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P.D. James
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    (August 3, 1920-November 27, 2014)
    Born in Oxford, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Phyllis Dorothy James
    Mystery novelist known for her stories featuring policeman/poet Adam Dalgliesh
    Titles include 'Cover Her Face' (1962), 'Unnatural Causes' (1967), 'Shroud for a Nightingale' (1971), 'Death of an Expert Witness' (1977), 'A Taste for Death' (1986), 'Original Sin' (1994), 'Death in Holy Orders' (2001) and 'The Private Patient' (2008)
    Non-Dalgliesh novels include 'An Unsuitable Job for a Woman' (1972), 'Innocent Blood' (1980), 'The Children of Men' (1992) and 'Death Comes to Pemberley' (2011)
    Named Baroness James of Holland Park (1991)
    She said, 'I had an interest in death from an early age. When I heard Humpty Dumpty, I thought 'Did he fall or was he pushed?''
    She worked in the British tax office.
    She claimed that she used her initials not to hide her gender but because she felt they would look good on the spine of a book.
    She initially thought of her detective stories as a warm up for more 'serious' fiction: 'I didn't foresee a writing career primarily as a crime novelist.'
    She said 'The Private Patient' would be her last Dalgliesh novel because it would be 'intolerable' if she started another one and died leaving it unfinished.
    She was a Red Cross nurse during World War II.
    After her physician husband was diagnosed as schizophrenic, she had to work as a hospital administrator to support the family.
    For her early novels, she would get up at 6 AM and write for two hours before leaving for work.
    Fellow crime writer Frances Fyfield wrote, 'She has dragged detective fiction kicking and screaming into the 21st century.'
    She said about her readers, 'They want a good novel, honestly written, and I think they are jolly well entitled to it.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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