Ruth Rendell Books In Order

Here you’ll find all of Ruth Rendell’s books in chronological order of bing published.

Publication Order of Inspector Wexford Books

From Doon With DeathRuth Rendell introduces the world to Inspector Wexford, who unravels the complexities of a seemingly ordinary woman’s life to solve her mysterious and unexpected murder.(1964)
Sins of the Fathers / A New Lease of DeathInspector Wexford confronts the shadows of the past as a new investigation questions an old verdict.(1967)
Wolf to the SlaughterWexford tracks a missing woman in a case that challenges the boundaries between appearance and reality.(1967)
The Best Man to DieA puzzling death after a wedding entangles Wexford in a web of familial secrets and lies.(1969)
A Guilty Thing SurprisedThe murder of a beloved schoolmistress leads Wexford through a maze of haunting revelations.(1970)
No More Dying ThenA child’s disappearance and a murder probe force Wexford to confront the depths of parental love and despair.(1971)
Murder Being Once DoneWexford, in fragile health, delves into a cemetery’s silence to unearth a killer.(1972)
Some Lie and Some DieA rock festival turns sinister as Wexford uncovers the dark side of the music scene.(1973)
Shake Hands ForeverWexford’s determination to seek the truth strains the very limits of justice.(1975)
A Sleeping LifeThe discovery of a woman’s double life propels Wexford into the darkness behind suburban curtains.(1978)
Death Notes / Put On By CunningWexford navigates a virtuoso’s complex symphony of secrets to solve a haunting murder.(1981)
Speaker of MandarinA holiday to China offers Wexford philosophical puzzles and a fresh homicide to decipher.(1983)
An Unkindness of RavensWexford unravels a tapestry of marital strife, feminism, and hidden identities.(1985)
The Veiled OneA suffocating murder in a parking garage leads Wexford to confront buried secrets.(1988)
Kissing the Gunner’s DaughterA family massacre opens up old wounds and new treacheries for Wexford.(1992)
Ginger and the Kingsmarkham (With: George Philip Baker)Wexford faces a historical puzzle that blends local lore with a current crime.(1992)
SimisolaInspector Wexford confronts the harsh realities of racism and unemployment when a young woman goes missing in Kingsmarkham.(1994)
Road RageWexford faces a dangerous eco-terrorist group, intertwining personal stakes with environmental activism.(1997)
Harm DoneWexford delves into the complexities of domestic violence, kidnapping, and societal ills in a case close to home.(1999)
The Babes in the WoodA devastating flood in Kingsmarkham brings with it the mysterious disappearance of two children and their babysitter.(2002)
End in TearsWexford unravels a series of murders linked to a complex web of teenage angst and parental secrets.(2005)
Not in the FleshUnearthing long-buried bodies leads Wexford to confront historical crimes with present-day implications.(2007)
The Monster in the BoxWexford is haunted by a face from his past, questioning his judgment in an old case that resurfaces.(2009)
The VaultA chilling discovery in a hidden vault under an old house propels Wexford into a dark, decades-old mystery.(2011)
No Man’s NightingaleWexford comes out of retirement to investigate the murder of a controversial vicar, uncovering the undercurrents of a seemingly peaceful town.(2013)

Inspector Wexford Collections Books In Order of Publication

Means of Evil(1979)

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

To Fear a Painted Devil(1965)
Vanity Dies Hard(1966)
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)
A Dark-Adapted Eye(As: Barbara Vine)(1986)
Talking to Strange Men(1987)
A Fatal Inversion(As: Barbara Vine)(1987)
The House of Stairs(As: Barbara Vine)(1988)
The Bridesmaid(1989)
Going Wrong(1990)
Gallowglass(As: Barbara Vine)(1990)
King Solomon’s Carpet(As: Barbara Vine)(1991)
The Crocodile Bird(1993)
Asta’s Book / Anna’s Book(As: Barbara Vine)(1993)
No Night Is Too Long(As: Barbara Vine)(1994)
In the Time of His Prosperity(As: Barbara Vine)(1995)
The Brimstone Wedding(As: Barbara Vine)(1995)
The Keys to the Street(1996)
A Sight for Sore Eyes(1998)
The Chimney Sweeper’s Boy(As: Barbara Vine)(1998)
Grasshopper(As: Barbara Vine)(2000)
Adam and Eve and Pinch Me(2001)
The Blood Doctor(As: Barbara Vine)(2002)
The Rottweiler(2003)
13 Steps Down(2004)
Minotaur(As: Barbara Vine)(2005)
The Water’s Lovely(2006)
Birthday Present(As: Barbara Vine)(2008)
Tigerlily’s Orchids(2010)
The Saint Zita Society(2012)
The Child’s Child(As: Barbara Vine)(2012)
The Girl Next Door(2014)
Dark Corners(2015)

