Commander Dalgliesh returns in P. D. James's classical detective novel full of atmosphere and suspense, set in her beloved East Anglia.
Death in Holy Orders is set in an Anglican theological college on a desolate stretch of the East Anglian coast, a location which she has made particularly her own. When the body of one of the students is found on the shore smothered by a fall of sand, his wealthy father demands that Scotland Yard re-examines the verdict of accidental death. Dalgliesh has visited St Anselm's in his boyhood and, as he is due for a holiday, agrees to pay a visit, expecting no more than a nostalgic return to old haunts and a straightforward examination of the evidence given at the inquest. Instead he finds himself embroiled in one of the most horrific and puzzling cases of his career. Other visitors come to the college on the weekend of his arrival, not all of them with benign intent. One will never leave it alive.
Death in Holy Orders, a masterly exploration of an isolated and beleagured community coping with the evil and disruption of murder, has all the qualities which distinguish P. D. James as a novelist: the sensitive evocation of place, a complex and credible mystery, respect for forensic detail and the tension of a plot that never flags.