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Thirteen Steps Down
Ruth Rendell
1400098424
September 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. British veteran Rendell (The Rottweiler) delivers the best novel she's written in years, featuring elderly Gwendolen Chawcer and her younger tenant-in-the-attic, "Mix" Cellini. The unlikely housemates share St. Blaise House, Chawcer's rotting London mansion, full of many generations of dead insects and past dreams of upper-middle-class glory. Both Chawcer and Cellini are looking for love in all the wrong places. Boozy, delusional Cellini—who earns his keep fixing fitness equipment and is a "fan" of real-life murderer Harold Christie—obsesses about supermodel Nerissa Nash. He'll do anything to snag her attention and assume his "rightful" place as her husband. The Miss Havisham–like Chawcer pines for Dr. Stephen Reeves, whom she last saw when he attended her dying mother in 1953....


The Rottweiler
Ruth Rendell
1400095883
September 2005
Paperback
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From AudioFile
Inez Ferry owns an antique shop in Paddington and rents flats to an assortment of working-class characters, each with something to hide. A serial murderer is loose in London, and the police suspect the killer is living in Inez's house. After mystery master Ruth Rendell reveals the murderer, however, the plot loses much of its dramatic tension. Nigel Anthony's performance reflects his understanding of human frailty and diversity. He is completely credible as the plodding cops, the murderer who wallows in introspection, the shop assistant who is deceiving several suitors, the childlike man with Fragile X syndrome, and the spinster who seeks solace in the bottle. Each individual's story is etched with inimitable finesse. While this is not her best, even middling Rendell will ensnare first-time listeners and fans alike. ...


The Old Wine Shades
Martha Grimes
0670034797
February 2006
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. At the start of bestseller Grimes's compelling 20th Richard Jury mystery, the Scotland Yard detective is on suspension because he decided to save lives rather than wait for a warrant in his previous outing, The Winds of Change (2004). With time on his hands, Jury is ensnared by the intriguing tale spun by Harry Johnson, a man who, apparently, just happens upon him in a London pub, the Old Wine Shades. Despite himself, Jury is drawn in by Johnson's account of the baffling disappearance of a mother, her autistic son and their dog—and the more baffling reappearance of the pet nine months later. The detective diligently follows every lead to determine the fate of the missing people, even as Johnson's digressions into the paradoxes of quantum physics lead Jury to question the truth of the...


The Babes in the Wood: A Chief Inspector Wexford Mystery
Ruth Rendell
1400034191
October 2004
Paperback
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From The New Yorker
In the matriarchy of British crime fiction, Rendell is the weird sister; her novels concern themselves with the more darkly enigmatic corners of motivation. Her tastes in this direction have sometimes outstripped her readers', and her most recondite tales now appear under the pen name Barbara Vine. Rendell's Chief Inspector Wexford mysteries are a somewhat friendlier affair, and in this, the nineteenth of the series, fans will be pleased to find the Wexfords staving off a flood in their garden and the Inspector's clueless elder daughter in trouble again. The plot—a series of puzzles surrounding the disappearance of two teen-agers in the care of a family friend—marches efficiently to its unguessable dénouement while demonstrating Rendell's grasp of the psychological dynamics of seduction...


Some Lie and Some Die
Ruth Rendell
0375704906
Mar 1999
Paperback
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From Library Journal
"Suspenseful to the last word," said LJ's reviewer of Rendell's 1973 mystery, which tells of murder at a rock festival held on the grounds of an English estate. LJ's reviewer further gushed that the solution to the crime "is a devastating surprise." This is the only paperback edition available. (LJ 12/1/73) Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
This is a vintage Rendell murder mystery about a cruel prank gone awry. Inspector Wexford solves the mystery of a young woman found murdered in a quarry during an outdoor rock concert. Actor Nigel Anthony narrates the tale with the professionalism BBC listeners have come to expect. His Wexford is perfectly portrayed, with just the right note of hearty gruffness. His Inspector Burden portrayal has the slight...


