An Unsuitable Job for a Woman Author:P. D. James This is the first Cordelia Gray mystery which introduces us to the young sleuth, now the sole proprietor of the Pryde Detective Agency, and hard at work on her first independent case. Sir Ronald Callender's son Mark is found hanged in mysterious circumstances, and he hires Cordelia to shed some light on his son's apparent suicide. But as... more » Cordelia pieces together the facts surrounding his death, delving back into the long-buried secrets of the Callender family, she finds that Mark had many good friends -- and one deadly enemy.« less
At first, I didn't think I would get too attached to the heroine, a young woman struggling to establish herself as lone P.I., but she was a very empathetic character by the middle of the book. The writing style is not at all florid, it could almost be called concise, but she does such a great job at picking what details she does elaborate, and describing psycological turmoil.
Wonder if Sue Grafton read this before starting her Alphabet series - the hero Cordelia Gray reminds me of Grafton's Kinsey Milhone in some ways, a young but tough woman, no gimmicks but a gun! But very British. The mystery is well constructed and ties itself up like a snake eating its tail. James' other detective Adam Dalgliesh is a minor character (he is actually a very strong presence in the book, I think James seems to be in love with him, to the point of losing objectivity!)