P. D. James BBC Radio Drama Collection

Seven Full-Cast Dramatisations
Length: 16 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (220 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Seven BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisations of P. D. James' acclaimed mysteries, plus P. D. James in Her Own Words.

This collection includes:

Cover Her Face
P. D. James' debut novel, introducing her famous detective Adam Dalgliesh. Starring Robin Ellis as Dalgliesh.

A Taste for Death
Dalgliesh investigates when two bodies are found murdered a London church. Starring Richard Derrington as Dalgliesh.

Devices and Desires
Dalgliesh hunts a serial killer in desolate Norfolk. Starring Robin Ellis as Dalgliesh.

A Certain Justice
Dalgliesh probes the murder of a brilliant criminal lawyer. Starring Philip Franks as Dalgliesh.

The Private Patient
Dalgliesh investigates a high-profile murder at an exclusive cosmetic surgery clinic. Starring Richard Derrington as Dalgliesh.

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
An eminent scientist hires Detective Cordelia Gray to discover why his son committed suicide. Starring Judi Bowker as Cordelia Gray.

The Skull Beneath the Skin
With her life in danger, actress Clarissa Lisle turns to private detective Cordelia Gray. Starring Greta Scacchi as Cordelia Gray.

Among the supporting cast in these classic dramas are Siân Phillips, Hugh Grant, Anna Massey and Geraldine James.

Also included is a bonus audio documentary, P. D. James in Her Own Words, in which the author discusses her professional career and private life.

©2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd (P)2018 BBC Worldwide Ltd

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Desert Island drama

This collection is a treat, what with Sîan Phillips, Anna Massey, and many other brilliant actors shine throughout nearly seventeen hours of dramatized James! I particularly enjoyed Robin Ellis in the role of Dalgliesh. Although I knew whodunnit in these stories simply because I’ve been a James fan since I was a young teenager, I still loved listening to the mysteries as they unfolded once more. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good British mystery with well done dramatizations from such talented actors.

43 people found this helpful

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A Different Sort of Experience

Hearing these excellent BBC dramas is a joy. First, it's a chance to sample, refresh, or renew some really great mysteries by a master, P.D. James.

Secondly, it's a way to experience old favorites in a new way. There are stories here featuring both Adam Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray, James' wonderful detectives. Each appears in more than one episode and is portrayed by more than one fine British actor. The collection includes works from several stages of James' career. And the stories are, of course, much shorter than the original works from which they are abridged.

Nobody is better than the BBC at reminding us why radio dramas are so much fun! These selections are perfect for car drives, bedtime listens, and sharing with others.

21 people found this helpful

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If you like PD James

You’ll love this compilation of radio plays. Very well done, and with some bonus interviews of the author at the end. Also, if you know the BBC TV productions, you may be surprised that these are not identical. And if you love the books, you’ll find the radio plays are VERY close to them. Wish I could find more!

6 people found this helpful

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Classy

These are classy, full-on adaptations of several PD James novels: mostly Dalgliesh stories, but there are two Cordelia Greys here as well. The collection includes the story I think of as James’s masterpiece, A Taste For Death. The adaptations follow the plots of the originals closely, though POV is often changed to better meet the requirements of the medium. (Most commonly, third-person narration is changed to first-person.)

I really have only one complaint: as with many recent BBC omnibus collections, there is no index of tracks, nor is there a comprehensive list of cast members. There really should be a PDF with this information.

6 people found this helpful

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An Audio-Drama for Mystery Lovers

Most mystery novel fans have read PD James at some time or another, whether you are a fan of murder mysteries, British detectives, strong storylines that carry through a series of books, or simply a fan of great writing. This collection of seven stories is intense and yet the length of each is not so long as to become mind-numbing when casting back to earlier details. The voices are distinct enough to differentiate from each other, but I, an American reader, did not recognize the voices as belonging to anyone other than the characters in the story. The stories are, for the most part, propelled by the dialogue so there is minimal narration by non-characters. I'd love to hear more of these audio-dramas! #suspense #dialogue #tagsgiving #sweepstakes #whodunnit

5 people found this helpful

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Too bad I couldn't hear it.

