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Ruth Rendell

One of the world's greatest ever thriller and murder mystery writers, Ruth Rendell was born on 17 February, 1930 in South Woodford, Essex and died on 2 May, 2015. The creator of Chief Inspector Wexford, she also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine.

Ruth published her debut novel From Doon with Death in 1964 (which featured Wexford as the protagonist) and sold over 20 million copies worldwide. A regular Sunday Times bestseller, she won many awards over the course of her career and was awarded a CBE in 1996 and a Life Peerage (giving her the title Baroness) in 1997.



Ruth Rendell Books

  • Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford Collection - 10 Books - Collection - 9781784752866 - Ruth Rendell
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    Ruth Rendell was one of the most beloved crime authors of her generation and this 10-book collection contains some of her finest work.

    Focusing on Chief Inspector Wexford and his various cases, these books are riveting from the very first page. Wexford will have to solve the case of a father finding the murdered body of his own daughter; take on the near-impossible task of identifying an unidentified body that has been buried for ten years or so and decide if it's related to a new body found in similar circumstances; and investigate the disappearance of two teenage sisters during the worst rain in living memory...

    Intelligent writing full of heart, these are books that any lover of crime fiction should be reading and they showcase the talent of one of the UK's best ever thriller writers.
  • AOJJZ
    Ruth Rendell
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    The dazzling new novel from Ruth Rendell. When the bones of two severed hands are discovered in a box, an investigation into a long buried crime of passion begins. And a group of friends, who played together as children, begin to question their past. 'For Woody, anger was cold. Cold and slow. But once it had started it mounted gradually and he could think of nothing else. He knew he couldn't stay alive while those two were alive. Instead of sleeping, he lay awake in the dark and saw those hands. Anita's narrow white hand with the long nails painted pastel pink, the man's brown hand equally shapely, the fingers slightly splayed.' Beneath the green meadows of Loughton, Essex, a dark network of tunnels has been dug. A group of children discover them. They play there. It becomes their place. Seventy years on, the world has changed. Developers have altered the rural landscape. Friends from a half-remembered world have married, died, grown sick, moved - or disappeared. Work on a new house called Warlock uncovers a long buried grisly secret. And a weary detective, more preoccupied with current crimes, must investigate a case of murder. In all her novels, Ruth Rendell digs deep beneath the surface to investigate the secrets of the human psyche. The interconnecting tunnels of Loughton in The Girl Next Door lead to no single destination. But the relationships formed there, and the incidents that occurred, exert a profound influence - not only on the survivors but in unearthing the true nature of the mysterious past.
  • BKHKH
    Ruth Rendell
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    A businessman boasts about cheating on his wife, only to find his own back to the wall. A beautiful country rectory reverberates to the echo of a historical murder. A compulsive liar finds herself caught out by an act of impulsive revenge. Atmospheric, mysterious and never predictable, these are among the nine short stories of dark deeds and heart-stopping suspense collected here for the first time. Pull the curtains, settle into a chair and read on as Ruth Rendell turns the screw of psychological suspense in her inimitable style. The stories are: A Spot of Folly; An Irony of Hate; The Haunting of Shawley Rectory; A Drop Too Much; Paradise; The Thief; The Long Corridor of Time; In the Time of his Prosperity and Trebuchet
  • ABTYQ
    Ruth Rendell
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    It's impossible to forget the violent bludgeoning to death of an elderly lady in her home. Even more so when it's your first murder case. Wexford believed he'd solved Mrs Primero's murder fifteen years ago. It was no real mystery. Everyone knew Painter, her odd-job man, had done it. There had never been any doubt in anyone's mind. Until now ...Henry Archery's son is engaged to Painter's daughter. Only Archery can't let the past remain buried. He wants to prove Wexford wrong and in probing into the lives of the witnesses questioned all those years ago, he stirs up more than old ghosts.
  • ALKKL
    Ruth Rendell
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    No Man's Nightingale: the eagerly anticipated twenty-fourth title in Ruth Rendell's bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series. The woman vicar of St Peter's Church may not be popular among the community of Kingsmarkham. But it still comes as a profound shock when she is found strangled in her vicarage. Inspector Wexford is retired, but he retains a relish for solving mysteries especially when they are as close to home as this one is. So when he's asked whether he will assist on the case, he readily agrees. But why did the vicar die? And is anyone else in Kingsmarkham in danger? What Wexford doesn't know is that the killer is far closer than he, or anyone else, thinks.
  • AUAFR
    Ruth Rendell
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    When Carl sells a box of slimming pills to his close friend Stacey, inadvertently causing her death, he sets in train a sequence of catastrophic events which begin with subterfuge, extend to lies, and culminate in murder. In Rendell's dark and atmospheric tale of psychological suspense, we encounter mistaken identity, kidnap, blackmail, and a cast of characters who are so real that we come to know them better than we know ourselves. Infused with her distinctive blend of wry humour, acute observation and deep humanity, this is Rendell at her most memorable and best.
