Review: PD James – Sleep No More

Last year we were treated to The Mistletoe Murders by PD James, a collection of of four short stories that had previously appeared in various publications. It was a joy to read over Christmas and a reminder of James’s talent. This yearSleep No More gives us six new stories which will delight fans of the author and again draws us into a world where nothing is as it appears.

The most festive of the stories, ‘The Murder of Santa Claus’ narrates the story of a murder seen through the eyes of a small boy. Like with the first story, ‘The Yo-Yo Murder’ James reminds us that childhood is a curious mix of innocence and kept secrets and that children are adept at making decisions to protect adults.

Like her contemporary, James excels at depicting the disfunctionality within families and the continuing tensions of married life. ‘The Victim’ and ‘A Very Desirable Residence’ are prime examples of this and the author cleverly misdirects the reader throughout.

My favourite of the collection is ‘The Girl Who Loved Graveyards.’ Again with a child protagonist, the story is unusual, poignant and slightly downbeat and I think it’s one of the best I’ve read from the author.

I’m sure fans of PD James will already have this book on their list. It made me return to one of her novels, An Unsuitable Job For a Woman, as I wanted to remain in the unique world she created. James was a remarkable author who influenced a generation of crime writers and I’m sure will continue to do so.

6 thoughts on “Review: PD James – Sleep No More

  1. Dave Gibson

    She was a jewel, alright. Along with Dexter and Rendell, she tuned me in to the modern classic English crime story. After many years of reading Holmes, I never thought I would tune in to anyone else. Thank you dear P.D and thank you Sarah. PS: Enjoying your audio books with relish. Cheers from Down Under.


  2. Kathy P.

    Hello Sarah. I’ve know of P D James, naturally; more because of her character Alan Dalgliesh on the TV, and I read a lot of her books when I was younger, but they’ve slipped off my radar for quite a few years now. I like the thought of murders at Christmas, the Mistletoe Murders and Sleep No More. Short stories are also a boon as well. To be read in between doing the ironing, waiting for dinner to cook, popping out to do the shopping etc. I shall add these to my list of books TBR, and will read them this Christmas as I’ll be own my own. The BFF is off to Australia for a month 😐……


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