Just why is Baronness Phyllis Dorothy James so highly regarded as an author of detective fiction? Her plotting is mediocre and her plots outlandish; her characters are ciphers who strain credulity and are completely unengaging, and her dialogue clunks with exposition, moralising and amateur philosophising, while her hobby horses gallop all over the page. In P.D. James world, in 2003, women wear woollen blouses, police officers discuss whether they think a couple are 'going to bed' (for someone who is so coy about sex, she mentions it frequently, mostly quite gratuitiously to the plot) and everyone has a gas fire.
Now I've got that off my chest, I'm going to see whether 'Death in Holy Orders' can possibly be as bad as 'The Murder Room'.