Unnatural Causes

Unnatural Causes

infobox Book |
name = Unnatural Causes
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption = First edition cover
author = P. D. James
cover_artist =
country = United Kingdom
language = English
series = Adam Dalgliesh #3
genre = Crime/Mystery novel
publisher = Faber and Faber
release_date = 1967
media_type = Print (Hardback & Paperback)
pages = 236 pp
isbn = NA
preceded_by = A Mind to Murder
followed_by = Shroud for a Nightingale

"You may be looking for , a documentary series broadcast on PBS in 2008."

"Unnatural Causes" is the title of a 1967 detective novel by P. D. James.


While staying with his aunt Jane in Suffolk, Adam Dalgliesh stumbles across a most bizarre and frightening murder. A local detective novelist, Maurice Seton, finds himself the subject of investigation when his body washes ashore alongside his boat, with both his hands missing, seemingly removed with a meat cleaver. Strangely, the scene of his death is mirrored in a manuscirpt for the new thriller he was writing...

Literary significance and criticism

"Something of a letdown. The country-house setting and the characterization of the unfortunate criminal are excellently handled, and the powerful ending under rushing waters is both credible and mysterious, but the method of murder as well as its cause is farfetched. Dalgleish has had a tiff with his lover and lets her go out of his life in a psychologically odd instance of inaction. What next?"Barzun, Jacques and Taylor, Wendell Hertig. "A Catalogue of Crime". New York: Harper & Row. 1971, revised and enlarged edition 1989. ISBN 0-06-015796-8] - Catalogue of Crime


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