When Lizzie and Bell meet for tea after nearly two decades apart, the topic of conversation is murder--one that Bell herself committed<P> When Elizabeth Vetch spots Bell for the first time in seventeen years, she chases her down in order to learn why her old friend committed a terrible murder all those years ago. Bell has been in prison ever since the mysterious events that took place at the House of Stairs, a London mansion full of over-privileged, overstuffed, and somewhat sinister boarders, landed her there. Now it's up to Lizzie to put together the pieces of her friend's--and her own--fateful past. As the story behind Bell's crime unfolds, master of suspense Barbara Vine keeps readers guessing at the victim and the motive, letting the sword of Damocles hang over the heads of a fascinating and richly drawn cast of characters.
What on earth could have provoked a modern day St. Valentine's Day massacre?On Valentine's Day, four members of the Coverdale family--George, Jacqueline, Melinda and Giles--were murdered in the space of 15 minutes. Their housekeeper, Eunice Parchman, shot them, one by one, in the blue light of a televised performance of Don Giovanni. When Detective Chief Superintendent William Vetch arrests Miss Parchman two weeks later, he discovers a second tragedy: the key to the Valentine's Day massacre hidden within a private humiliation Eunice Parchman has guarded all her life. A brilliant rendering of character, motive, and the heady discovery of truth, A Judgement in Stone is among Ruth Rendell's finest psychological thrillers.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Set in and around London's Regent's Park, where the city's wealthiest, poorest, kindest, and most vicious citizens all cross paths, The Keys to the Street tells of the deadly thanks a young woman risks receiving in return for an act of selfless generosity."Is it true that we dislike those who have done us a service?" asks Mary Jago's grandmother. One of many questions about the best and worst of human nature, it is one with an answer Mary will discover for herself as a consequence of donating her own bone marrow to save the life of a young man she doesn't know...."It's us he's after," says Dill, "our sort." Dill's sort are the homeless who seek refuge in the park, whose corpses have lately been turning up impaled on the spiked railings that surround it....Mary is not their sort at all and would under ordinary circumstances be separated from such horror by social barriers stronger than iron bars. But she has performed a bold act, and the circumstances of her life are now extraordinary -- she is receptive to previously undreamed of happiness, and vulnerable to the darkest grief.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Pup casts spells which convince his unbalanced sister Dolly that he can actually do magic, even commit murder. As Pup tries to get out from under the burden of her belief, Dolly falls further and further into madness.
In the Gold Dagger Award-winning crime novel, a young man writing a history of London's Underground must contend with a killer living under his own roof <P> All his young life, Jarvis Stringer has obsessed over the London Underground. Now he's writing a detailed history of the subway, and to make money in the meantime he rents out cheap rooms in the crumbling former schoolhouse he's inherited, all to desperate single mothers, buskers, subway vigilantes, and assorted misfits. But when one of his boarders turns out to be a murderer, Jarvis becomes distracted from his work--to say the very least. King Solomon's Carpet is an absorbing depiction of London's subterranean landscape and of those eking out invisible lives beneath society's surfaces.
Martin Urban has always led a confortable and safe life. Until he wins a fortune on the pools and decides to use some of his new-found wealth to help those less fortunate than himself. . . Finn lives a dangerous life and he too comes into some money. But his came in cash, wrapped in newspaper. Finn is also interested in helping people - as long as the price is right. If all had remained as it had been, the path of Martin and that of Finn would never have crossed. But Martin's money - which he hopes to use to change the lives of strangers - changes his own life as well. And so it is that the good intentions of one become fatally entangled with the macabre madness of the other.
As their worlds collide, an ex-con and his victim struggle to make sense of their violent past and forge a new future.<P> When Victor Jenner emerges from prison he finds himself inexorably drawn to the man who put him there--the policeman he'd shot a bullet through and paralyzed for life. But it seems that David Fleetwood isn't the sort to hold a grudge, and neither is his ravishing girlfriend, Clare. But can an ex-con like Victor create a new life, or are these three newfound friends treading into the dangerous waters of the past?
Alan Groombridge, manager of a tiny bank and doomed to a life of domestic boredom and tedious routine, kept going only because of 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. Then one day the bank was robbed, the manager and cashier disappeared, and a nightmare began.
