PD James has been writing mysteries featuring Adam Dalgliesh since 1962. She has managed to keep his image contemporary while maintaining his essential character. He is a detective with New Scotland Yard. In the earliest books, Dalgliesh was a Constable. He has risen through the ranks and is now a Commander, in charge of a unit which investigates cases of a sensitive nature, generally involving the wealthy and well-born. In each of the earlier books featuring Dalgliesh, James has doled out bits of personal information about him. Faithful readers by now have a good idea of the type of person he is. In addition to being handsome, he has had a number of books of poems published.
The Murder Room concerns three murders which take place in a fictional London museum, The Dupayne. The museum is devoted to British history during the years between the two World Wars. One of the rooms in the museum is devoted to notorious murders that occurred in that timespan, hence the title of the book. The first victim is a trustee of the museum, Dr. Neville Dupayne. The other trustees are his siblings, and they disagree on the future of the museum.
As with many good murder mysteries, there are connections between the characters (and they are all suspects) that don’t become apparent until later on. And of course these connections are vital to the solution of the crimes.
As much as I enjoy murder mysteries, I usually am not able to guess whodunit. However, this time I was able to figure it our fairly early on in the book (although I admit my reasoning was faulty). I still enjoyed reading this.
Adam Dalgliseh fans who feel they have gotten to know and like him over the years will be pleased at the progression in his private life. This is quick, fun, easy read. Enjoy!
Published in hardcover-Alfred A. Knopf 2003
Softcover edition-Vintage 2004