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P.D. James's Cover Her Face: More like Cover Your Eyes, amirite? 'Cause it's not good? Yeah.

GUESS WHAT I HAVEN'T BEEN DOING? Reading. Ahahahahaha.

Ok but seriously I've started again, but I started with the WORST thing because I decided to finish P.D. James's first book, Cover Her Face.


all of the covers for this book are terrible

HERE'S THE THING about Cover Her Face. Actually multiple things:


1) The title is weird.

2) It's probably not P.D. James's fault, but this book is set in the '60s and I kept thinking it was the '30s because it's all about a murder happening to the servant of a wealthy English family and they act like it's the '30s all the time.



"Ugh, exertion."

3) I was going to say maybe this is because P.D. James is rich as balls, only Wikipedia assures me she was not at this time of her life (even though her current title is "Baroness James of Holland Park"). 


4) This book cannot decide on a POV, and it's one thing when you're like "I'm gonna alternate viewpoints in a clear way!" and it's another when you're like "Doop dee der, how about now we suddenly have access to THIS person's head for two pages and no more ever." Summaries of this book are all like "This introduces Inspector Adam Dalgliesh!" and it's like "Ok, that sounds like Dog Leash the way I'm saying it in my head, but also he seemed super-peripheral so I do not understand your enthusiasm for the character."


5) The ending was not surprising and that is literally all you really need to do in a detective story what are you doing Young P.D. James I refuse to read more of your books this one was such a letdown.


There's this wealthy (although actually not that wealthy anymore SO THEY SAY but they still have a huge ancient house and are on the board of things and run the local fair on their grounds, so. Whatever, 'we're-not-wealthy') English family and they have a maid living with them who has a baby because they have recruited her from one of those Homes for Single Mothers that apparently were everywhere back in the day. And she acts very deferential, but she is SUSPECTED of harboring rebelliousness


Bloody peasant.

There's the dying, comatose father, the noble mother, the son who's a surgeon, the daughter who's bored all the time, the nurse who's a friend of the family and in love with the son, and probably some other people. 

The son OUT OF NOWHERE proposes to the possibly upstart maid, and then that night she gets murdered. OH NO WHO DID IT I don't really care because you have not developed any of these people and also I didn't like that maid. Nor do you give me reason to later, P.D. James. In the end, you're basically like "Well, if she hadn't been such an asshole, she probably wouldn't have gotten murdered."


So yes. I cared about no one, the word 'voluble' was used WAY TOO MANY TIMES, and I heavily skimmed the last two chapters just so I could find out who did it, and when I found out, it was not a surprise, and the writing is passable but you could also be reading Archie Comics and they'd probably be more enjoyable and this book is not good do not read it.


Edit: P.D. James herself apparently said  "I would be tempted to say the first one is now my least favorite, because I think the others are so much better. But then it's unkind to say that, because it's like a first child, it got me started as a writer. But I suppose if I was told that one book had to disappear without a trace, it would probably be the first." 

So maybe -- MAYBE -- if she herself acknowledges the shittiness of this book, one can read her other books. Or try them.

Maybe. (but I probably won't)

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