A Taste for Death-P.D. James
Novel (Series: Adam Dalgliesh)
"When the quiet Little Vestry of St. Matthew's Church becomes the blood-soaked scene of a double murder, Scotland Yard Commander Adam Dalgliesh faces an intriguing conundrum: How did an upper-crust Minister come to lie, slit throat to slit throat, next to a neighborhood derelict of the lowest order? Challenged with the investigation of a crime that appears to have endless motives, Dalgliesh explores the sinister web spun around a half-burnt diary and a violet-eyed widow who is pregnant and full of malice--all the while hoping to fill the gap of logic that joined these two disparate men in bright red death. . . ."
Definitely my favorite PD James thus far. It is intricate with almost too many characters to keep track of but has a solid mystery feel. The plot never strays into stereotypes which makes it a great read. Full of twists, few things make sense until the final pulling together of all the threads. And then James goes on to finish all of the arcs she started to create a very full novel about the way we live our lives. There's also a subtle commentary on the aristocracy and they do not finish off looking like a good bunch. The crime is particularly gory and there are other rather strong harrowing scenes nearer the end.
James is mean to the elderly though. They seem to always be either pathetic or just plain dead. And she hates beauty. In all her books there's always a couple of lines talking about beauty's rotten core rather than any lines about any good that comes from it.