Cover Her Face by PD James  » Books  »
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  • In this book, Inspector Dalgliesh is very much in the background

    • by Jacinth K Lee

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      Cover Her Face was written by PD James and published by Penguin Books in 1989.

      I later found out that this was PD James’ first novel; fortunately I had read some of her other books before and liked them; else I would have just stopped at this one. Sally Jupp, an unmarried mother had recently started work as a house-parlormaid with the Maxies.

      She announced her engagement to Stephen Maxie, stunning his family and friends who had gathered for a

      dinner. The next morning she was found strangled in her locked room; she had been drugged as well.

      Inspector Dalgliesh was called in from Scotland Yard. The Maxie siblings, Stephen and his sister Deborah did their own amateur sleuthing as well.

      Deborah had met Sally’s aunt at the funeral, and learned about how they brought up Sally after the death of her parents. But ever since Sally left their house, she had never contacted them again.


      • Stephen went to Sally’s previous employer, who described Sally as a scheming liar; she created tension and problems in an office where there was none before. She was relieved when Sally resigned.

        The police of course, had covered all these and discovered more. Inspector Dalgliesh called for a meeting of all who had been present at the dinner before Sally’s murder.

        He detailed the events, exposing blunders and crossing out suspects. Dalgliesh had no concrete evidence to

        nail the murderer, who finally admitted the crime herself.

        In this book, Inspector Dalgliesh is very much in the background; not a memorable character as he turned out to be in later stories. The finale reminded me of the usual endings in Agatha Christie’s stories, when Hercule Poirot would assemble the suspects and presented the case and conclusion; and expose the murderer.

        If I have to compare with James’ later stories, this one is relatively mediocre.

    Shaun kebonang says :

    Is Inspector Dalgliesh firm at his background? You know i will be glad if give me summary about his part he played his summary.
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