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Ruth Rendell

Author of The Chief Inspector Wexford Novels

April 29, 2021

1930-2015 Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, was an English author of thrillers and psychological murder mysteries. She is best known for creating Chief Inspector Wexford, starting with From Doon to Death, 1964 and ending with the 20th Inspector Wexford novel, End in Tears, 2005. Her first novel as her Barbara Vine pseudonym was A Dark-Adapted Eye, 1985. Rendell was said to have worked out her plot idea and who will commit the crime before she started writing her detective novels.

She told Michael Hanlon of the Toronto Star, “I write intending this Perpetrator X in mind. I write without letting my readers know that it’s X.” She said that when she got to the last chapter, she usually found that someone else was the killer. Books under her own name tended to be more plot-driven while her Barbara Vine books focused on the mind of those with pathological, sometimes obsessive, problems. But everything of hers that I’ve read has stayed with me (often as a nightmare) over the years.

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