As in all her other novels, James begins Shroud for a Nightingale by sketching out the setting Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a district training school for nurses. Beneath is the mental setting Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a walled-in, all-female atmosphere where sexual escapades and passions, however shrouded they may be, prevail. There is subservience of nurses to doctors, students to their teachers, of women to men.
The first murder is that of a student nurse during a demonstration. Even as the cause of the death is still a point of discussion and speculations on whether it was an accident, suicide, murder or a practical joke-gone-wrong, are doing the rounds, another student is murdered. It's time for Adam Dalgliesh, James' tall, sullen, perceptive hero, to investigate.
The review of this Book prepared by Ramani Moses
P.D. James relies heavily upon her own personal knowledge for this book, “Shroud for a
Nightingale” (James was a nurse during the War). Here, we find two student nurses dead
and the terror is just beginning! Set in the hospital nursing school of Nightingale House,
James gets set to explore quite a few themes besides terror and murder: deadly secrets,
sexual misbehavior, guilt, scandal. Enter Adam Dalgleish, James' poet Chief
Superintendent of Scotland Yard and is a man not to be fooled by (or with!) all the
colateral clues. Something is rotten in the state of the hospital and Dalgleish delights in the
pursuit. This is an early James--quite sound, quite lucid, quite exciting--and one not to be
The review of this Book prepared by Bill Hobbs