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.
©2013 Ruth Rendell (P)2013 Simon & Schuster
"Nigel Anthony returns to narrate the 24th entry in Rendell's popular Reginald Wexford series…Anthony is a master of characterization, not only varying his register and accent but also coloring the dialogue of each individual with the appropriate personality. Listeners quickly get a feel for Wexford's struggle to remember his new role as interested civilian as Anthony expertly conveys the ex-cop's difficulty in balancing his own opinions of the murder victim with his professionalism as a criminal investigator. Fans will love this glimpse of Wexford's life outside the office." (AudioFile)
"Ruth Rendell is my dream writer. Her prose style...has the disquieting intimacy of an alien touch in the dark." (New York Times Book Review)
"No one surpasses Ruth Rendell when it comes to stories of obsession, istability, and malignant coincidence." (Stephen King)
Entertaining but confusing.
When the cleaning lady who wouldn't shut up finally talked her son into jail.
I found the girl's reaction to learning her paternity a bit over the top and unbelievable.
Interesting characters, plot moved along with secrets revealed at a rapid clip. Interesting subtext about racial, gender stereotypes. Everything came together nicely at the end.
Barely noticed his performance- all the accents were very realistic!
Light entertainment, but exceptionally well done. Fans of CSI-style forensic police procedurals may be disappointed- this is more of an Agatha Christie style pursuit of psychological deficiencies and motives for murder!
I would seem that Ruth Rendell/Barbara Vine drinks from the same well
as Agatha Christie did. How else to explain that she never misses? The story this time seemed almost ordinary but Queen Ruth never allows you to out-think her! Retired Inspector Wexford is the senior statesman of detectives, getting to the bottom of things without womanizing, drinking or suffering from some psychological malady. Love him.
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