Cover Her Face

cover her face cover image Cover Her Face

by P.D. James
Mystery
Scribner
Paperback, 256 pages
$15.00

Some time ago in these notes we featured P.D. James’ then newish book Death Comes to Pemberley, her imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice. As is well known, when we speak of P.D. James we are actually talking about Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park, OBE, FRSA, FRSL, the 93-year-old Dean of British crime novelists. What we didn’t note at the time is that at the core of her body of work are her fourteen mysteries featuring Adam Dalgliesh the investigator and poet of New Scotland Yard. Cover Her Face, published in 1962, was the first of these. The victim is an unwed teenaged mother confined to a refuge for delinquent girls. She has been on loan to Mrs. Eleanor Maxie at Martingale, a medieval manor house in Essex. Not your average parlour maid, Sally Jupp, announces her betrothal to the family’s eldest son to the horror of an assembled cast of characters. The following morning she is found strangled in her bed. Whodunit? All are suspects with the motive, opportunity and means. A quaint and charming read!