Ruth Rendell Dead at 85

Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell, who had a stroke in January, died this morning in London.  And all over the world, her countless fans are mourning the loss.

Ruth Rendell has been a constant in my reading life for what feels like forever.  I can’t even remember for certain when I  first discovered her writing or when she became a member of my very select group of  “go to” authors – she just did.  And she will forever hold her place in that group.  

Ruth Rendell, whose first novel was published in 1964, was a “groundbreaker,” a “trendsetter,” choose whichever cliché you want to use because both are apt.  Her work elevated the mystery genre to the status and quality of more literary work and, in fact, I have long called her mysteries “literary mysteries” in order to credit fully the importance  and depth of the characters she creates for her stories.  And, equally importantly, she helped open the door for all the superb female authors who work the genre so well today.  

I will miss the excitement I felt each time I picked up for the first time a brand new Ruth Rendell mystery or a Barbara Vine suspense novel.  I will miss my old pal Inspector Wexford.  

I will miss Ruth Rendell.

The following is a bibliography I worked up for Rendell a while back:

Ruth Rendell  February 17, 1930 – May 2, 2015) from South Woodford, London) was a member of the House of Lords, held a Life Peer as Baroness Rendell of Babergh and a 1996 CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire)

Non-Series Books:

To Fear a Painted Devil – 1965
Vanity Dies Hard – 1965
The Secret House of Death – 1968
One Across, Two Down – 1971
The Face of Trespass – 1974
A Demon in My View – 1976
A Judgement in Stone – 1977
Make Death Love Me – 1979
The Lake of Darkness – 1980
Master of the Moor – 1982
The Killing Doll – 1984
The Tree of Hands – 1984
Live Flesh – 1986
Talking to Strange Men – 1987
The Bridesmaid – 1989
Going Wrong – 1990
The Crocodile Bird – 1993
The Keys to the Street – 1996
A Sight for Sore Eyes – 1998
Adam and Eve and Pinch Me – 2001
The Rottweiler – 2003
Thirteen Steps Down – 2004
The Water’s Lovely – 2006
Portobello – 2008
Tigerlily’s Orchids – 2010
The St. Zita Society – 2012
The Girl Next Door – 2014

Short Story Collections:

The Fallen Curtain – 1976
Means of Evil and Other Stories – 1979
The Fever Tree – 1982
The New Girlfriend – 1985
The Copper Peacock – 1991
Blood Lines – 1995
Piranah to Scurfy – 2000
Collected Short Stories, Volume 1 – 2006
Collected Short Stories, Volume 2 – 2008


Heartstones – 1987
The Thief – 2006

The Inspector Wexford Series:

From Doon with Death – 1964
The Sins of the Fathers (A New Lease on Death is UK title) – 1967
Wolf to the Slaughter – 1967
The Best Man to Die – 1969
A Guilty Thing Surprised – 1970
No More Dying Then – 1971
Murder Being Once Done – 1972
Some Lie and Some Die – 1973
Shake Hands Forever – 1975
A Sleeping Life – 1979
Death Notes (Put on by Cunning is UK title) – 1981
The Speaker of Mandarin – 1983
An Unkindness of Ravens – 1985
The Veiled One – 1988
Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter – 1991
Simisola – 1994
Road Rage – 1997
Harm Done – 1999
The Babes in the Wood – 2002
End in Tears – 2005
Not in the Flesh – 2007
The Monster in the Box – 2009
The Vault – 2011
No Man’s Nightingale – 2013

Written as Barbara Vine:

A Dark-Adapted Eye – 1986
A Fatal Inversion – 1987
The House of Stairs – 1988
Gallowglass – 1990
King Solomon’s Carpet – 1991
Asta’s Book – 1993
No Night Is too Long – 1994
The Brimstone Wedding – 1995
The Chimney Sweeper’s Boy – 1998
Grasshopper – 2000
The Blood Doctor – 2002
The Minotaur – 2005
The Birthday Present – 2008
The Child’s Child – 2012

Children’s Books:
Archie and Archie – 2013


Ruth Rendell’s Suffolk – 1989
Undermining the Central Line: giving government back to the people (with Colin Ward) – 1989
The Reason Why: An Anthology of the Murderous Mind – 1995

Books Reviewed on Book Chase are linked in “red.”

Author Bibliographies to Be Added as Separate Pages

Just a bit of a housekeeping note to share with you:

James Lee Burke

I am going to be adding complete bibliographies of some of my favorite authors to Book Chase.  The bibliographies will be found on separate blog pages, one for each author, and the first of these (the James Lee Burke link) is already up.  I plan to add the complete bibliography for Ruth Rendell next, and will follow up that one with those authors I have been reading the longest – usually for three or four decades.

Ruth Rendell

Burke and Rendell, between them, have almost 100 years of published works in the vault and both are still going strong, so these first bibliographies will be quite long.  The author pages will include a mini-biography, pictures, a list of all books (subdivided into series, short story collections, novels, nonfiction titles, etc.), and years of publication of each title.

I find it useful at times to have this information handy, and I hope that others will find the pages to be a convenient place to begin research of an author’s body of work.   (See the James Lee Burke page link near the top of the righthand column, for an example of such a page.)

Author Bibliography Number 1: James Lee Burke

James Lee Burke (Born December 5, 1936 in Houston, Texas), a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award Winner

Non-Series Books:

Half of Paradise – 1965
To the Bright and Shining Sun – 1970
Two for Texas – 1982
The Lost Get-Back Boogie – 1986
White Doves at Morning – 2002

Short Story Collections:

The Convict and Other Stories- 1985
Jesus Out to Sea – 2007

Billy Bob Holland Series:

Cimarron Rose – 1997 (Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel)
Heartwood – 1999
Bitterroot – 2001
In the Moon of Red Ponies – 2004

Hackberry Holland Series:

Lay Down My Sword and Shield – 1971
Rain Gods – 2009
Feast Day of Fools – 2011

Dave Robicheaux Series:

The Neon Rain – 1987
Heaven’s Prisoners – 1988
Black Cherry Blues – 1989 (Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel)
A Morning for Flamingos – 1990
A Stained White Radiance – 1992
In the Electric Mist with Confederate Dead – 1993
Dixie City Jam – 1994
Burning Angel – 1995
Cadillac Jukebox – 1996
Sunset Limited – 1998
Purple Cane Road – 2000
Jolie Blon’s Bounce – 2002
Last Car to Elysian Fields – 2003
Crusader’s Cross – 2005
Pegasus Descending – 2006
The Tin Roof Blowdown – 2007
Swan Peak – 2008
The Glass Rainbow – 2010
Creole Belle – 2012

Books Reviewed on Book Chase are linked in “red.”

 James Lee Burke and fellow crime fiction author and daughter, Alafair Burke

A Portion of My Burke Collection, including a Robicheaux’s Dock & Bait Shop Cap