by Julie HaleNovember, 2004
The Murder Room
Commander Adam Dalgliesh, James' beloved investigator, returns in this riveting follow-up to her previous book, Death in Holy Orders (2001). A small, private institution in London devoted to the years between the First and Second World Wars, the mysterious Dupayne Museum contains a particularly disturbing exhibit called the Murder Room, which commemorates the most sinister slayings of that historical period. Called upon to investigate the murder of one of the museum's trustees, Dalgliesh learns that the victim was attempting to close the museum contrary to the desires of its staff and the rest of the trustees. The plot thickens as the murderer prepares to strike again, using the true crimes from the Murder Room as inspiration. Where matters of the heart are concerned, Dalgliesh's budding romance with Emma Lavenham, the beautiful young Cambridge professor whom James introduced in Death in Holy Orders , continues to grow. With fully realized characters and a masterfully developed plot, The Murder Room the author's 16th novel was a national bestseller in hardcover. Intricate and suspenseful, it's James at her finest. A reading group guide is available in print and online at www.readinggroupcenter.com.