Tuesday, 4 November 2014

No Man's Nightingale by Ruth Rendell

by Ruth Rendell
Trade Paperback, 288 pages

Ah, Inspector Wexford - I have missed you!

Thank goodness Wex is back. Not in his official capacity but as a retired expert consultant. (Unpaid)

We get to know him on a more intimate level as he ages and his interpersonal interactions are just as fascinating as his observations and deductions.

Rendell has the ability to dangle all the necessary clues in front of our faces but have us just as confused as the investigators until the onion slowly peels away.

This is why she is the master.

The lovely English tongue and timing, intelligent puzzles, and heartfelt relationships make No Man's Nightingale a beautiful mystery indeed.

A community all affected by the arrival of a new (female) reverend with mixed race heritage and a well kept secret. Someone angry enough to commit murder. Only retired inspector Wexford has the heart and head to find the real killer.

For all British mystery fans!

From the Back Flap:

"Rendell effectively dangles a handful of addictive red herrings while nudging the main mystery gently along. . . . Best of all for Wexford fans, the book affords some terrific moments between the retired sleuth and Burden." Boston Globe.

     Sarah Hussain was not popular with many people in the community of Kingsmarkham. She was born of mixed parentage--a white Irishwoman and an immigrant Indian Hindu. She was also the Reverend of St Peter's Church.
But it comes as a profound shock to everyone when she is found strangled in the Vicarage.
     A garrulous cleaner, Maxine, also shared by the Wexfords, discovers the body. In his comparatively recent retirement, the former Detective Chief Inspector is devoting much time to reading, and is deep into Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. He has little patience with Maxine's prattle.
     But when his old friend Mike Burden asks if he might like to assist on this case as Crime Solutions Adviser (unpaid), Wexford is obliged to pay more precise attention to all available information.
     The old instincts have not been blunted by a life where he and Dora divide their time between London and Kingsmarkham. Wexford retains a relish for solving puzzles and a curiosity about people which is invaluable in detective work.
     For all his experience and sophistication, Burden tends to jump to conclusions. But he is wise enough to listen to the man whose office he inherited, and whose experience makes him a most formidable ally.

Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell is the author of Road Rage, The Keys to the Street, Bloodlines, Simisola, and The Crocodile Bird. She is the winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award. She is also the recipient of three Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America and four Gold Daggers from Great Britain’s Crime Writers Association. In 1997, she was named a life peer in the House of Lords. Ruth Rendell also writes mysteries under the name of Barbara Vine, of which A Dark Adapted Eye is the most famous. She lives in England.