SBR: Devices and Desires by P. D. James is a different sort of a mystery fiction in the sense that most of the book is not focussed on the detective activities, but the affected characters and their lives. While I liked that, overall, the book didn’t work for me. The same things were being said about the characters again and again in the beginning and it made for a boring start. Even though the story did become interesting later on, the lack of enough detective work became a weak point at that stage. Only the reader gets to know the complete story, which by itself is an interesting plot device, but the way reader gets to know it is all forced and contrived. It was as if at one point of time the author realized that too much has been written and now the story needs to be wrapped up. So she quickly starts introducing conversations which would explain it all.
To read or not to read: Some of the Amazon reviewers who didn’t like this book still liked the earlier ones in the Adam Dalgleish mystery series of which this is the eighth book. So if you haven’t read the series it might be better to start with one of the early ones rather than this particular book.