Like many I was saddened by the news of the passing of P. D. James. I have long been a fan of her writing. I wasn't so much drawn to the mysteries, though they were conceived well enough. Her prose kept bringing me back. She elevated mystery writing from being about the who done it, to a more conscientious type of literature. She could be both poetic and lively descriptive. I remember rereading one long paragraph three times. In it she described a tree in a courtyard. That was it. I have rarely been so into a scene. I could smell the fall leaves and feel the coarseness of the bark. She also wrote very believable characters and they came from all types and class. James motivates me to try and be a writer.
In honor I give you my top three favorite P.D. James novels in no particular order:
Death of an Expert Witness
The Murder Room
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman
You really can't go wrong with any James novel but I would start with one of those three.