Book Review #6: Death in Holy Orders by P. D. James

death in holy orders


Title: Death in Holy Orders

Author: P. D. James

Genre: Mystery



When the body of a theology student is found on a desolate stretch of East Anglian coast, his wealthy father demands that Scotland Yard should re-examine the verdict of accidental death.

Commander Adam Dalgliesh agrees to pay a visit to the young man’s theological college, St.Anselm’s, a place he knew as a boy, expecting no more than a nostalgic return of old haunts and a straightforward examination of the evidence. Instead he finds himself embroiled in intrigue, conflict and dangerous secrets as the college is torn apart by a sacrilegious and horrifying murder…


This book was my first P. D. James novel, and it was quite riveting. The plot is complex with a good number of characters and a lot of history. The characters are all different and interesting in their own way. I especially enjoyed following Commander Adam Dalgliesh as he solves the case. Another plus point of this novel, a quality I appreciate, was that all characters were suspects until the very end. Another major point was the setting. Set on the coast of East Anglia, the theological college is pretty out of the way and therefore isolated. This adds the touch of mystery to the plot and also becomes a character in itself while doing so. This is a book that I read in leisure and enjoy thoroughly.

Note: If you enjoy Agatha Christie novels, then you might like this book too.


Final Verdict:

Death in Holy Orders by P. D. James gets 4.5 out of 5 stars from me.

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