Skip to Main Content

The third installment in the classic Adam Dalgliesh mystery series, Unnnatural Causes is another must-read page-turner from bestselling author P.D. James, “the reigning mistress of murder” (Time).

Maurice Seton was a famous mystery writer—but no murder he ever invented was more grisly than his own death. When his corpse is found in a drifting dinghy with both hands chopped off at the wrists, ripples of horror spread among his bizarre circle of friends. Now it’s up to brilliant Scotland Yard inspector, Adam Dalgliesh, and his extraordinary aunt to uncover the shocking truth behind the writer’s death sentence, before the plot takes another murderous turn.

Unnatural Causes inspired Cosmopolitan to fervently hope, “if we’re lucky, there will always be an England and there will always be a P.D. James.”

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.

"The reigning mistress of murder."

– Time

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

– The Washington Post

“One of the most chilling crime writers around.”

– Observer

More books from this author: P.D. James

More books in this series: Adam Dalgliesh Mystery