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Ruth Rendell - Author

About the Author

Ruth Rendell was an exceptional crime writer, and will be remembered as a legend in her own lifetime. Her groundbreaking debut novel, From Doon With Death, was first published in 1964 and introduced the reader to her enduring and popular detective, Inspector Reginald Wexford, who went on to feature in twenty-four of her subsequent novels.

With worldwide sales of approximately 20 million copies, Rendell was a regular Sunday Times bestseller. Her sixty bestselling novels include police procedurals, some of which have been successfully adapted for TV, stand-alone psychological mysteries, and a third strand of crime novels under the pseudonym Barbara Vine. Very much abreast of her times, the Wexford books in particular often engaged with social or political issues close to her heart.

Rendell won numerous awards, including the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for 1976’s best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, and the Sunday Times Literary Award in 1990. In 2013 she was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for sustained excellence in crime writing. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.

Ruth Rendell died in May 2015. Dark Corners is her final novel.

Featured books by Ruth Rendell

The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/07/2015

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.' Before the advent of the Second World War, 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 secret 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 on or disappeared. Work on a new house called Warlock uncovers a grisly secret, buried a lifetime ago, and a weary detective, more preoccupied with current crimes, must investigate a possible 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.

ebook of the month
The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/08/2014

A dark, sad, slightly depressing tale of old age.  We start in the late thirties when the crime was committed (so this is no whodunit) and then leap to the present where a group of children, who used to play together, are now all in their seventies and eighties and mostly miserable.  The connection between now and the original crime is really not the point of this tale.  It is more about the psychological nature and interconnection of the group.  All very pensive.  

ebook of the month
No Man's Nightingale (A Wexford Case)

No Man's Nightingale (A Wexford Case)

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/07/2014

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. By 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.

ebook of the month
From Doon with Death A Wexford Case - 50th Anniversary Edition

From Doon with Death A Wexford Case - 50th Anniversary Edition

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback Release Date: 22/05/2014

A 50th anniversary edition of the first Inspector Wexford novel, with an introduction by Ian Rankin and a new afterword by Ruth Rendell. An ordinary life. An extraordinary death. The trampled grass led to the body of Margaret Parsons. With no useful clues and a victim known only for her mundane life, Chief Inspector Wexford is baffled until he discovers Margaret's dark secret - a collection of rare books, each inscribed from a secret lover and signed only as 'Doon'. Who is Doon? And could the answer hold the key to Wexford solving his first case?

ebook of the month
The Saint Zita Society

The Saint Zita Society

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2013

'Someone had told Dex that the Queen lived in Victoria. So did he, but she had a palace and he had one room in a street off Warwick Way. Still he liked the idea that she was his neighbour.' Dex works as a gardener for Dr Jefferson at his home on Hexam Place in Pimlico: an exclusive street of white-painted stucco Georgian houses inhabited by the rich, and serviced by the not so rich. The hired help, a motley assortment of au pairs, drivers and cleaners, decide to form the St Zita Society (Zita was the patron saint of domestic servants) as an excuse to meet at the local pub and air their grievances. When Dex is invited to attend one of these meetings, the others find that he is a strange man, seemingly ill at ease with human beings. These first impressions are compounded when they discover he has recently been released from a hospital for the criminally insane, where he was incarcerated for attempting to kill his own mother. Dex's most meaningful relationship seems to be with his mobile phone service provider, Peach, and he interprets the text notifications and messages he receives from the company as a reassuring sign that there is some kind of god who will protect him. And give him instructions about ridding the world of evil spirits...Accidental death and pathological madness cohabit above and below stairs in Hexam Place.

ebook of the month
The Vault

The Vault

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/08/2011

ebook of the month
Tigerlily's Orchids

Tigerlily's Orchids

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/03/2011

When Stuart Font decides to throw a house-warming party in his new flat, he invites all the people in his building. After some deliberation, he even includes the unpleasant caretaker and his wife. There are a few other genuine friends on the list, but he definitely does not want to include his girlfriend, Claudia, as that might involve asking her husband. The party will be one everyone remembers. But not for the right reasons. All the occupants of Lichfield House are about to experience a dramatic change in their lives...Living opposite, in reclusive isolation, is a young, beautiful Asian woman, christened Tigerlily by Stuart. As though from some strange urban fairytale, she emerges to exert a terrible spell. And Mr and Mrs Font, the worried parents, will have even more cause for concern about their handsome but hopelessly naive son.