Adam and Eve and Pinch Me
Ruth Rendell
1400031184
January 2003
Paperback
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Book Review
In Adam and Eve and Pinch Me, the mills of the gods appear to have ground Jock Lewis to dust--or have they? Jock's obsessive-compulsive girlfriend, Minty, thinks he was killed in a train crash and is tormented by his ghost. But the cheerfully amoral Jock--AKA Jerry Leach and Jeff Leigh, depending on which woman he's romancing--faked his death to move on to yet another unsuspecting lady. His one legal wife has swept their union hastily under the rug and married a conservative member of Parliament, who has his own urgent secrets. Jock's most recent fiancée, a successful banker, hasn't minded keeping him in the manner to which he's become accustomed--that is, until the day he doesn't come home. When his body is found in a cinema, the intersections of his past collapse in a way that destroys some lives and...


Harm Done
Ruth Rendell
0375724842
Oct 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
In Harm Done, Rendell has added a remarkable strand of acute social commentary to a book that still functions as an utterly compelling piece of detective fiction. In exploring the controversial subject of pedophilia, she takes the mainstay of her work--the problems of modern life--to a level of passion and commitment that gives the book a truly powerful underpinning.

Back in the familiar Sussex town of Kingsmarkham, Rendell's dogged sleuth Wexford is investigating the strange abductions of two young girls: Rachel, a bright middle-class student, and Lizzie, a mentally disabled 16-year-old living with her unsympathetic parents on a grim council estate. When both girls return home, apparently unharmed, Wexford is faced with a curious mystery: what really happened to them? As Wexford begins to uncover the disturbing truth,...



Murder Being Once Done
Ruth Rendell
0375704884
Mar 1999
Paperback
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From Library Journal
This Inspector Wexford duo debuted back-to-back in 1972. Murder finds the British sleuth defying doctor's orders and investigating the death of a young girl, while Dying (LJ 7/72) offers a baffling case of two kidnapped children. A double dose of Rendell is twice the fun. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From AudioFile
Robin Bailey is the perfect reader for this puzzling, intriguing detective novel. His fully voiced presentation illuminates Rendell's genius. Bailey's "voices" tell the story--from the calm, probing inquiries of Detective Chief Inspector Wexford to the faintly mocking, cultured tones of the gay neighbor, from the self-assured voice of the rich developer to the delicate strains of that man's very feminine wife. Bailey serves them up with equal...


From Doon with Death: A Chief Inspector Wexford Mystery
Ruth Rendell
0345348176
December 1975
Mass Market Paperback
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From AudioFile
Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford investigates the uneventful life and passionate death of Margaret Parsons--or is it Mina? Veteran Rendell's first novel is a study in contradictions and characters. Hardiman reads each character with emotion and drama. Although Margaret is already dead when the story begins, listeners get a vivid picture of her old-fashioned, respectable existence. Hardiman's delightful British accent adds authenticity and charm to this outstanding contribution to crime fiction. The unexpected ending will surprise everyone. S.C.A. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Book Description
When Margaret Parsons disappears, Inspector Burden tries to reassure her frantic husband that she will be back by morning....


No More Dying Then
Ruth Rendell
0375704892
Mar 1999
Paperback
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From Library Journal
This Inspector Wexford duo debuted back-to-back in 1972. Murder finds the British sleuth defying doctor's orders and investigating the death of a young girl, while Dying (LJ 7/72) offers a baffling case of two kidnapped children. A double dose of Rendell is twice the fun. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review
"Mystery writing of the highest order . . . durable, complex, and affectingly human."


"If there were a craft guild for writers, I'd apprentice myself to Ruth Rendell."


"Rendell is a master of the form."


"Ruth Rendell is the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world."


See all Editorial Reviews


A Taste for Death
P. D. James
0345430581
November 1998
Mass Market Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In her latest Commander Adam Dalgliesh detective novel, James subtly deepens the complexities of his personality, making him an ever more credible protagonist. When two bodies are discovered with their throats slashed in a London church, Dalgleish is called upon to solve the case. One victim is Sir Paul Berowne, former Minister of the Crown; the other is a tramp accustomed to sleeping in the church vestibule. It seems that these deaths may be tied to those of two young women who have recently been employed in the Berowne household. Dalgleish feels an unusual empathy in this case; he had known Berowne and sensed several parallels in their lives. This sense of compassion is one of the things that distinguishes James's novels. In delving into what she calls "the fascination of character," she makes each actor in the...


A Guilty Thing Surprised: A Chief Inspector Wexford Mystery
Ruth Rendell
0345348117
June 1981
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Description
Elizabeth Nightingale found peace and tranquility on her nightly walks through the rich, dense forests surrounding Myfleet Manor. But the peace she treasured was shattered one night when she found death waiting in the woods. Chief Inspector Wexford and his colleague Inspector Burden find a most unsavory case on their hands -- and must use all their wit and wisdom to solve it . . .

