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Unnatural Causes

Written by: P. D. James
Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
Series: Adam Dalgliesh
Length: 7 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

An Adam Dalgliesh mystery. Set on the remote Suffolk coast, the third Adam Dalgliesh mystery, Unnatural Causes, is a thrilling work of crime fiction from P. D. James, the best-selling author of Death Comes to Pemberley.

Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh had been looking forward to a quiet holiday at his aunt's cottage on Monksmere Head, one of the furthest-flung spots on the remote Suffolk coast. With nothing to do other than enjoy long, wind-swept walks, tea in front of the crackling wood fire, and hot buttered toast, Dalgliesh was relishing the thought of a well-earned break.

However, all hope of peace is soon shattered by murder. The mutilated body of a local crime writer, Maurice Seaton, floats ashore in a drifting dinghy to drag Adam Dalgliesh into a new and macabre investigation.

P. D. James (1920-2014) was a best-selling 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.

©1967 P.D. James (P)2015 Faber Audio

Critic Reviews

"From the moment a handless corpse in a neat city suit is found drifting in a dinghy off the east coast, and we meet the ghastly members of a literary society, we’re hooked." ( Evening Standard)
"The greatest contemporary writer of classic crime." ( Sunday Times)
"One of the most spine-chilling writers around." ( Observer)

What members say

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jean the Bean
  • 05-10-15

Another gripping yarn from PD James

This was a brilliant listen, hard to turn off. Well narrated, atmospheric and one to listen to again.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • fotini
  • 03-09-17

Kept me listening

What did you like most about Unnatural Causes?

I love the Dalgleish character and here there was plenty of him. I enjoyed the interplay between him and the other characters

Who was your favorite character and why?

No contest, Adam Dalgleish

Have you listened to any of Daniel Weyman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have heard him when performing other stories and he is excellent. He makes it so easy to differentiate between the characters

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I never listen to a book in one sitting. I like to savour them over a few days

Any additional comments?

I did not like the ending as it seemed somewhat contrived. The roof scene didn't ring too true and so left me feeling a little cheated. Hence the four rather than five stars

2 people found this helpful

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  • Fran Pearce
  • 17-07-17

Intriguing

Another good detective story. Love it when it's set in a locale that I know well.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jaye what if
  • 13-11-16

UNNATURAL CAUSES

This is my first audio book fromP. D. James and I throughly enjoyed it Adam Dalglish is an updated version of Poriot they can't go anywhere without getting involved with murder.

2 people found this helpful

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  • NJ
  • 01-12-19

Comfortably familiar

I had previously missed this book in the series but despite being out of sync, it felt like putting on an old favourite sweater when winter arrives.

Well read as always by Daniel Weyman.

1 person found this helpful

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  • J
  • 29-11-18

Atmospheric story, perfectly narrated.

A perfect partnership - PD James's writing with Daniel Weyman's narration. The atmosphere and characters of the novel are perfectly interpreted by this narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • NHP
  • 25-02-18

Good read

Good story unexpected ending. Quite atmospheric and describes the area very well. Dalglish at his best.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Our kid
  • 12-01-20

Great narration and prose

The denouement was disappointing. Whole explanation delivered as a chunk without the process followed by Dalgliesh. How did he know?

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  • Mrs L.
  • 24-10-18

Not the best

But still an interesting tale. Very much of its time it seems dated - although, as with the earlier books, illustrative of attitudes and ways of going on in those years. Daniel Weyman does a fine job, as always, though his narration improves with every novel he reads, reaching real excellence in P D James's later books. A fine partnership.