ebook of the month

Other books by Ruth Rendell

Die Grausamkeit der Raben

Die Grausamkeit der Raben

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2014

Als sie das Opfer des Uberfalls fanden, lag es halb auf dem offentlichen Fuweg und blutete aus einer Wunde an der Schulter. Noch wahrend sie sich uber den Mann beugten, tauchte unter den Baumen des Waldchens auf der Nordseite des Wegs ein junges Madchen auf. Sie erklarte, sie heie Edwina Klein, und reichte den Polizisten ein Federmesser, von dem sie das meiste Blut abgewischt hatte.

Die Masken der Mutter

Die Masken der Mutter

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2014

Benet Archdale hat sich endlich ihr eigenes Leben aufgebaut. Die durch die geisteskranke Mutter bedingten Kindheitserlebnisse scheint sie verarbeitet und uberwunden zu haben. Als erfolgreiche junge Schriftstellerin lebt sie heute in London allein mit ihrem kleinen Sohn James, ihrem groten Gluck. Doch der Frieden wird gestort. Benets an Schizophrenie leidende Mutter kommt nach Jahren zu Besuch. Sie scheint vllig geheilt und normal. Umso unvermuteter bricht die Katastrophe ber Benet herein

Die neue Freundin

Die neue Freundin

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2014

"e;Es ist Ihnen vielleicht nicht klar"e;, sagte sie, "e;aber wenn Colin mich heiratet, ist das ein Glucksfall fur ihn. Er braucht mich namlich, um ein Mann zu werden."e;Mutter ttschelte Moiras Knie. "e;Ich begreife durchaus, dass das eine fast unlsbare Aufgabe fr Sie sein knnte."e;"e;Die neue Freundin"e; ist eine Sammlung von erschreckenden, erbarmungslosen Kurzgeschichten, komdiantisch und makaber und von brutaler Gerechtigkeit.

Durch das Tor zum Himmlischen Frieden

Durch das Tor zum Himmlischen Frieden

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2014

Chief Inspector Wexford wird von seinem Neffen zu einer Chinareise eingeladen. Zuerst geniet er das Abenteuer. Doch dann ist er beunruhigt: Standig taucht vor ihm eine alte Chinesin mit gebundenen Fuen auf, ebenso schnell verschwindet sie wieder. Warum verfolgt ihn diese alte Frau durch halb China?Als Wexford und die anderen Mitglieder der kleinen Reisegruppe auf dem Li-schuei entlangschippern, geht ein Mann ber Bord. Wong kann nicht schwimmen. Er stirbt. Wexford ist geschockt. Er hatte Wong schon vor der Schiffsfahrt gesehen. Verfolgte der ihn auch?

Der Pakt

Der Pakt

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 02/05/2014

Peter ist fast sechzehn und hat nur eine Sorge: Er ist der Kleinste in seiner Klasse. Nach der Lekture von "e;Doktor Faustus"e; kommt ihm eine glanzende Idee: Er wird dem Teufel seine Seele verkaufen, wenn der ihn dafur wachsen lasst. Also vollzieht er die entsprechende Zeremonie. Und es funktioniert: Er wachst. Von da an praktiziert er fleiig okkulte Rituale. Als seine Stiefmutter lastig wird, will Peter sie aus dem Weg raumen. Und aus dem Spiel mit schwarzer Magie wird blutiger Ernst.

Archie and Archie

Archie and Archie

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/11/2013

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. Perfect for all animal lovers.

No Man's Nightingale

No Man's Nightingale

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 05/11/2013

A Simon & Schuster audiobook. Simon & Schuster has a great book for every listener.

