P.D. James is among the very few mystery authors who transcend genre. The Murder Room, her latest Adam Dalgliesh mystery, finds the ace poet/detective and his crack Scotland Yard team confronting first one grisly murder, then another in a small, private museum on the edge of London's Hampstead Heath. Defying coincidence, both bizarre killings duplicate crimes from the years between WWI and WWII, represented in the museum's popular Murder Room. The pace is unhurried, allowing for musings on reverence for the past, class and privilege, and how a murder can mirror the time in which it's committed. But the suspense does mount, as does the number of possible suspects, their possible connections and motives. Charles Keating performs this reading with consummate skill, inhabiting every role, seamlessly switching accents and fine-tuning the emotional intensity.
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