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FEBRUARY 8

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Though P.D. James’ latest is called Original Sin and a cloth snake features prominently in its plot, the postlapsarian parallels end there. James’ artful whodunit unfolds in a London publishing firm headquartered on the Thames—a setting that allows the author plentiful asides on the river’s colorful history and ample opportunity to exercise her dry wit on the machinations of the book world. More importantly, James’ depressive, poetry-writing Scotland Yard commander, Adam Dalgliesh, is on the case. James reads at 7 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW. $15. (202) 357-3030. (Nicole Arthur)