It was with sadness that I heard of the recent death of P.D. James, the iconic and much celebrated British writer of crime fiction.
I cannot remember when I first discovered her crime novels but it seems like they have been with me and part of my literary ‘history’ for a long time. The first book I read was An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and from the opening pages, I was captivated. Her style of writing immediately drew me into the pages of the book as if I was there – it was so real and tangible to me. It was a captivation which saw me await eagerly for the ‘new book’ and as soon as it was released I would pounce on it with anticipation and great joy.
I have always been a prolific reader and as a long-time academic, reading for academic purposes has been my stock-in-trade, but in those times when I needed to lose myself in the joy of exquisite writing and let my imagination carry me away, I would time and again return to her books. She in her own way taught me much about writing and although I will doubtless not be the first to make claim to this, I will forever be grateful to her.
I see all her books now on my bookshelf, alongside other such wonderful authors as James Ellroy, and Agatha Christie just to name two, and I smile.
Thank you P.D. James for what you have given me. Your books will forever be part of my life, which is so much richer for having read them… and I will read them again.