Murder She Wrote

Oct 09, 2017
Written by cmcguire
Dana Waters, Professor Emeritus of English from Dodge City Community College, will lead a discussion of Shroud for a Nightingale by P.D. James on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Jahn Room. This is the second book in a three-part “Today’s Mysteries” series. To get the most out of this program, I recommend that you read the book prior to the discussion. To check out books and for more information about the reading series, contact me at 913-682-5666 ext. 218 or e-mail
Professor Waters is the former chair of the Fine Arts and Humanities Division at Dodge City Community College. She earned her master’s degree in English from Fort Hays State University. Dana has taught classes in composition, American literature, and children’s literature and has written extensively on the art of writing. She joined the KHC TALK program as a discussion leader in 2009.
P. D. James is the pen name of Phyllis Dorothy James White. She held the honorary title Baroness James of Holland Park. James worked as a civil servant for many years to support her family after her husband returned mentally incapacitated from World War II. Eventually she began writing and in 1962 published Cover Her Face, which introduced the character of Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard.
When I hear of mysteries involving Scotland Yard, I typically think of Sherlock Holmes or early 20th Century crimes. James’ novels are set in modern times. By the time Shroud for a Nightingale was published in 1971, James was winning world-wide notice for the literary qualities of her writing, her acutely-observed characterizations and place descriptions, and her ability to convey atmospheres of menace and tension.
In Shroud, Adam Dalgliesh must untangle a series of murders within Nightingale House, a hospital nursing school. The resulting solution raises many questions about the nature of evil, personal responsibility and justice.
Fans call James’s books great literature. She wrote 14 mysteries with the Adam Dalgliesh character, as well as two others that feature a female detective named Cordelia Gray. She also wrote other novels including Children of Men and Death Comes to Pemberley. She died in 2014.
On Monday, Nov. 13, we will have our final TALK book discussion for this year on Where Echoes Live by Marcia Muller, led by Trish Reeves, Haskell Indian Nations University.
The Talk About Literature in Kansas (TALK) book discussion series is provided by the Kansas Humanities Council (KHC), a nonprofit cultural organization with over 40 years of experience promoting understanding of the history and ideas that shape our lives and build community.  For more information, visit