From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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. The novel was adapted as a television miniseries by Anglia
Television in 1984, with Roy Marsden as Dalgliesh and Joss Ackland as the
surgeon, Stephen Courtney-Briggs. Lennard Pearce and Buster
Merryfield also featured in the series.
Student nurses Heather Pearce and Josephine Fallon have died of
mysterious circumstances in the hospital nursing school of
Nightingale House. As Scotland Yard’s Commander [he is not yet
Commander, but Chief Superintendent] Adam Dalgliesh uncovers sexual
secrets and blackmail within the closed community of the hospital,
he finds himself attacked and in mortal danger. Another Sister at
the hospital, Ethel Brumfett, dies.
It turns out that a dying patient, Martin Dettinger, recognizes
the extraordinarily beautiful Matron Mary Taylor as Irmgard Grobel,
accused of murdering 31 Jews decades ago in Felsenheim, Germany.
Nurse Pearce, tasked with caring for Dettinger, mistakenly thinks
that Irmgard Grobel is Ethel Brumfett, and blackmails her. Fiercely
loyal to Mary Taylor, and determined to protect her, Ethel Brumfett
kills Nurse Pearce and Nurse Fallon too, to confuse the inquiry.
Unwilling to live her whole life with the dull Brumfett constantly
by her side, Mary Taylor kills her and covers up the murder with a
fire. Mary Taylor cannot be found guilty but she resigns her
position and commits suicide.