Original Sin (P.D James–Adam Dagleish Mystery) 1997

 “Do you believe a building can be infused with evil?”

original sinOriginal Sin is a made-for-television Inspector Dalgliesh mystery based on a P.D. James novel. The mystery begins with a suicide that occurs at Peverell Press, a respectable London based publishing house. Dalgliesh is called in to investigate the hate mail received by the partners of the firm. Peverell Press partners include the timid Francis Peverell (Amanda Root), James de Witt (Jonathon Coy), Gabriel Dauntsey (Ian Bannen), a former WWII pilot and one-time poet, Claudia Etienne (Cathryn Harrison), and her brother, Gerard Etienne (James Wilby). Peverell Press has been in existence for more than 200 years, and it is located in the splendid Venetian style palace, Innocent House. Innocent House has a tragic and sordid history, and it seems that more tragedies have yet to occur there. The partners are at odds with one another when it comes to determining the future of Peverell Press. Most people are very unhappy with the involvement of Gerard Etienne. Gerard is particularly loathed by those at the press–and this includes long-time author Esme Carling (Sylvia Sims), and Gerard’s pitiful secretary, Miss Blackett (Carolyn Pickles). Gerard is cruel and dictatorial. He has many enemies, and he certainly isn’t worried about creating more. In spite of the fact that Dalgliesh is involved in the case, the body count mounts …

The plot is through and well developed. All the suspects are interesting characters, and the acting is top-notch. The mystery is intense until the end of the film. The ending raised many questions; this is somewhat unfortunate. The majority of the film was excellent, and I was rather intrigued by the thought of all this murder taking place within the publishing community. Oh well, most of this 150 minute long DVD was great entertainment, and fans of British mysteries should enjoy the film.

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