Stephen Whalby loves to walk the moor. He considers it his, although he and his young wife Lyn are merely tenants in a flat nearby. But the senseless and frightening murder of a young woman invades Stephen's sense of privacy and pollutes his beloved moor with suspicion and dread. And then a second murder captures his imagination in an unpredictable and fascinating way . . .
A nurse caring for a brilliant and wealthy psychiatric patient comes face to face with the man's family's dark secretsNurse Kerstin Kvist knows something is wrong when she moves into Lydstep Old Hall to care for John, the mentally afflicted patriarch of the wealthy Cosway family. Beneath the ivy-covered and crumbling roof, nothing seems quite right. For instance, why is John Cosway taking powerful drugs that don't fit his diagnosis of schizophrenia? Then, as Kerstin struggles to figure out her place in this odd and unsettling household, a stranger moves in nearby and changes everything for her and for the Cosways. With the intellectual nuance and fine dry wit characteristic of Rendell/Vine thrillers, The Minotaur is a masterful whodunit, rife with thrilling twists of plot.
The Monster In The Box is the latest addition to Ruth Rendell's classic and beguiling Inspector Wexford series. In this enthralling new book, Rendell, "the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world" (Time), takes Inspector Wexford back to his days as a young policeman, and to the man he has long suspected of murder -- serial murder. Outside the house where Wexford investigated his first murder case -- a woman found strangled in her bedroom -- he noticed a short, muscular man wearing a scarf and walking a dog. He gave Wexford an unnerving stare. Without any solid evidence, Wexford began to suspect that this man -- Eric Targo, he learned -- was the killer. Over the years there are more unsolved, apparently motiveless murders in the town of Kingsmarkham, and Wexford continues to quietly suspect that the increasingly prosperous Targo -- van driver, property developer, kennel owner, and animal lover -- is behind them. Now, half a lifetime later, Wexford spots Targo back in Kingsmarkham after a long absence. Wexford tells his longtime partner, Mike Burden, about his suspicions, but Burden dismisses them as fantasy. Meanwhile, Burden's wife, Jenny, has suspicions of her own. She believes that the Rahmans, a highly respectable immigrant family from Pakistan, may be forcing their daughter, Tamima, into an arranged marriage -- or worse. In The Monster in the Box, the twenty-second book in the Inspector Wexford series, fans will be thrilled to meet the now-aging inspector in the robust early days of his career. For new readers, no introduction to this spectacular writer and her compelling protagonist could be finer.
A young girl is murdered in a cemetery. And Wexford's doctor has prescribed no alcohol, no rich food and, above all, no police work. When a young girl's body is found in a London cemetery and the local police, under the command of Wexford's nephew, are baffled, Wexford decides to brave his doctor's wrath and the condescension of the London police by doing a little investigating of his own. A compelling story of mysterious identity and untimely death, Murder Being Once Done is Rendell at her most sublime. With her Inspector Wexford novels, Ruth Rendell, winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, has added layers of depth, realism and unease to the classic English mystery. For the canny, tireless, and unflappable policeman is an unblinking observer of human nature, whose study has taught him that under certain circumstances the most unlikely people are capable of the most appalling crimes. Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.
From crime legend Ruth Rendell, the gripping new novel in her "beloved" (USA Today) Inspector Wexford series, which will soon mark its fiftieth anniversary A female vicar named Sarah Hussain is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who finds the body, happens to also be in the employ of former Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, Wexford, who has taken to reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as a retirement project, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators. Wexford is intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, but he's also desperate to escape the chatty Maxine. A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussain was a woman working in a male-dominated profession. Of mixed race and an outspoken church reformer, she had turned some in her congregation against her, including the conservative vicar's warden. Could one of her enemies in the church have gone so far as to kill her? Or could it have been the elderly next-door gardener with a muddled alibi? As Wexford searches the vicar's house alongside the police, he sees a book, Newman's Apologia Pro Vita Sua, lying on Hussain's bedside table. Inside it is a letter serving as a bookmark. Without thinking much, Wexford puts it into his pocket. Wexford soon realizes he has made a grave error--he's removed a piece of evidence from the crime scene. Yet what he finds inside begins to illuminate the murky past of Sarah Hussain. Is there more to her than meets the eye? No Man's Nightingale is Ruth Rendell's masterful twenty-fourth installment in one of the great crime series of all time.
