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The Skull Beneath the Skin

A Cordelia Gray Mystery

Invited to protect an actress within the rose red walls of a fairy-tale castle, Detective Cordelia Gray finds the stage is set for death.

Actress Clarissa Lisle has always been famous for her ravishing beauty—and her unscrupulous manipulations. Now on the death-shrouded island of Courcy, her schemes win her a starring role in a nightmare in which she can trust no one—not her deceived husband; her dangerously insecure stepson; her ominously genial host; her dependent, desperate cousin; or her cruelly amusing ex-lover. Soon Detective Cordelia gray finds that nothing is as it seems on Courcy—especially after the curtain goes down. Here she must delve into ancient secrets and guilt-stained pasts—and risk her life to stop a brilliantly cunning murderer who has set the stage for her death.

Photograph by Ulla Montan

P. D. James (1920–2014) was born in Oxford in 1920. She worked in the National Health Service and the Home Office From 1949 to 1968, in both the Police Department and Criminal Policy Department. All that experience was used in her novels. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy, and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honour for Literature. She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and was created a life peer in 1991.

“One of the finest, most absorbing craftsmen of the profession.”

– The Washington Post

“One of the most chilling crime writers around.”

– Observer

"The greatest contemporary writer of classic crime."

– The Sunday Times (London)

More books from this author: P.D. James

More books in this series: Cordelia Gray Mystery