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!