The enthralling new novel in Rendell's masterful Inspector Wexford series, which will soon mark its fiftieth anniversary. A female vicar named Sarah Hussein is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who discovers her body, happens to also be in the employ of retired Chief Inspector Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, detective inspector Mike Burden, Wexford, intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators. A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussein was a woman working in a male-dominated profession. Moreover, she was of mixed race and working to modernize the church. Could racism or sexism have played a factor in her murder? As Wexford searches the Vicar's house, he sees a book on her bedside table. Inside the book is a letter serving as a bookmark. Without thinking much, Wexford puts it into his pocket. Wexford soon realizes he has made a grave error in removing a piece of valuable evidence from the scene without telling anybody. Yet what he finds inside begins to illuminate the murky past of Hussein. Is there more to her than meets the eye?
What kind of a person would kidnap two children? That is the question that haunts Wexford when a five-year-old boy and a twelve-year-old girl disappear from the village of Kingsmarkham. When a child's body turns up at an abandoned country home one search turns into a murder investigation and the other turns into a race against time. Filled with pathos and terror, passion, bitterness, and loss, No More Dying Then is Rendell at her most chillingly astute. With her Inspector Wexford novels, Ruth Rendell, winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award, has added layers of depth, realism and unease to the classic English mystery. For the canny, tireless, and unflappable policeman is an unblinking observer of human nature, whose study has taught him that under certain circumstances the most unlikely people are capable of the most appalling crimes.
A new Chief Inspector Wexford mystery from the author who Time magazine has called "the best mystery writer in the English-speaking world." When the truffle-hunting dog starts to dig furiously, his master's first reaction is delight at the size of the clump the dog has unearthed: at the going rate, this one truffle might be worth several hundred pounds. Then the dirt falls away to reveal not a precious mushroom but the bones and tendons of what is clearly a human hand.In Not in the Flesh, Chief Inspector Wexford tries to piece together events that took place eleven years earlier, a time when someone was secretly interred in a secluded patch of English countryside. Now Wexford and his team will need to interrogate everyone who lives nearby to see if they can turn up a match for the dead man among the eighty-five people in this part of England who have disappeared over the past decade. Then, when a second body is discovered nearby, Wexford experiences a feeling that's become a rarity for the veteran policeman: surprise.As Wexford painstakingly moves to resolve these multiple mysteries, long-buried secrets are brought to daylight, and Ruth Rendell once again proves why she has been hailed as our greatest living mystery writer.From the Hardcover edition.
Two things interest Stanley Manning: crossword puzzles, and the substantial sum his wife Vera stands to inherit when his mother-in-law dies. Otherwise, life at 61 Lanchester Road is a living hell. For Mrs. Kinaway lives with them now-and she will stop at nothing to tear their marriage apart. One afternoon, Stanley sets aside his crossword puzzles and changes all their lives forever. . . InOne Across, Two Down, master crime writer Ruth Rendell describes a man whose strained sanity and stained reputation transform him from a witless loser into a killer afraid of his own shadow. Mischievously plotted, smart, maddeningly entertaining,One Across, Two Downis a dark delight-classic Rendell.
Two things interest Stanley Manning: crossword puzzles, and the substantial sum his wife Vera stands to inherit when his mother-in-law dies. Otherwise, life at 61 Lanchester Road is a living hell. For Mrs. Kinaway lives with them now--and she will stop at nothing to tear their marriage apart. One afternoon, Stanley sets aside his crossword puzzles and changes all their lives forever... In One Across, Two Down, master crime writer Ruth Rendell describes a man whose strained sanity and stained reputation transform him from a witless loser into a killer afraid of his own shadow. Mischievously plotted, smart, maddeningly entertaining, One Across, Two Down is a dark delight--classic Rendell.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Nine deliciously frightening and exquisitely crafted tales of psychological terror from Ruth Rendell.A self-appointed critic reads books only to catch out their errors of fact and usage, which he points out to their authors in vicious letters: Then one day he comes upon a book that attacks him. An elderly woman finally avenges herself on the man who raped her sixty years before. An idyllic village in the English countryside offers newcomers its own peculiar kind of hospitality and exacts a terrible price on those who reject it. Delivering high-voltage shocks with the elegance of a Henry James, Piranha to Scurfy is further evidence of Ruth Rendell's mastery of any form she puts her hand to.From the Trade Paperback edition.
Ruth Rendell is widely considered to be crime fiction's reigning queen, with a remarkable career spanning more than forty years. Now, in Portobello, she delivers a captivating and intricate tale that weaves together the troubled lives of several people in the gentrified neighborhood of London's Notting Hill.Walking to the shops one day, fifty-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction--and his own good intentions--Wren hatches a plan to find the money's rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners--people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs. As these volatile characters come into Wren's life--and the life of his trusting fiancée--the consequences will change them all. Portobello is a wonderfully complex tour de force featuring a dazzling depiction of one of London's most intriguing neighborhoods--and the dangers beneath its newly posh veneer.
Winner of multiple Edgar and Gold Dagger awards including the most prestigious Edgar of them all, the Grand Master, Ruth Rendell returns with a novel that pits Chief Inspector Wexford against a quite personal foe: the environmental terrorists who kidnap and threaten the lives of five hostages--including Wexford's own wife. As Road Rage begins, Chief Inspector Wexford is walking through Framhurst Great Wood, just outside his beloved town of Kingsmarkham, for what he tells himself will be the last time. He can no longer bear to look at the natural beauty that will soon be despoiled by the construction of a new highway. Wexford rather despairs of the project; his more sanguine wife, Dora, is active on a committee to save the threatened land. Others are more desperate to achieve their end, and their means include the taking of hostages, including Dora, and the threat to begin murdering them.How Wexford and his dedicated team of police officers race against time to learn the identity of the kidnappers and discover the whereabouts of the hostages will rivet readers who delight in following the intricate details of an intensive police investigation. But, as in every Ruth Rendell novel, the mortal drama raises political and moral questions that are not resolved with the closing of the case, and that apply far beyond the limits of Kingsmarkham.From the Hardcover edition.
The first victim had bite marks on her neck so the London papers nicknamed her killer, "the Rottweiler." He has been stalking the small and diverse London community of Lisson Grove, where Inez Ferry runs an antique shop frequented by a motley collection of eccentric individuals. When the Rottweiler's trinkets start showing up in the shop, suddenly, everyone Inez knows is a suspect, and the killer feels all too close. Enthralling and deeply unsettling, The Rottweiler alternates expertly between the mind of a psychopath and the daily affairs of those living in his shadow. It is a transfixing mystery that only Ruth Rendell could write.From the Trade Paperback edition.ulsive killer and the daily affairs of those who live nearby, unknowing yet somehow aware of the unnerving shadow of his presence."Ruth Rendell has written some of the best novels of the twentieth century." --Frances Fyfield"Rendell's clear, shapely prose casts the mesmerizing spell of the confessional." --The New YorkerFrom the Hardcover edition.
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 Lord's wife and his university-age daughter. Montserrate, the Still family's lazy au pair, is helping to hide Mrs. Still's illicit affair with a television actor--for 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 instructions--that 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 Rendell at her incisive best.
The bed was neatly made, and the woman on top neatly strangled. According to all accounts, Angela Hathall was deeply in love with her husband and far too paranoid to invite an unknown person into their home. So who managed to gain entry and strangle her without a struggle? That is the problem facing Inspector Wexford inShake Hands Forever. Perhaps it was the mystery woman who left her fingerprints on the Hathall's bathtub? Perhaps it was Angela's husband who lied about a stolen library book? And why was the Hathall home, usually so unkempt, exqisitely clean the day of Angela's death? Then a neighbor--friendly, knowing, disarmingly beautiful--offers Wexford her assistance. And what begins as a rather tricky case turns into an obsession that threatens to destroy the Inspector's career--as well as his marriage. Maddeningly addictive, smart and surprising,Shake Hands Forevershowcases Ruth Rendell at the height of her storytelling powers. From the Trade Paperback edition.