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Summary

An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery. Set on the banks of the River Thames in the literary world, P. D. James' Original Sin is the ninth Adam Dalgliesh mystery and a brilliant work of crime fiction from the best-selling author of Death Comes to Pemberley.

The Peverell Press, a 200-year-old publishing firm housed in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames, is certainly ripe for change. But the proposals of its ruthlessly ambitious new managing director, Gerard Etienne, have made him dangerous enemies - a discarded mistress, a neglected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues and staff.

When Gerard's body is discovered bizarrely desecrated, there is no shortage of suspects, and Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of extraordinary complexity and a murderer who is prepared to strike again.

P. D. James (1920-2014) was a best-selling and internationally acclaimed crime writer. She was the creator of Adam Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray and their long and successful series of mysteries. Her works include Cover Her Face (1962), An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972), Innocent Blood (1980), The Children of Men (1992), and the Jane Austen-inspired Death Comes to Pemberley (2011).

James was born in Oxford in 1920. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy, and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award. She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983, and created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected president of the Society of Authors and stood down from this role in 2013.

©1994 P.D. James (P)2015 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"An elegantly written, splendidly atmospheric and immensely satisfying mystery." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"Classic P. D. James, rich, delicious and satisfying." ( Sunday Times)

What listeners say about Original Sin

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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P D James at her best.

What made the experience of listening to Original Sin the most enjoyable?

I like reading P D James' books but I thoroughly enjoyed the narration. All the voices were soo clever. Wonderful! The story was excellent and the narrator voiced all the characters.

What did you like best about this story?

The fact that I couldn't wait for the reveal but also didn't want it to end.

What does Daniel Weyman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His narration was excellent - more of him please.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I wanted to but it was lengthy. This is not a complaint. I like to get my money's worth!

Any additional comments?

Lots of characters makes a book more interesting and impossible to guess who the perpetrator was.

13 people found this helpful

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Best one yet!

Great story, gripping from beginning to end. I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!

11 people found this helpful

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Beautifully narrated

Beautifully narrated by Daniel Weyman. I did keep waiting for more of Adam Dalgliesh, who did not play much part in the tale. Nevertheless I enjoyed the plot.

8 people found this helpful

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A real "page turner"


Another great book. I've been a fan of AD for sometime and the orator of these stories brings him and the other characters to life with a real identity. Good job all round.

9 people found this helpful

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good, long read, sometimes a bit wordy though

I've read this book once before having borrowed it in Braille, but it was really nice to hear such a good book read by such a fabulous narrator. PD James was a fantastic author with a knack for good scene descriptions and for describing people, however there were a few instances where her word choice could have been better / more up to date. I don't usually have to get the dictionary out when I'm reading, but because her writing is slightly old-fashioned, in some ways I found it quite refreshing.
The narrator's voice is lovely and he does male and female voices equally well.

12 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

Another stunning performance by Daniel Weyman. Atmospheric, thoughtful and intricate characterisation and story from the unsurpassed P D James. I fell for Dalgleish decades ago in the original books.....now fallen for him all over again!!!

3 people found this helpful

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Bored to death - a mockery

If PD James padded this out any further she would surely be done for wasting police time.

I am almost half way through this book and the main man, Adam Dalgliesh, has yet to do anything.

I do, however, know lots of information that has absolutely nothing to do with moving the story along or developing the characters. What a load of nonsense. This book is packed to the rafters with totally irrelevant information. One character describes how, as a child, her dad used to tell her the history of the parts of London she was passing - the author then spends pages telling us the history that her dad told her and it has no bearing whatsoever on anything in the story. Then one of the characters takes the company launch across the Thames and the helmsman, who has been doing the job for 30 years, goes on to explain (pages of) all he has seen and all that our character can see on the Thames - and that too has nothing to do with the story. One of our main characters goes for lunch at a private gentleman's club - the author tells us about each and every flower and furnishing on the terrace and then tells us that no one ever sits out there, she then tells us the full contents of the lunch menu, starter, mains and desert!! WHY? Why do I need to know that?

After what seemed like an eternity, I got to the bit where something had actually happened and the investigation was about to begin........we are introduced to Kate, the detective or sidekick (cant be bothered looking back at the audiobook as want to throw it though window), but.......... before Kate can get on with the job and the book can get going........we have to be told that she lives in a great new flat on the London Docklands with a dual aspect and two balconys with amazing views over the Thames, one balcony has just enough room for a small table and chairs. The flat is perfect for Kate's cream /fawn? sofa, a much better choice than the darker one she was thinking of getting!!!!! I'm so glad I know this - I couldn't possibly have moved on in the story without this truly remarkable piece of information.

Lost the will, given up, will never read another PD James.

The narrator is very polished and is excellent in his narration of A Very English Scandal, but I feel I have heard him too often and it is starting to impact on my listening experience. I will be avoiding him for a while.

6 people found this helpful

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Perfection

Possibly the greatest descriptive prose in detective fiction I have ever read. Perfect premise and great characters.

2 people found this helpful

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Classic P D James

When you buy a crime thriller by P D James you know exactly what you're getting. It's like putting on a pair of comfortable slippers, familiar and restful! Original Sin is no exception. A very good story with well written characters, all well educated and quite posh!! Daniel Weyman provides an excellent narration with his measured tones and his BBC pronunciation. A good story that I enjoyed.

2 people found this helpful

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P D at her best

Beautifully written, rich in character and plot. I had read this many years ago but this did not detract for the reading. Quality stuff, not much like this about.

2 people found this helpful