Death in Holy Orders - P.D. James here's a little story for you...

so a famous San Francisco lobbyist - a lively raconteur, a darling of the media, and an infamously debauched homosexual - was unfortunately on his deathbed. because this was a man who helped build the careers of many politicians, his hospital room was often inundanted by various famous local personages. one afternoon, as his final hours drew near, a respected and well-known priest came to see him. the lobbyist looked up, seemed rather surprised, and beckoned the good Father to come closer. grasping his hand, the lobbyist pulled him down towards his head, and whispered loudly for the priest and all the room to hear:

"Well thank you for coming to see me, Father. I always appreciate your visits. But, sadly, sex is the last the thing on my mind right now."

the true story above is also a completely spoiler-free clue to solving the mystery of Death in Holy Orders - delivered to you free of charge!

as far as the novel itself goes, this is yet another well-done James slow-burner featuring the inimitable Adam Dalgliesh - detective and poet extraordinaire. as this is one of the author's later entries in the series, the mystery itself is impressively dark, gothic in atmosphere, and rich in meaning. several of the characters and situations are quite haunting, in particular the central murder victim and the unnerving opening scene. PD James is one of the best!