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‘Children of Men’ Author P.D. James Dies at 94

Mystery writer P.D. James, whose books were frequently adapted for TV and films including 2006’s “Children of Men,” has died at her home in Oxford, England. She was 94.

James’ death was announced Thursday by her publisher, Faber and Faber, according to the New York Times.

James penned 13 novels after turning to writing when she was in her 40s. The Scotland Yard detective character she created, Adam Dalgliesh, was well known to viewers in the U.K. and the U.S. from the miniseries adaptations that ran as part of the “Mystery!” anthology series.

Her first novel, “Cover Her Face,” was published in 1962, but it was 1980’s “Innocent Blood” that marked her breakthrough as a popular writer, according to the Times.

Born in 1920, Phyllis Dorothy James worked an administrator for Britain’s National Health Service before embarking on a career as a novelist. She had served as a Red Cross nurse during WWII, according to the Times. After the death of her husband in 1964, she became an administrator in forensic science and criminal law in Britain’s Department of Home Affairs, experience that would later enrich her writing.

Her 1992 novel “The Children of Men” was praised for its chilling depiction of a future in which women are infertile. Alfonso Cuaron adapted the book into a feature that starred Julianne Moore and Clive Owen.

More recently, James’ “Death Comes to Pemberley” was featured as a well received installment of PBS’ “Masterpiece” series, with Matthew Rhys and Anna Maxwell Martin the lead roles.

 

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