The Mystery Reading Group at the Firewheel Barnes and Noble met last week to discuss The selection for the month. The name of the book was Cover Her Face and it was written by P.D. James. This is the first in a series of books by the author featuring Adam Dalgliesh - a detective in the UK. This book was first published in 1962. Incidentally, the detective Adam Dalgliesh has been the subject of some films as well.
There were ten people in attendance for our discussion - three of which were first time attendees who did not read the book. A vote of the remaining seven was made. There were four thumbs up, two thumbs down, and one abstained (myself) due to not finishing the book. A comment was made that this was the hardest books to read in the series but later books are more interesting. It definitely was a different type of writing. I know I may have had problems reading it due to injuries and medicine I was taking while trying to read it - I missed a lot of things. I have since have completed the book and would like to give it a thumbs up as well. The tally is 5 up and 2 down.
This is a mystery that involves more than the death of an "unwed" mother named Sally Jupp and discovering who the murderer is. Sally Jupp lives and works for a well to do family when she is murdered. It becomes clear that she was strangled in her own room during the night and our detective Adam Dalgliesh has to work his way through a lot of suspects to identify the killer.
While there is a big mystery as to who killed her - and why, there was another mystery that had to be tackled in the story. This mystery involved the life of Sally Jupp. There was very little information known about her until close to the end. Some of the secrets revealed here were in my eyes what helped make the story of more interest - in spite of the slow start and confusion from the beginning. It was also interesting that the murder was really solved by a confession.
Another complaint about this story was the role the detective played in this story. His role was not as significant or major as would have been expected - there were several other characters involved throughout. One of the members of our group indicated that the detective's role takes on a lot more significance in later books.
If you enjoy English mysteries, this book (and the series) may be one you would like to check out.