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Adam Dalgliesh Books In Order

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Publication Order of Adam Dalgliesh Books

Cover Her Face (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Mind to Murder (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unnatural Causes (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shroud for a Nightingale (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Black Tower (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of an Expert Witness (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Taste for Death (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Devices and Desires (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Original Sin (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Certain Justice (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in Holy Orders (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Murder Room (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lighthouse (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Private Patient (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Adam Dalgliesh series is a series of mystery and thriller novels written by the New York Times bestselling author from England named P.D. James. This series is comprised of a total of 14 books, which were released between the years 1962 and 2008. All the books in this mystery series feature the chief protagonist in the form of a police detective from England named Adam Dalgliesh. The series is also connected to one of the other mystery series written by author James titled as the Cordelia Gray series. Author James has depicted the fictional character of P.D. James as working at the New Scotland Yard based in London, England. In the earlier parts of the series, he is shown as starting his career in the police department with the post of a Detective Chief Inspector. And as the series progresses, Adam Dalgliesh’s rank also keeps on rising. Throughout the plots of the different novels of the series, inspector Dalgliesh is described as a gentleman detective and a true staple of the detective fiction of England. The first appearance of Adam Dalgliesh came in the year 1962 in the debut book of the series called Cover Her Face. Since then, author James has gone on to feature him in more than a dozen other novels of the mystery series.

After being introduced as a Detective Inspector in the first book, Dalgliesh eventually goes on to reach the Commander’s rank in the Metropolitan Police Department at the Scotland Yard. He is shown to be a private and intensely cerebral person. Other than being involved in the criminal investigations, inspector Dalgliesh also likes to write poetry. His colleagues are very much fond of making him remember this fact time and again. Dalgliesh has even been successful in publishing a few volumes of the poetry written by him. Adam Dalgliesh lives in an apartment at Queenhithe, located above the river Thames in the London City. Initially, he is shown to drive a Cooper Bristol and later, he drives a Jaguar. Author James has described him as a tall, dark, and handsome man, who always gets attracted to women. Dalgliesh’s father was connected to the country parish in Norfolk as a rector. The only member left in his family was his aunt named Jane Dalgliesh.

Adam used to hold his aunt in high esteem. He goes on to inherit her converted windmill on the coast of Norfolk after her death. Throughout the years of his service, Dalgliesh has been described as being very much successful and astute. In the later novels of the series, author James has shown him as becoming the head of a group of CID Officer who work only on highly sensitive cases. Dalgliesh lost his wife many years ago in childbirth and now lives as a widower. Since the death of his wife, he was rather reluctant to indulge in any relationship. This also became the reason why Deborah Riscoe left him. Dalgliesh meets a lecturer named Emma Lavenham in Suffolk, whom he proposes his desire to marry. Their marriage happens at the end of the last book of the series. Many critics have drawn parallels between inspector Dalgliesh and other fictional detective named Inspector Morse. Author James had named the character of Dalgliesh in honor of her English teacher at the Cambridge High School. All the books featuring Adam Dalgliesh have been made into television series over the years. A number of actors have played the character subsequently, including Roy Marsden, Martin Shaw, Philip Franks, Robin Ellis, etc.

One of the initial books written in the Adam Dalgliesh series by author P.D. James is titled as ‘Unnatural Causes’. This book was released by the Penguin Books in the year 1967. The central characters featuring in this book are Maurice Seton and Adam Dalgliesh and the story is set in England, The United Kingdom. The opening scene of the book shows that Dalgliesh is posted as a Police Superintendent and is looking forward to a relaxing holiday at the cottage of his aunt, located on the Monsmere Head. This region is one of the furthest located spots on the remote coast of Suffolk. There was nothing to do for Dalgliesh on the cottage other than enjoying the holidays. His daily activities included going for long walks swept in the wind, drinking tea by sitting near a crackling bonfire, and enjoying his buttered toast. Superintendent Dalgliesh was mostly relishing the thought of having a well earned break. But, his hopes of a peaceful holiday get shattered because of a murder. He comes to know that a local crime writer named Maurice Seton has been murdered. He discovers the mutilated dead body of Maurice floating ashore in a drifting manner. Due to this unexpected murder in an unexpected place, Adam Dalgliesh gets dragged into yet another macabre investigation. But, he does hesitate to take up the case and intends to solve it as soon as possible.

Another book published in the series is titled as ‘The Black Tower’. This book is set in Dorset, England, United Kingdom, and features the main characters Adam Dalgliesh, Dennis Lerner, Julius Court, Maggie Hewson, Grace Willison, etc. In this book, Inspector Dalgliesh is depicted as racing with full dedication to solve a twisted case involving murder. At the beginning, Dalgliesh is shown to have become the Commander at the New Scotland Yard. As soon as he recovers from an illness, Dalgliesh gets a call for help from an elderly chaplain at the Toynton Grange. This nursing home was an isolated one located on the England coast and Father Baddeey had called Dalgliesh for advice on some matter. But, when he arrives at the nursing home, he finds that Baddeley has died mysteriously along with one of the patients. Soon after, a few other dead bodies turn up forcing Commander Dalgliesh to increase his pace of investigation. The deeper he tries to dig into the case, the dangers he comes across in his path. But, Dalgliesh seems very much determined to find the truth behind the death of his friend. Eventually, he goes on to unmask the evil practices taking place at Toynton Grange. Similar to the other books in the series, this book too was highly praised and was regarded as a splendid, masterpiece, and macabre novel.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Adam Dalgliesh

3 Responses to “Adam Dalgliesh”

  1. Joette: 5 months ago

    Love the series, am interested in looking into the books. Love reading much more than TV.

  2. Reginald Masten: 2 years ago

    Death Comes to Pemberley was the first book I read by P.D.James. I’m just starting the 14th and final Adam Dalgliesh mystery. I have enjoyed this excellent writer and will continue to read as many of her works as I can get my hands on. R.I.P.

  3. Jenine Hemphill: 2 years ago

    Thank you so much for this information. I’m a great fan and cried when P. D James died. I felt I’d lost a dear friend.


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