links