  • ABTYU
    Ruth Rendell
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    It seems fitting that the final resting place of a girl's body should be in a graveyard. But this is no peaceful burial. This is a brutal murder scene. On strict orders from his doctor, Wexford is sent to London for a break away from the pressures of the Kingsmarkham constabulary. But then he discovers his nephew Howard is heading the investigation into the macabre murder of Loveday Morgan, whose body was found abandoned in Kenbourne Cemetery. Despite opposition from Howard and his team Wexford is drawn to the case. And when he unearths Loveday's connection to a religious cult whose leader was imprisoned for sexual abuse, he relentlessly pursues this sinister new lead...
  • ABTYP
    Ruth Rendell
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    No one believed Mr Parsons' fears for his missing wife. Until two days later she was discovered in the woods, her face swollen and her clothes damply clinging to her lifeless body. With no useful witnesses and a victim known only for her mundane life, Chief Inspector Wexford has just one clue: a lipstick found at the scene. To find the killer, Wexford must first discover a motive. Because what he can't understand is how such an unassuming woman became the victim of such a passionate and violent crime.
  • ABUVD
    Ruth Rendell
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    Searching for truffles in a wood, a man and his dog unearth something less savoury - a human hand. The body, as Chief Inspector Wexford is informed later, has lain buried for ten years or so, wrapped in a purple cotton sheet. The post mortem cannot reveal the precise cause of death. The only clue is a crack in one of the dead man's ribs. Although it covers a relatively short period of time, the police computer stores a long list of missing persons. Men, women and children disappear at an alarming rate, something like 500 every day nationwide. So Wexford knows he is going to have a job on his hands to identify the corpse. And then, only about twenty yards away from the woodland burial site, in the cellar of a disused cottage, another body is found. The detection skills of Wexford, Burden and the other investigating officers of the Kingsmarkham Police Force are tested to the utmost to discover whether the murders are connected and to track down whoever is responsible.
  • AUAKS
    Ruth Rendell
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    The twelfth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. Wherever Reggie Wexford goes, death and intrigue are close on his heels. Having just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime holiday in China, Wexford finds himself haunted by memories of the old woman with bound feet who mysteriously followed him from one city to the next and the man who tragically drowned. Now, back in England, he finds himself investigating the murder of a fellow tourist. Knowing that the clue to these three mysteries lies in the East, Wexford turns his investigative skills to that place of unfathomable and sinister depths...
  • AIGVU 5 years +
    Ruth Rendell
    5 years +
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    This is a charming story of a cat and a dog who live on the same street for younger readers, from bestselling author Ruth Rendell. Archie the cat and Archie the dog live next door to each other on a street full of feline friends and foes. Read about their adventures - including Archie the cat spending a scary night trapped in a neighbour's attic - in this gentle, lyrical, completely charming book for younger readers. It is perfect for all animal lovers.
  • ABTUA
    Ruth Rendell
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  • ABTZK
    Ruth Rendell
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  • ABTYR
    Ruth Rendell
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    Anita Margolis has vanished. Dark and exquisite, Anita's character is as mysterious as her disappearance. But with no body and no apparent crime, seemingly there's nothing to be investigated. Until Wexford receives an anonymous note claiming 'a girl called Ann' was killed the very night Anita disappeared. With only one questionable lead to follow, Wexford and Inspector Burden are compelled to make inquiries. They soon discover Anita is wealthy, flighty, and thoroughly immoral. Burden has a very clear idea of what has happened to her. But Wexford has his own suspicions...
  • AUAKO
    Ruth Rendell
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    Murder, corruption, blackmail. All these are part of someone else's world, not part of the everyday lives of ordinary people...or are they? This is a collection of sinister stories from the bestselling author who won The Sunday Times Literary Award for 1990.
  • AACUI
    Ruth Rendell
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    Searching for truffles in a wood, a man and his dog unearth something less savory. The body, as Chief Inspector Wexford is informed later, has lain buried for ten years or so, and the post-mortem can not reveal the precise cause of death. Wexford knows it will be a difficult job to identify the corpse. Although it covers a relatively short period of time, the police computer stores a long list of missing persons. People disappear at an alarming rate - hundreds each day. When another body is found nearby, the detection skills of Wexford, Burden and the other investigating officers of the Kingsmarkham Police Force are tested to the utmost to discover whether the deaths are connected and to track down whoever is responsible.'Compulsively readable' - "The Scotsman". 'Rendell never fails to come up trumps' - "Irish Times". 'Wexford is as solid and reliable as ever' - "Birmingham Post". 'As ever, Rendell writes both literately and perceptively about her characters and the world they live in' - "Spectator".
