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Collected Stories


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The New Collection from Ruth Rendell

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. Her final novel, Dark Corners, is scheduled for publication in October 2015


Three MWA Edgars and her home country's top honors as well as critical raves symbolize the British author's stature as a versatile inventor of suspenseful tales. This anthology contains 38 stories reprinted from previous collections, several featuring Inspector Wexford, in exemplars of the police procedural. In ``Achilles Heel,'' Wexford is on holiday in Yugoslavia but distracted from the charms of the shimmering Adriatic Sea and Dubrovnik's lovely garden spots. Alerted to the conduct of fellow Britishers, Philip and Iris Nyman, the inspector reveals astonishing powers of observation that helped him solve a nasty crime. In other stories about ``ordinary'' people, Rendell's perceptions unveil sordid realities lurking beneath respectable facades. ``Divided We Stand'' concerns sisters whose bedridden mother constantly demands attentions that exhaust her spinster daughter Pauline. Marjorie, the other daughter, lives comfortably and selfishly with her family until the news that Pauline plans to marry, leaving the old woman to Marjorie's untender care. The denouement is a psychological stunner that few writers can rival. (May)

"Rendell understands the nature of evil... Her gimlet intelligence eschews compassion; reading this collection is similar to being harangued by one of her unstable creations who behind your back, sharpens the knitting needle." * The Guardian *
"Each [story] is like a condensed, polished Rendell novel." * Daily Telegraph *
"Rendell's mastery of the short story is unsurpassed." * The Times *
"Ruth Rendell, like all the great creators of crime fiction, keeps her pact with the reader. There's a murder mystery, there are clues, there is a solution. It's a very satisfying read" * Giles Brandreth *
"Here are the fears that haunt us, the nightmarish urban myths of our time... One of the most remarkable talents writing today" * Jane Jakeman, Independent *

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