The Saint Zita Society

The Saint Zita Society

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2013

'Someone had told Dex that the Queen lived in Victoria. So did he, but she had a palace and he had one room in a street off Warwick Way. Still he liked the idea that she was his neighbour.' Dex works as a gardener for Dr Jefferson at his home on Hexam Place in Pimlico: an exclusive street of white-painted stucco Georgian houses inhabited by the rich, and serviced by the not so rich. The hired help, a motley assortment of au pairs, drivers and cleaners, decide to form the St Zita Society (Zita was the patron saint of domestic servants) as an excuse to meet at the local pub and air their grievances. When Dex is invited to attend one of these meetings, the others find that he is a strange man, seemingly ill at ease with human beings. These first impressions are compounded when they discover he has recently been released from a hospital for the criminally insane, where he was incarcerated for attempting to kill his own mother. Dex's most meaningful relationship seems to be with his mobile phone service provider, Peach, and he interprets the text notifications and messages he receives from the company as a reassuring sign that there is some kind of god who will protect him. And give him instructions about ridding the world of evil spirits...Accidental death and pathological madness cohabit above and below stairs in Hexam Place.

ebook of the month
No Man's Nightingale (A Wexford Case)

No Man's Nightingale (A Wexford Case)

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/03/2013

No Man's Nightingale: the eagerly anticipated twenty-fourth title in Ruth Rendell's bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series. Sarah Hussain was not popular with many people in the community of Kingsmarkham. She was born of mixed parentage - a white Irishwoman and an immigrant Indian Hindu. She was also the Reverend of St Peter's Church. But it comes as a profound shock to everyone when she is found strangled in the Vicarage. A garrulous cleaner, Maxine, also shared by the Wexfords, discovers the body. In his comparatively recent retirement, the former Detective Chief Inspector is devoting much time to reading, and is deep into Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He has little patience with Maxine's prattle. But when his old friend Mike Burden asks if he might like to assist on this case as Crime Solutions Adviser (unpaid), Wexford is obliged to pay more precise attention to all available information. The old instincts have not been blunted by a life where he and Dora divide their time between London and Kingsmarkham. Wexford retains a relish for solving puzzles and a curiosity about people which is invaluable in detective work. For all his experience and sophistication, Burden tends to jump to conclusions. But he is wise enough to listen to the man whose office he inherited, and whose experience makes him a most formidable ally.

St. Zita Society

St. Zita Society

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 14/08/2012

From three-time Edgar Award-winning mystery writer Ruth Rendell comes a captivating and expertly plotted tale of residents and servants on one block of a posh London streetand the deadly ways their lives intertwine.Life in the well-manicured London locale of Hexam Place is not as placid and orderly as it appears. Behind the tranquil gardens and polished entryways, relationships between servants and their employers are set to combust. Henry, the handsome valet to Lord Studley, is sleeping with both the Lords wife and his university-age daughter. Montserrate, the Still familys lazy au pair, is helping to hide Mrs. Stills illicit affair with a television actorfor a small fee. June, the haughty housekeeper to a princess of dubious origin, is hard at work forming a society for servants to address complaints about their employers. Meanwhile, a disturbed gardener, Dex, believes a voice in his cellphone is giving him godlike instructionsthat could endanger the lives of all who reside in Hexam Place. A deeply observed and suspenseful update to the upstairs/downstairs genre, The St. Zita Society is Ruth Rendall at her incisive best.

Thirteen Steps Down

Thirteen Steps Down

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/08/2012

A classic Rendellian loner, Mix Cellini is superstitious about the number 13. Living in a decaying house in Notting Hill, Mix is obsessed with 10 Rillington Place, where the notorious John Christie committed a series of foul murders. He is also infatuated with a beautiful model who lives nearby - a woman who would not look at him twice. Mix's landlady, Gwendolen Chawcer is equally reclusive - living her life through her library of books. Both landlady and lodger are caught up in their own psychologically twisted parallel worlds. But when reality intrudes into Mix's life, a long pent-up violence explodes.