  • ABTVF
    Ruth Rendell
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    When her mother, Eve, tells Liza that she must leave their remote home, the gatehouse of a country mansion, Liza is terrified. Although seventeen years of age, she has never been on a bus or a train, has never played with a child of her own age. She has almost no knowledge of a world described by her mother as evil and destructive. Their strange, enclosed life together is over because Eve has killed a man. And he is not the first. With -100 in cash, Liza is cast aside. However, she is not alone. There is one particular secret she has kept from her mother - her love affair with a young man who worked in the big house. With him, gradually Liza learns about the world, about herself, and must come to terms with the possibility that the murderous violence of her mother may be present in her.
  • ABTYX
    Ruth Rendell
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    On a sultry August evening, the bloody body of a middle-aged woman is discovered beneath a hedge by a small boy. There are only two things that surprise Wexford about the murder scene. One, that the only contents of the woman's handbag are some keys and a wallet containing nothing but some money. And two, how even in death, her deathly grey eyes possess a scornful glare. The woman turns out to be Rhoda Comfrey, but there's no murder weapon, no apparent motive, and no one who actually cares she's died. Wexford's only hunch is that the clues to her murder must lie in her solitary London life. But her existence there becomes frustratingly impossible to trace.
  • ABTYT
    Ruth Rendell
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    On a stormy February afternoon, little Stella Rivers disappeared - and was never seen again. There were no clues, no demands and no traces. And there was nowhere else for Wexford and his team to look. All that remained was the cold fear and awful dread that touched everyone in Kingsmarkham. Just months later, another child vanishes - five-year-old John Lawrence. Wexford and Inspector Burden are launched into another investigation and, all too quickly, chilling similarities to the Stella Rivers case emerge. Then the letters begin. Horrifying, evil, threatening letters of a madman. And suddenly Wexford is fighting against time to find the missing boy, before he meets the same fate as poor Stella.
  • ABTYW
    Ruth Rendell
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    Angela Hathall is found strangled in her bed but shockingly the death of this meek and solitary woman sparks little emotion from her husband. Called in to investigate, Wexford's curiosity only deepens when he discovers that the Hathall household has been meticulously cleaned but for a single distinctive palm print. As the case develops Wexford is increasingly frustrated by the seemingly pointless nature of the murder. There is no motive, no weapon and no suspect. Nothing except the unidentified print. But despite the sparse evidence, Wexford is convinced Hathall is hiding something. So when Wexford is taken off the case he decides to take matters into his own hands...
  • ABTYV
    Ruth Rendell
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    When the body of a brutally beaten girl is found in a quarry during a hedonistic hippy festival at Sundays near Kingsmarkham, Wexford is first on the scene. The victim's face has been pulped by the back-end of a bottle, but who, in this atmosphere of peace and love, could be capable of such violence? The body is that of local girl turned stripper, Dawn Stonor, but it is the unlikely link between this ill-fated girl and the mysterious folk-singer, Zeno Vedast, that pique Wexford's interest. Through a web of lies and deceit Wexford uncovers a history of love and hate that began years earlier, and he realises that never has he witnessed a murder of such desperate passion...
  • ATXIG
    Ruth Rendell
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    A Ruth Rendell mystery, first published in 1979 and shortlisted for the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best crime novel in 1980. Alan Groombridge is trapped. Husband to a woman he doesn't like, father to two children he never wanted, and manager of a tiny branch of the Anglian-Victoria bank, he is doomed to a life of domestic boredom and tedious routine. All that keeps him afloat is his one fantasy: stealing enough of the bank's money to allow him just one year of freedom - one year in which to live a different sort of life. But one day the bank is robbed, the manager and cashier disappear and what was once a place of dull and dreary repetition becomes the scene of a brutal, chilling nightmare that might never end...
  • ATXEX
    Ruth Rendell
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    The fifteenth book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford. The thirteenth of May is famously the unluckiest day of the year. Sergeant Caleb Martin of Kingsmarkham CID had no idea just how terminally unlucky it would prove, as he embarked upon his last day on earth...Ten months later, Wexford is confronted with a murder scene of horrific brutality. At first the bloodbath at Tancred House looks like the desperate work of a burglar panicked into murder. The sole survivor of the massacre, seventeen-year-old Daisy Flory, remembers the events imperfectly, and her confused account of the fatal night seems to confirm this theory. But more and more, Chief Inspector Wexford is convinced that the crime lies closer to home, and that it has sinister links to the murder of Sergeant Martin...
  • ABTUN
    Ruth Rendell
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