I wouldn't say that this book, focusing on private detective Cordelia Gray, was better than the Dalgliesh mysteries but I liked it a lot more. I don't know why exactly but maybe something about Cordelia's youth and inexperience (and quirkiness) freed James from the normally rigid Dalgliesh formula. This was a highly entertaining novel about a man who hires Gray to discover why his son committed suicide. There were a number of satisfying twists, all fairly ludicrous, and the writing by James was superlative. I'm looking forward to reading her latest novel: a murder mystery that also happens to be sequel to Pride and Prejudice.