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Creator / Ruth Rendell

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Ruth Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE (17 February 1930 – 2 May 2015) is a British Crime Writer. Her works can be divided into three main series.

  • The Inspector Wexford novels. Mystery Fiction featuring Chief Inspector Wexford and his sidekick Inspector Michael Burden. Now 23 books in the series
  • Her one-shot psychological crime novels, often featuring damaged protagonists and the results of them trying to live in the real world.
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  • The Barbara Vine novels. A series of books written under the name of Barbara Vine. Unusually (unlike for example Stephen King as Richard Bachman), there was no intent to conceal Ruth Rendell's identity as the author (the covers would often carry the credit 'Ruth Rendell writing as Barbara Vine'). The intention was to signal that this was a different style of writing for Rendell. The 'Barbara Vine' novels tend to be more gently paced, often taking place over a number of years and generations, and often written in the first person.

Outside her writing, Ruth Rendell sat in the House of Lords as a Labour peer.


This author's work includes examples of:

  • Big Fancy House: Both Devon Villa (though it has seen better days) and Padanaram qualify in Astas Book. The model Padanaram that Rasmus builds as a dollhouse for Marie also counts. It's so incredibly huge that its owners have difficulty finding places to store it.
  • Confess to a Lesser Crime: How the murderer escapes justice for a while in 'Put On By Cunning'
  • Defective Detective: Averted by Reg Wexford. He is happily married, has no particular vices and is generally well-liked.
  • Idiot Ball: Wexford assuming that the body of a black woman is the particular black woman his team is searching for in Simisola. It's treated as a Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped moment about how even Wexford can succumb to latent racism, but it's so out of character, it comes across more like this.
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  • Lonely Doll Girl
  • Rape as Drama: The backstory of Sarah Hussain, the murder victim, in No Man's Nightingale. According to an old friend, Thora Kilmartin, Sarah was raped, but decided to keep the child. And then subverted. Thora is lying, and Sarah's daughter was conceived under very different circumstances.


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