Marketing IQ IQ itibaren K.Kelagur, Karnataka, Hindistan
What happens when a very sharp woman finds herself in partnership with a failed detective only to discover that the detective was never quite what he claimed to be? What happens when that same failed detective commits suicide and leaves that detective agency to that same woman? Can she operate under the methodological standards her deceased partner has given her, vicarious words of wisdom from James’ other protagonist, Chief Superintendent Adam Dalgleish? My impression is that a very satisfying tale unwinds, twisting and turning through an upper class English family that keeps the proverbial stiff upper lip rather too well. To paraphrase the bard, something appears to have a rank scent in Cambridge. James’ protagonist, Cordelia Grey has to move from the clear-cut suicide of her former partner into the murky world of an apparently clear suicide by the son of a famous biologist. In scrutinizing the scene for the cause of said suicide, she wanders between the sheltered academic world of the Cambridge colleges and the inveterate concern for funds in the scientific research community. Somewhere, either in the demesne of the dons or the laboratory of the learned, is a secret that could illuminate this inexplicable death of a young man who seemed to be at peace. Of course, part of the beauty of this novel is the tightrope James walks between playing off gender vulnerability with her new protagonist (at least, at the time of the writing of this first book in the series) and celebrating gender competence in Cordelia’s courage and cleverness. The cliché of gender weakness is overcome by heroic effort on several occasions without losing the femininity and humanity of this protagonist who seems both genuinely attractive and unwilling to risk authentic intimacy. I’m looking forward to reading more in the series. I want to know what becomes of this admirable woman, her detective agency, and any relationships she might sustain. Somehow, James has put together the best elements of her police procedurals with Dalgleish and classic private detective stories to give us something fresh at the same time it offers something familiar. There are no wisecracking gumshoes here, but there is plenty of suspense and flavor.