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Publisher's Summary

Handsome Mark Callender did not die the way a young gentleman should. He was found hanged, a lipstick stain on his mouth and a nude girl's picture nearby. The official verdict was suicide, but his aristocratic father suspects murder.

He hires Cordelia Gray, a fledgling detective, to investigate. And as she follows a trail of guilty secrets and shameful sins, she concludes that the nicest people do the nastiest things!

©2001 P.D. James (P)2008 Books on Tape

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    81
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

quite suitable

Having been left a struggling detective agency, 22-year old Cordelia Gray sets out on her first case to discover why Mark Callander killed himself. Along the way not only does she discover the reasons behind his death, but she comes up against some very curious circumstances which put her in danger. Toward the end Cordelia makes some decisions which put her directly in the path of Adam Dalgliesh, who makes a cameo appearance in the book. Overall, P.D. James does quite a suitable job in this book which now can be considered a period piece. But its age can't disguise the twists and turns that have made the author famous. Penelope Dellaporta reads the book with panache and a clear, crisp tone, keeping the English voices distinct. This is a definite plus in a book of this style. Don't let the age of the book keep you away. It's worth it.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marie
  • WASHINGTON, DC, United States
  • 11-03-15

Engaging storytelling and a mystery

I really enjoyed listening to this book. I even liked the characters, who seemed very real.
This was my first PD James mystery, as I listed to another of her books, "Children of Men," and wanted a bit more. The detective Cordelia seemed very real, and not some super sleuth or bored aristocrat slumming it or wonder woman. You or I could be her, provided that we're practical unsentimental workaholics.
My only irritation was I couldn't seem to tell what year it was until later into the story. I couldn't imagine this taking place in the now, with some antiquated things in the book, so I thought it was post WW2. Well it was a little later than that and I had to readjust the image I had in that "theater of the mind" when I had to go late 60s.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Will
  • Miami, FL, United States
  • 05-27-13

A Superior Narrator

What did you love best about An Unsuitable Job for a Woman?

aving read the Adam Dagliesh Detective novels I find that I have enjoyed Cordelia Gray as much if not more than Dagliesh. PD James once told an interviewer that if she had started writing Detective Novels today her detective would be a woman. It's too bad there are only two Cordelia Gray stories.

What about Penelope Dellaporta’s performance did you like?

Ms. Dellaporta is now the voice of PD James for me, and I would prefer all of her audiobooks performed by Ms. Dellaporta

Any additional comments?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Carolyn
  • LANSING, MI, United States
  • 06-10-16

Unsuitable

I am very surprised by the glowing reviews of this book. I like PD James and was looking forward to hearing her work read and be introduced to a new character other than A.D. It certainly was not badly written, on the contrary, if I were reviewing only beautifully written prose I would happily rate this much higher. I have decided not to try to re-listen to the relevant sections, but I cannot find a motive for what was done. If it was in there, it was very cleverly hidden in information that seemed to suggest there was no reason for the conduct. I did not terribly enjoy the narration and wondered why an elderly voice was chosen for a young woman's story. At first, I decided it really did not matter, but because of the aged voice there were many times I could not guess the age of the character. Again, it was not a deal breaker so to speak, but I thought it was odd. In the end I was deeply disappointed with the story and how it was read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing tale with a few surprises

This book was a fun listen. The narrator did a commendable job differentiating between characters though at times I had to go backwards in order to understand which character said what. The ending was predictable but only if the reader is well versed in human behavior. The writer dropped little hints early on that the character tracked down later. If the listener was listening carefully then the ending should not be a surprise. The only surprise was Ms. Grey’s crucial decision in chapter 6 which seemed a bit out of character, but probably because I did not give sufficient credence to her growing obsession for Mark. Overall it’s an excellent book I will recommend highly to others. The author is an excellent writer.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Novel.

This was an Awesome novel -It was well read. Full of suspense, excitement & drama. Get it

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent & enjoyable story! Very good reader!

It was a pleasure to have listened to this audible book. Very good story and an excellent reader. Thoroughly enjoyable in every way!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful