Friday, November 28, 2014

Thank you, P.D. James

Back in 2004, my dear, sweet wife and I had the joy of spending 10 days in London, England.  This happened because a member of my church in Hilton Head Island, SC had been a high ranking executive for Kodak and maintained a flat near Harrods.  He said, "If you want to use the flat, it's yours!"  So we went and had a wonderful time.  We loved traveling on the Underground every day to a different part of the city.  We did the stuff all the tourists do and we traveled off the beaten path as well.  It was a wonderful getaway for us.

Sometime later I was lamenting to a friend about how much I missed being in London.  His advice? "Read P.D. James.  It will be like taking a trip to London."  I took my friend's advice and I'm glad I did so.

James wrote detective fiction, as she called it.  But her books read like novels.  Most of her books featured detective Adam Dalgliesh, a formal, reserved, and clever solver of crimes.  James wrote 14 Dalgliesh stories and I eagerly devoured every one of them.  And my friend was right - reading James' book was like taking a trip to London, or England for that matter.

Early Thanksgiving morning, P.D. James died peacefully at her home in Oxford, England.  She was 94 years old.  I never met her but I found a signed copy of one of her books as I searched the shelves at our local Savers store. I, along with scores of readers, will miss her very much. Thanks, P.D. James - you were a wonderful traveling companion!