Crime author P.D. James, who was inspired by the landscape of Suffolk, has died aged 94

PD James

PD James - Credit: Archant

Crime writer P.D. James, who had a home in Suffolk and set several of her books in East Anglia, has died aged 94.

The novelist, who wrote a string of bestsellers about detective Adam Dalgliesh, sat in the House of Lords for many years as Baroness James of Holland Park.

She spent 30 years working as a civil servant before becoming a full-time writer.

In a statement, James’s publishers Faber & Faber said: “This is a very sad day for us at Faber. It is difficult to express our profound sadness at losing PD James, one of the world’s great writers and a Faber author since her first publication in 1962.

“She was so very remarkable in every aspect of her life, an inspiration and great friend to us all. It is a privilege to publish her extraordinary books. Working with her was always the best of times, full of joy. We will miss her hugely.”

She was so inspired by Suffolk that some of her favourite places found their way into her work. In Unnatural Causes, the character Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh goes looking for a quiet holiday at his aunt’s cottage on Monksmere Head, just south of Dunwich.

Covehithe is the setting for Death in Holy Orders, and in The Children of Men, a novel set in the future, Southwold is the centre for the compulsory suicide of the old.

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Among her recent work was a new novel updating Jane Austen’s Pride And Prejudice.

Death Comes To Pemberley pitched Austen’s characters, Mr Darcy and his wife Elizabeth, into the middle of a murder mystery, and was later filmed by the BBC.