From the Inside Flap
Elizabeth Nightingale found peace and tranquility on her nightly walks through the rich, dense forests surrounding Myfleet Manor. But the peace she treasured was shattered one night when she found death waiting in the woods. Chief Inspector Wexford and his colleague Inspector Burden find a most unsavory case on their hands -- and must use all their wit and wisdom to solve it . ....


Road Rage
Ruth Rendell
0440226023
Sept 1998
Paperback
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Book Review
Nobody has a better ear for the whine of the unloved and underappreciated than Ruth Rendell. Early in this Inspector Wexford adventure, a young woman who was bound and gagged during a robbery demands victim counseling; not long after, families of some people taken hostage quickly cluster themselves into a support group. The titular "road rage" is equally timely and politically correct: protestors have gathered from around the world to stop, by whatever means they can, a new motorway that will cut through some of the woods surrounding Wexford's fictional but endearing village of Kingsmarkham. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal
In Rendell's latest Inspector Wexford mystery, opposition to a proposed bypass escalates into the taking...


Death Notes: A Chief Inspector Wexford Mystery
Ruth Rendell
0345341988
June 1982
Mass Market Paperback
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Book Description
Sir Manuel Camargue, yesterday one of the most celebrated musicians of his time, today floats face down in the lake near his sprawling English country house. The consensus is accidental death -- but Inspector Wexford knows the stench of murder most foul when he smells it. Particularly in the company of two suspects -- one, the victim's fiancee, who is too young to be true, the other his daughter who may be no kin and even less kind . . .

Inside Flap Copy
Sir Manuel Camargue, yesterday one of the most celebrated musicians of his time, today floats face down in the lake near his sprawling English country house. The consensus is accidental death -- but Inspector Wexford knows the stench of murder most foul when he smells it. Particularly in the company of two suspects -- one, the...


A Sight for Sore Eyes
Ruth Rendell
0440235448
Mar 2000
Paperback
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Book Review
Nobody does North London squalor better than Ruth Rendell. Describing in vivid detail the cultural sewer in which a monster named Teddy Brex grows up, she uses hideous furniture, slovenly housekeeping habits, even his mother's diet while pregnant to root us in the setting's hopeless ugliness. In contrast, Rendell introduces people and places of stunning beauty: Francine, a mentally fragile girl who became mute after witnessing her mother's murder; and Orcadia Cottage, scene of a famous painting that is at the center of much of the story's anguish. "It was far and away the most beautiful place he had ever seen," Rendell writes when Teddy--a gifted woodcrafter--first views the cottage. "The proportions of this hall, this room... the windows, the walls, the carpets, the flowers, the furniture, the paintings, all of it dazzled...


The Fallen Curtain
Ruth Rendell
0375704922
Jan 2001
Paperback
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From Library Journal
Released in 1976, 1980, and 1971, respectively, these present a bevy of Rendell's signature characters, who, although seemingly normal, well-balanced individuals, in actuality are nut cases. Though her books are formulaic, Rendell has managed to amass a huge following, who will enjoy a second crack at these. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description
A stranger lures a child into his car with the promise of sweets. A young man spots his fianc??s double in a public park of ill repute. An executive visits the secluded home of a former employee whose intentions are frightfully unclear. A modest soul weds the woman he rescues from suicide--only to fall victim to an unfathomable form of possessiveness?. In the eleven tales gathered in The Fallen...


The Old Wine Shades
Martha Grimes
0143058452
February 2006
Compact Disc
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From Publishers Weekly
Man walked into a pub." This line, delivered with a droll inflection by reader John Lee, is the perfect opening for Martha Grimes's latest entry in her Inspector Jury series. Harry Johnson enters the Old Wine Shades pub and recounts to Jury the strange tale of a mother and son who disappeared nine months ago, along with their dog, Mungo. At first Jury finds the story more amusing than ominous, but as more details are revealed his curiosity is piqued, and he feels compelled to investigate the disappearances. What he discovers is that nothing, including the agreeable Johnson, is what it seems. Grimes builds a captivating mystery with plenty of twists and quirky characters to keep the listener engaged, and Lee's controlled performance fits nicely with her eclectic, character-driven storytelling. Lee's...

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