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P.D. James and the Importance of Setting

Cover of Talking About Detective Fiction

Talking About Detective Fiction holds many insights into the history of the near 150 year old genre, as well as the influences that have made P.D. James one of the most popular detective fiction authors around today. Yet it is the importance of setting in James’ work that may be the most revealing aspect of this title.

“My own detective novels, with rare exceptions, have been inspired by the place rather than by a method of murder or a character; an example is Devices and Desires, which had its genesis while I was on a visit of exploration in East Anglia, standing on a deserted shingle beach . . .long months of writing began with that moment of solitude on an East Anglian beach.”

James goes on to explain the setting’s ability to add credibility to a story, the importance of the character’s interaction with the setting, and why islands are so commonly used in works of detective fiction.

Talking About Detective Fiction is a great read for fans of P.D. James, and mystery writing in general.

Happy Reading!

Kev.D.