… I probably won’t be doing this – for all sorts of reasons!
But P D James delighted her fans by opening the Crime section in Foyles new flagship shop yesterday evening, and telling us that, despite being almost ninety four, she still has a lot of writing to do.
We also gained an insight into her favourite crime books and there weren’t any real surprises there. Like us, she admires The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Nine Tailors, and Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as more contemporary works by Ian Rankin and Ruth Rendell.
So this all set me thinking: which is my favourite P D James book?
Well it has to be Unnatural Causes, and I think the reasons are because it has such a strong atmosphere, at least in part due to the location; and because of its unusual and, to my mind, vivid conclusion, which still sends a slight chill down my spine several years after I last read it.
Another thing which occurs to me is that it was written before the days of mass communication and the internet, and I often wonder to what extent this helps or hinders crime writers. Were they perhaps cleverer in the days when information wasn’t so readily available? The subject of another debate.
In the meantime, I for one hope that P D James will continue writing long into the future.