A Taste for Death
In A Taste for Death, Roy Marsden is back for the fifth time as P.D. James’ Adam Dalgliesh, a Scotland Yard detective so dour and despairing you gotta love him.
A government minister and a bum are found with their throats slashed in a country church. Dalgliesh must solve the crime while juggling subplots, the chief one being the ambitions of his new assistant (Penny Downie).
I don’t often read the books on which TV films are based, but I read James’ novel because I always have trouble following the twists and turns of mystery stories and wanted to get this one straight in my feeble mind. I also suspect that many Mystery! fans devour lots of mystery novels, and come to the show having already read the source material.
The surprising thing is that screenwriter Alick Rowe’s adaptation of James’ book does away with an important bit of the author’s structure: Instead of showing us the crucial murder scene at the start of Mystery!, as James does to draw us into her book, Rowe buries it, as it were, until next week. Next week! Who wants to wait that long? But I suppose that if you can forgive the slow pace, you’ll enjoy Dalgliesh’s moody mystery-solving. B