*I received an arc via the publisher in return for an honest review*
Sleep No More, Six Murderous Tales by P.D. James
The acknowledged ‘Queen of Crime’, P. D. James, was a past master of the short story, weaving together motifs of the Golden Age of crime-writing with deep psychological insight to create gripping, suspenseful tales. The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories contained four of these perfectly formed stories, and this companion volume contains a further six, published here together for the first time.
As the six murderous tales unfold, the dark motive of revenge is revealed at the heart of each. Bullying schoolmasters receive their comeuppance, unhappy marriages and childhoods are avenged, a murder in the small hours of Christmas Day puts an end to the vicious new lord of the manor, and, from the safety of his nursing home, an octogenarian exerts exquisite retribution.
The punishments inflicted on the guilty are fittingly severe, but here they are meted out by the unseen forces of natural justice rather than the institutions of the law. Once again, P. D. James shows her expert control of the short-story form, conjuring motives and scenarios with complete conviction, and each with a satisfying twist in the tail.
Six murderous tales from the queen of crime P.D. James
1 – The Yoyo: The short story summarises an elderly lady recalling the fateful night of 23rd December 1936 and the crime that marked her teens. 4*
2- The Victim: The Victim, details the story of class hierarchy, love and the pain of divorce. With a central character of, the elusive Princess Llsa Bowman….. 4*
3- The Murder Of Santa Claus: Charles Mickledore retells the murderous Christmas of 1939, where everyone is a suspect and no one is caught…. 4*
4- The Girl Who Loved Graveyards: A young girl is left orphaned and dumped with distant relatives. She spends her days in the graveyard and becomes obsessed with seeing her father’s grave. Only what awaits her there, is not what it seems……. 5*
5- A Very Desirable Residence: This details the trial of Henry Vinson, for the attempted murder of his socialite wife Emily. A detailed tale of treachery and scheming. 5*
6- Mr Millcrofts Birthday: An elderly man makes a confession of murder, to his adult children. But is it true or merely a senile delusion? A tale of intelligence and manipulation, but whom is the manipulator 5*
I thoroughly enjoyed this mixture of short stories. Some of the stories have a Christmas feel to them, making this the ideal gift for loyal P.D. James fans. My favourites were The Girl who Loved Graveyards and Mr Millcrofts Birthday. Highly recommended 4.5*
*Sleep No More is released today, 3rd October 2017*