“An Unsuitable Job for a Woman” is a crime novel written by the celebrated British author, P.D. James. The novel follows the story of Cordelia Gray, a young woman who inherits a private detective agency after the suicide of her former boss and mentor, Bernie Pryde. Cordelia had been working as Pryde’s assistant, and although inexperienced, she decides to take on the role of the detective and run the agency on her own.
At the beginning of the novel, Cordelia is struggling to keep the detective agency afloat as she takes on minor cases such as finding lost pets and investigating minor frauds. However, her life changes when she is approached by Sir Ronald Callender, a wealthy businessman who hires her to investigate the death of his son, Mark, who was found hanged in his room at the university.
Cordelia takes on the case and soon finds herself immersed in a complex web of secrets and lies that surround the Callender family and the university. She must navigate the complicated social dynamics of the academic community to uncover the truth about Mark’s death, which leads her to question the integrity of some of the faculty members, students and the Callender family.
Throughout the novel, Cordelia struggles to establish herself in a male-dominated profession, and she encounters personal and professional challenges along the way. She must deal with the condescending attitudes of her male colleagues, her own inexperience, and her lack of confidence in her abilities as a detective. The novel is known for its exploration of gender roles and the nature of power in relationships.
As Cordelia delves deeper into the case, she uncovers a shocking truth that forces her to question her own morality and her ability to carry out her duties as a detective. The novel culminates in a dramatic conclusion, which leaves Cordelia facing some difficult choices about her future.
Overall, “An Unsuitable Job for a Woman” is a complex and well-crafted crime novel that explores the themes of power, gender, and morality. P.D. James is known for her mastery of the crime genre, and this novel is a testament to her skill as a writer.