A Taste for Death (James novel)

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A Taste for Death
First edition
Author P. D. James
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Adam Dalgliesh #7
Genre Crime, Mystery novel
Publisher Faber and Faber
Publication date
9 June 1986
Media type Print (Hardback, Paperback)
Pages 454 pp (hardback first edition)
ISBN 0-571-13799-7
OCLC 15018788
823/.914 19
LC Class PR6060.A467 T3 1986b
Preceded by Death of an Expert Witness
Followed by Devices and Desires

A Taste for Death is a crime novel by British writer P. D. James, seventh in the popular Commander Adam Dalgliesh series. The novel won the Silver Dagger in 1986, losing out on the Gold to Ruth Rendell's Live Flesh. It has been adapted for television and radio.

Plot summary[edit]

In the dingy vestry of St. Matthew's Church, Paddington, two bodies have been found with their throats slashed. One is an alcoholic vagrant, whereas the other is Sir Paul Berowne, a baronet and recently resigned Minister of the Crown. Poet and Commander Adam Dalgliesh investigates one of the most convoluted cases of his career...


The title is drawn from a short poem by A. E. Housman which concludes "There's this to say for blood and breath,/ they give a man a taste for death".


A cunningly compulsive work... heart-pounding suspense - Sunday Times

Lady James, a novelist of broad gifts and great skill, here is writing in full mastery of her craft - The New York Times Book Review

Here is still, thank goodness, the world of the classic detective tale - Malcolm Bradbury