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Cover Her Face

Written by: P. D. James
Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
Series: Adam Dalgliesh
Length: 7 hrs and 12 mins

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Publisher's Summary

An Adam Dalgliesh mystery. Cover Her Face is P. D. James' debut novel, the first Adam Dalgliesh mystery, and a thrilling work of crime fiction set in the English countryside, from the best-selling author of Death Comes to Pemberley and Children of Men.

From P. D. James, one of the masters of British crime fiction, comes the debut novel that introduced Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh. Set against the English countryside, Cover Her Face is a classic murder mystery filled with James' trademark plot twists, intrigue, and suspense.

Though the Martingale manor house has hosted the annual St Cedd's Church fête for generations, this year feels different. On top of organizing stalls and presiding over luncheon, the bishop, and the tea tent, Mrs Eleanor Maxie now also has to contend with the news of her son's sudden engagement to the new parlour maid, the sly and sensuous single mother Sally Jupp.

Sally has quite a reputation as a ruthless social climber, and no one at Martingale seems too happy about the engagement. But the Maxie family barely has time to contend with her wily ways - on the following morning the whole village is shocked by the discovery of Sally Jupp's body.

Investigating the violent death at the manor house, Detective Chief Inspector Adam Dalgliesh becomes embroiled in the complicated passions beneath the calm surface of English village life.

In Cover Her Face, award-winning P. D. James meticulously plots a complex story of family secrets and suspicion. The book was later adapted into a TV miniseries starring Roy Marsden as the inspector protagonist.

Meet the dark and brooding Dalgliesh - a gentleman, a poet, and a gifted detective - and listen to the novel that launched P. D. James' career as the world's preeminent crime writer.

P. D. James (1920-2014) was a bestselling and internationally acclaimed crime writer. She was the creator of Adam Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray, and their long and successful series of mysteries. Her works include Cover Her Face (1962), An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972), Innocent Blood (1980), Children of Men (1992), and the Jane Austen-inspired Death Comes to Pemberley (2011). James was born in Oxford in 1920. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award. She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected President of the Society of Authors, and stood down from this role in 2013.

©1962 P.D. James (P)2015 Faber Audio

Critic Reviews

"A classic story of English rural murder." ( The Times)
"The greatest contemporary writer of classic crime." ( Sunday Times)
"There are very few thriller writers who can compete with P.D. James at her best." ( Spectator)

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amy
  • 16-09-17

Enjoyed thoroughly!

For some reason have never read this author before but glad I did so now, beautiful writing and so wonderfully well read;ew readers earn 5 stars from me but this one certainly did. The combination of a good story and a good reader is a true pleasure.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Mr David Newton
  • 18-06-17

it's early

This is an early P D James book and as such is interesting.
All the features we expect and love are here, a closed community of an upper class family in the loved old home, a few working class characters. A introduction by the end of which you want to murder the victim as do all the others in the story.
The story moves along and it looks like all of them have killed her, but in the finale Dalglish declares the murder to have been committed by.......

9 people found this helpful

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  • john
  • 28-06-18

A well executed whodunnit

As someone who has never been a particular fan of crime novels, i was very impressed by Cover Her Face. A murder mystery nearly 60 years old contains few thematic surprises for a modern audience and yet P.D.James' elegant lexicon and observations of character and mannerism kept me completely engaged for the duration. Previous reviews paint this first work of the series as a precursor to the following works which I look forward to listening to. Daniel Weyman's performance is excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Di
  • 07-05-15

A good crime story

The writing style is exquisite and the narrator Daniel Weyman is very pleasant to listen to. The story is a good crime mystery going back to the post war times, if you are a fan of Agatha Christie, you are bound to like the story, but written in a different style. I found the story a bit sad, as class prejudice and reserved manner is what ultimately caused the early demise of a young woman. The victim was also portrayed as ''not a very nice person'', when in fact this was a young woman who refused to submit to being lowered, mistreated and discriminated against due to old prejudice over the position of women in society.

6 people found this helpful

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  • daisyrock
  • 21-11-19

Stands the test of time

Engaging country house mystery with solid characters and lots of red herrings. Very well narrated too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Gabrielle Harvey-Jones
  • 07-06-18

What can one say?

A master (well - mistress!) at work! Cleverly and competently plotted with just the right characters in just the right places! Beautifully read by Daniel Weyman - one feels that one is in safe hands, all the way through!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Misspelt
  • 11-05-17

A pleasant an easy listening book.

Great narration of a slow burn story that unfolds gently and invitingly the further in you get. The characters are well defined and their interactions can be traced back to their given characteristics.

Well worth your time!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Farnham_red
  • 22-05-16

Very formulaic whodunnit very well narrated

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Seemed to take an age to get going so a bit more action at the start would be good
As for having everyone in one room at the end to explain things deliberately left out along the way bit of a cliche but I guess I should have expected it

Has Cover Her Face put you off other books in this genre?

Not really but I think there are better ones

Was Cover Her Face worth the listening time?

Just about. It wasn't a page turner though and I had no trouble putting it down.
The biggest plus was the narration. This was excellent and probably why I stuck out the first couple of hours

Any additional comments?

I think the fact that most of the characters even the victim were not likeable is always a problem for me in these type off books. I will probably try another in a few books time but won't be downloading the next straight away.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jaye what if
  • 18-02-16

Cover her face

I first read this , in 1988, for an examination, little, did I know that I hadn't really appreciate it.
Listening to it, brought it to life, and this time, I really enjoyed it

3 people found this helpful

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  • S. Christie
  • 30-06-18

Average

Not great, not terrible, just an average read with an average performance. The story started well but quickly became bogged down with too many suspects and too much detail. As it wasn’t overly long I listened to it all but found it rather dull and uninteresting. The revelation of the murderer was unexciting and wholly predictable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 06-04-16

Great reader!

Daniel Weyman does a great job of reading this traditional detective story. methodical evidence collecting keeps you guessing until the end