Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks
Invited to protect an actress within the rose red walls of a fairy-tale castle, Detective Cordelia Gray finds the stage is set for death.

Actress Clarissa Lisle has always been famous for her ravishing beauty—and her unscrupulous manipulations. Now on the death-shrouded island of Courcy, her schemes win her a starring role in a nightmare in which she can trust no one—not her deceived husband; her dangerously insecure stepson; her ominously genial host; her dependent, desperate cousin; or her cruelly amusing ex-lover. Soon Detective Cordelia gray finds that nothing is as it seems on Courcy—especially after the curtain goes down. Here she must delve into ancient secrets and guilt-stained pasts—and risk her life to stop a brilliantly cunning murderer who has set the stage for her death.

Topics: England, Island, 1980s, Series, Suspenseful, Women Detectives, Murder, Multiple Perspectives, Private Investigators, Acting, Blackmail, 20th Century, British Author, and Female Author

Published: Touchstone on Apr 17, 2012
ISBN: 9781439144299
List price: $10.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for The Skull Beneath the Skin: A Cordelia Gray Mystery
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

very good plot and characters!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
James never seems to put a foot wrongread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
James never seems to put a foot wrongread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

very good plot and characters!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
James never seems to put a foot wrong
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
James never seems to put a foot wrong
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Is there anything more enjoyable than a well written classic english mystery? Even if you aren't wearing a warm robe and sipping hot tea in front of a cozy fire while you read this you will feel like you are. PD James is a wonderful writer who can set scenes and create characters like no other... utterly and completely enjoyable!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Swift-paced and gripping, as detective novels should be, this mystery is part Agatha Christie's Poirot and part modern crime novel in spirit and approach. An actress is murdered in a Victorian castle on a private island, before a comeback performance of 'The Duchess of Malfi', and amateur private detective Cordelia Gray must identify which of her fellow guests is the killer. The murder is sufficiently brutal (although I was surprised that a reference wasn't made to the play, given that quotations abound and the victim is found with her eyes covered), the clues tempting, and motives abound - yet the solution is rather disappointing. Perhaps the grubby explanation could never match up to the gothic setting and the creative evidence (quotations about death from plays by Shakespeare), but the ending felt pared down - the supporting cast leave the stage one by one, narrowing down the suspects, and after chasing the most tantalising clue from pillar to post, Cordelia is met with a clinical confession from the murderer. The clues point in the right direction, but the culprit is almost unworthy of the attention. And one small point - wouldn't it have been easy enough to get a reprint of the damning newspaper article from the British Library?Cordelia, despite her amateur status, is classically educated and almost arrogantly middle class, reminding me of Inspector Morse (whom I didn't like in book form, either). She, and the other guests at the castle, all recognise obscure quotes and can dredge up translations of Latin from schooldays - informative for the reader, particularly with regard to extending vocabulary ('preprandial' and 'rebarbative' are two of my favourites), but didn't endear me to the colourful but unreal characters. Everybody's reaction to finding the battered corpse of the actress is very stiff and repressed, until Cordelia analyses herself into a fit of silent tears. Being told how intelligent and talented a detective Cordelia is by the 'real' police didn't boost her charm, either.James' writing is skilfull and almost lyrical in places, but this Cordelia Gray mystery was a hit and miss experience for me. A thoughtful, very atmospheric tale with a weak ending.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
This is the second Cordelia Gray mystery after 'An Unsuitable Job for a Woman', by the author of the more extensive Adam Dalgliesh series.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd