P.D. James

Writer

Born: 3 August 1920
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Best known as: Author of An Unsuitable Job For A Woman

Name at birth: Phyllis Dorothy James

P.D. James is one of the most famous mystery novelists in the world, the author of several novels featuring the poet-detective, Adam Dalgliesh. Her first novel, Cover Her Face (1962) was written over a period of three years, while James raised two children and worked as a civil servant in London (throughout her writing career, she held several bureaucratic posts). Popular as well as critically-acclaimed, her mysteries are usually of the "closed circle of suspects" variety, and she is considered by some to be a more literary version of Agatha Christie. Her novels include Shroud For A Nightingale (1971), An Unsuitable Job For A Woman (1972), A Taste For Death (1986) and Death in Holy Orders (2001); in 2000 she published her autobiography, Time To Be In Earnest. Several of her books have made it to television and film, and James has been called the "Queen of Crime." She was named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1983 and Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991.

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