Book Read! Talking about Detective Fiction

P.D. James, Talking about Detective Fiction (2009).

I had heard an interview with P.D. James a while ago where she was asked about the fact that she said that books of Jane Austen could be seen as detective fiction, and this intrigued me so that I had to buy the book where this was stated.  And I don’t regret it.  This is an interesting read for all those that are interested in detective fiction and those that are not.  James thinks and talks about the correct definition of the detective novel, about popular fiction characters as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot, about women detective writers, about plot, viewpoint and settings, about flaws and strengths, about the evolution in characters, crimes and techniques, and so on.

I do not agree with her on all points (e.g. that Agatha Christie didn’t influence later writers), but most of the time I see what she means and I have to agree that she has a point in stating what she does.

A great review is to be found on If You Can Read This!

This book is the 9th I read for the Buy One Book And Read It 2011! Challenge.



  1. This sounds like an interesting book, both for those who read, and those who write, detective fiction. Well found!

    • Yes, Judith, it was definitely interesting and a fun read. P.D. James writes in such a way it gave the impression I was listening to her, instead of reading. I haven’t read any of her detective stories, but I certainly will now. And I think I will try to read some of the many titles she mentions in this book. My TBR-list has grown again… 🙂


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