I remember first reading her when I was doing my undergraduate work in English Literature.
Probably I spied her books in the "spinners" at the small public library. I have always been on the look out for a well written mystery novel that includes literary form, depth, beauty and but without heaviness of baseless murder.
PD James is not an author I recommend quickly; as much as I read her; her books do not ignore the misery of mankind, the perversions, the progression of sexual liberation/slavery in our society. Her books deal with a poet detective who needs for solitude, privacy and beauty; a detective who is compassionate, sensitive and who deals with the splintering of life, with murder. PD James offers an understanding of England, the continual tracing of God-haunted England, with Churches, multiculturalism and the destruction of silent and beautiful places.
Yesterday, after long wait, her book The Private Patient was on the library shelf. Two copies of it were there, I took the first edition home and read it.
I sense the closure she brings within this book. Similar to Madeleine L'Engle's Certain Women, with it the reflection over a lifetime and the approach of death.
I enjoyed reading this book; the shorter amount of pages and the culmination of many character's into a life that is most hopeful for them tell me of the author's release and letting go. It feels to be a final utterance before the end of a series. She ends with the importance of love.
PD James is nearing 90 years of age; she has seen many changes in her life and has given her readers pictures of beauty and a small tenuous growing belief in the redemption of misery through love.
For this, she has my thanks.