The Vault (A Wexford Case)

The Vault (A Wexford Case)

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/05/2012

The twenty-fourth book in the bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series, from the author of classic detective fiction and gripping psychological thrillers including End in Tears and Thirteen Steps Down. The impossible has happened. Chief Inspector Reg Wexford has retired from the crime force. He and his wife, Dora, now divide their time between Kingsmarkham and a coachhouse in Hampstead, belonging to their actress daughter, Sheila. Wexford takes great pleasure in his books, but, for all the benefits of a more relaxed lifestyle, he misses being the hand of the law. But a chance meeting in a London street, with someone he had known briefly as a very young police constable, changes everything. Tom Ede is now a Detective Superintendent, and is very keen to recruit Wexford as an adviser on a mysterious murder case. The bodies of two women and a man have been discovered in the old coal hole of an attractive house in St John's Wood. None of the corpses carry identification. But the man's jacket pockets contain a string of pearls, a diamond and a sapphire necklace as well as other jewellery valued in the region of GBP40,000. To Wexford, this is definitely a case worth coming out of retirement for. He is intrigued and excited by the challenge, but unaware that this new investigative role will bring him into extreme physical danger...

Macmillan Readers New Lease of Death A Intermediate Reader Without CD

Macmillan Readers New Lease of Death A Intermediate Reader Without CD

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Mixed media product Release Date: 29/11/2011

The Macmillan Readers series are carefully graded from Starter to Upper Intermediate (A1-B2) to help students choose the right reading material for their ability. Our list of titles includes great stories from both contemporary and classic authors. Chief Inspector Wexford had been sure that the murder of an old lady was carried out by her employee, Herbert Painter, and the courts had agreed with him. But then Henry Archery, whose son is engaged to marry Painter's daughter, starts questioning the case...

Macmillan Readers New Lease of Death A Intermediate Reader Without CD

Macmillan Readers New Lease of Death A Intermediate Reader Without CD

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/11/2011

The Macmillan Readers series are carefully graded from Starter to Upper Intermediate (A1-B2) to help students choose the right reading material for their ability. Our list of titles includes great stories from both contemporary and classic authors. Chief Inspector Wexford had been sure that the murder of an old lady was carried out by her employee, Herbert Painter, and the courts had agreed with him. But then Henry Archery, whose son is engaged to marry Painter's daughter, starts questioning the case...

Expectations / Lizzie's Lover / Shreds and Slivers / The Carer / Unacceptable Levels (Storycuts)

Expectations / Lizzie's Lover / Shreds and Slivers / The Carer / Unacceptable Levels (Storycuts)

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 17/11/2011

In 'Expectations', when George, a seemingly virtuous, well-born and well-educated man, is murdered, his wife reflects on their life together. She married George for love despite knowing he only wanted her fortune. Now he is dead, she no longer has to resemble the psychologically disturbed Miss Haversham.In 'Lizzie's Lover' a poetically-minded man woos his lover with quotes of verse. He is so obsessed with poetry that he determines to bring the words to life, regardless of the fatal consequences.In 'Shreds and Slivers' an aggrieved man plots his deadly revenge with sinister cheer. This chilling tale will make you think twice the next time you're buying dinner.In 'The Carer' nosy neighbour Angela looks after people's houses when they're away. Sometimes she likes to go through their possessions, searching their drawers to uncover their secrets... Until she uncovers a real life skeleton in a closet.In 'Unacceptable Levels' a smoker has tried, and failed, to quit. When he's outside, he smokes to keep the mosquitoes away. When he gets mosquito bites, he can't sleep so he smokes some more, caught in a vicious psychological cycle.Part of the Storycuts series, these five short stories were previously published in Blood Lines, a collection of murder mysteries and crimes thrillers.

Blood Lines (Storycuts)

Blood Lines (Storycuts)

Author: Ruth Rendell Format: eBook Release Date: 17/11/2011

Wexford has a headache: no-one seems to have witnessed the murder, and there is no evidence of any grudges being held against the victim. Nevertheless, the statements of the locals just don't make sense. It is up to Wexford to track down the rat. Whilst he is doing so, a series of hit-and-runs afflict the town centre. Is there a link?Part of the Storycuts series, this short story was previously published in the collection Blood Lines.

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