Shroud for a Nightingale

Shroud for a Nightingale is a 1971 detective novel written by PD James in her Adam Dalgliesh series. Chief Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard is called in to investigate the death of two student nurses at the hospital nursing school of Nightingale House.

Shroud for a Nightingale
First edition
AuthorP. D. James
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesAdam Dalgliesh #4
GenreCrime novel
PublisherFaber and Faber
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Preceded byUnnatural Causes 
Followed byThe Black Tower 

Plot summary

Student nurses Heather Pearce and Josephine Fallon have died of mysterious circumstances in the hospital nursing school of Nightingale House. As Scotland Yard’s Chief Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh uncovers sexual secrets and blackmail within the closed community of the hospital, he finds himself in mortal danger.


In a 1972 book review, Newgate Callandar of The New York Times wrote "James works in the old tradition. She takes all the time in the world to establish her plot, her people and her locale. False clues are liberally seeded. The author goes into the background of the characters. Some are literate in the best British tradition."[1]


The novel was adapted as a television miniseries by Anglia Television and was produced for Britain's ITV network in 1984. It starred Roy Marsden as Adam Dalgliesh, Joss Ackland as the surgeon, Stephen Courtney-Briggs, and Sheila Allen as Mary Taylor.


  1. Callandar, Newgate (January 16, 1972). "Criminals At Large". The New York Times. New York. Retrieved April 12, 2017.
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