Dalgliesh said, "It would be very time-consuming. I should stick to murder as a paradigm of its age. What are you expecting to get from the Dupayne?"
"Inspiration perhaps, but mostly information. The Murder Room is remarkable. That's not its official name, by the way, but it's how we all refer to it. There are contemporary newspaper reports of the crime and the trial, fascinating photographs including some originals, and actual exhibits from the scene of the murder. I can't think how old Max Dupayne got his hands on those, but I believe he wasn't always scrupulous when it came to acquiring what he wanted. And, of course, the museum's interest in murder coincides with mine. The only reason the old man set up the Murder Room was to relate the crime to its age, otherwise he would have seen the room as pandering to depraved popular taste. I've already selected my first case. It's the obvious one, Mrs. Edith Thompson. You know it, of course."
"Yes, I know it."
Excerpted from The Murder Room by P. D. James Copyright © 2003 by P.D. James. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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