Quality of the sound fluctuated to badly I couldn't understand the stories. I am so sad about this because I love P.D. James.
Long time listener,
Mary Banco

3 people found this helpful

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Great stories

I loved all the stories P D James is one of my favourite authors she the master of weaving a story. The only one I didn’t enjoy was the one that stopped and then started again with the cast of the show each time, but on the whole I really enjoyed it.

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Love the live action!!!

This is the first time I have ever listened to a dramatization. It was an amazing experience. Highly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent murder mystery

My first PD James book, and at first I found the stories a little hard to follow, she uses a lot of characters. She does an excellent job of defining the characters as the story develops.

2 people found this helpful

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Almost

An example of inconsistent quality. Voices are 75% good, with a couple of “stingers” who not only had shrill painful voices but off sounding cadence.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-10-18

Very good dramatizations but.........

Let down by a lack of introductions and opening credits to some of the plays. You quite simply have no idea what it is you’re listening to!
Couldn’t Audible add some type of introduction and possibly some text to the chapter listing?

14 people found this helpful

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  • sue glason
  • 03-18-18

enjoyable

thoroughly enjoyed this book with the different varied stories. great actors throughout.
would highly recommend

14 people found this helpful

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  • zeltus
  • 11-21-18

Difficult to play due to lack of chapterisation

Nothing wrong with P.D. James' work, or (most of) the stories in this collection. It's just that they are not split by story, nor are there any accompanying notes saying exactly what is in them.

In the end, I gave up constantly trying to *wind forward* to where I had left off - an issue for any of us listening on multiple devices.

This is a fault of Audible and perhaps, the BBC, for marketing it this way. A shame, spoiling the ship for a ha'porth of tar.

20 people found this helpful

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  • M. K.
  • 02-19-18

Happy all 7 dramatisations are in one collection

I love all the bbc radio dramatisations of not only P. D. James but also of Agatha Christie however I had them on CDs from years ago and were therefore harder to access . Now that all of P D James radio dramatisations are in the one collection , it is far more convenient to listen to them and therefore more pleasurable to listen to . in fact I was missing a couple of the PD James dramatisations so I now have a complete set .And the dramatisations are superbly done .

36 people found this helpful

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  • JPR Beader
  • 02-11-18

Love These Dramatisations

The books are brought to life and are just the right length. PD James interviews are interesting and worth listening to.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Di
  • 03-30-18

Wonderful dramatisation

I had previously read the books and even so I greatly enjoyed the dramatised stories, the narration and actors are excellent. I also very much enjoyed the interviews with P. D. James at the end of the book, what an admirable woman and writer!

7 people found this helpful

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  • Barbara rea
  • 03-21-18

Getting to know PD James

I thoroughly enjoyed all the dramatisation of her books but most especially her own words and thoughts at the end of this presentation. Excellent

10 people found this helpful

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  • Hathor
  • 02-25-19

A mixed bag I am afraid

The quantity is superb, full casts and good sound effects. It is the outdated ideas, preoccupations and language that got to me and, crucially for me, this is not something that would stand up to repeat listening so am going to return it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs S J Durack
  • 08-25-18

Thoroughly enjoyable

Excellent dramatisation, brilliant storylines.
Highly recommended. I shall be on the look out for more like this

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-13-18

First Class in every way

Radio 4 did an incredible job dramatising these novels for the radio and the casting is just perfect. I wish they would remake these for television.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jillian Hancock
  • 11-21-18

Well done

Loved the performance and stories ( written by a master of the genre)and although I’ve read most hearing a presentation such as this is great entertainment. However it’s very annoying not having the information about when the individual stories begin

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-30-18

Great series!

A lovely series of dramatizations. Beautifully clear with excellent but not intrusive atmospheric sound effects.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lynda
  • 07-30-19

PDJames

Love her books. Has been great listening to them on audible. Wonderful collection need more

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  • beaver
  • 05-04-19

Lazy afternoons on the sofa

What a treat. These dramatisations of PD James books are just the ticket for a relaxing afternoon stretched out on the sofa. Great performances from all the cast. High quality production as you expect from the BBC and a final treat to hear from James her self in her own words. A great buy highly recommend!