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

The Convolvulus Clock(1985)
Long Live The Queen(1991)
The Thief(2005)

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Fallen Curtain(1976)
The Fever Tree(1982)
The New Girlfriend(1985)
Collected Short Stories(1989)
The Copper Peacock and Other Stories(1991)
Blood Lines(1995)
Piranha to Scurfy(2000)
Ruth Rendell: Short Stories(2006)
Collected Stories Vol 1(2006)
A Spot of Folly(2017)

Publication Order of Children’s Books

Archie and Archie(2013)

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Ruth Rendell’s Suffolk(1992)
The Reason Why(1995)

Publication Order of Anthologies

Murder in the Dark(0)
Simply The Best Mysteries, Edgar Award Winners And Front Runners(1970)
The 23rd Pan Book of Horror Stories(1982)
The Web She Weaves(1983)
Ready or Not: Here Come Fourteen Frightening Stories!(1987)
English Country House Murders(1988)
The Picador Book of the New Gothic(1991)
Mystery Cats(1991)
1st Culprit(1992)
The Man Who…(1992)
Women of Mystery(1992)
The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories 1992(1993)
Fifty Best Mysteries(1993)
3rd Culprit(1994)
Women of Mystery II(1994)
Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine: November 1994(1994)
The Year’s 25 Finest Crime and Mystery Stories 1993(1994)
Murder Intercontinental(1996)
Murder by the Book(1996)
Win, Lose or Die(1996)
Women of Mystery III(1998)
Crime After Crime(1999)
Crime Never Pays(2001)
The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 3(2002)
Murder On The Railways(2003)
Unforgettable Ghost Stories by Women Writers(2008)
Midsummer Nights(2009)
Great Modern Stories(2009)
Short Stories: The Thoroughly Modern Collection(2009)
The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime Volume 10.(2013)
Murder in Midsummer: Classic Mysteries for the Holidays(2019)
Murder Takes a Holiday: Classic Crime Stories for Summer(2021)

More About Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell, nee Grasemann, an English author of considerable repute, was born on February 17, 1930, in South Woodford, London.

Ruth spent her formative years in a suburban enclave of London, where the echoes of the city’s bustle were just distant enough to afford a sense of calm and introspection. Born into a family with varied heritage, her Swedish mother and British father provided a culturally rich environment. Her father’s work as a manager in a string of gentlemen’s outfitters and her mother’s occupation as a teacher, exposed Rendell to a blend of the practical and the intellectual, a combination that would serve her well in her writing career.

Her education at Loughton High School was a testament to her early affinity for language and storytelling. Despite not pursuing higher education, Rendell’s voracious reading habit and natural flair for writing became the foundation upon which she built her later success. Post-education, she embarked on a career in journalism, a path that honed her observational skills and her understanding of human nature—traits that became hallmarks of her novels.

The journalistic stint was also significant for Rendell’s personal life; it was at the local Essex paper that she met her future husband, Don Rendell. They married when she was 20, and although the marriage later ended in divorce, it was subsequently reconciled. During these early adult years, Rendell’s experiences—balancing work, marriage, and later motherhood—infused her with insights into the intricacies of everyday life that would color her literary work with a rich sense of authenticity.

Her journey from a journalist in post-war Britain to a bestselling novelist is a reflection of her ability to transform ordinary life into extraordinary stories, and her early life’s tapestry provided ample threads to weave her narratives. Rendell’s keen understanding of the human condition, likely kindled in these formative years, became the psychological backbone of her celebrated crime fiction and mystery novels.

Ruth Rendell’s literary repertoire is adorned with numerous successful novels, several standing out for their critical acclaim and popularity. Among her most esteemed works is the Chief Inspector Wexford series, starting with “From Doon With Death,” which introduced readers to the astute and compassionate detective Reginald Wexford. This series would grow to include over twenty novels, with titles such as “A Sleeping Life” and “Kissing the Gunner’s Daughter,” which further cemented Rendell’s reputation for masterful plotting and character depth.

Another of Rendell’s landmark contributions is “A Judgement in Stone,” a standalone novel that begins with the stark revelation of a family’s murder and then delves into the why and how, uncovering the intricate psychology behind the crime. This novel is often lauded for its incisive character study and subversion of the traditional mystery format.

Under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, Rendell explored the darker and more complex realms of psychological suspense. “A Dark-Adapted Eye,” her first novel as Vine, is considered a triumph, winning the Edgar Award. This tale of family secrets and the latent repercussions of a wartime murder is a testament to her narrative prowess.

“An Unkindness of Ravens” is another standout, a Wexford novel that intertwines the disappearance of a man with the discovery of a secret society, offering a piercing look into societal undercurrents and the nature of evil.

“The Lake of Darkness,” a standalone work, showcases Rendell’s skill in crafting tight, psychological thrillers. The novel follows a man whose lottery win leads to a series of unforeseen and grim events, revealing the unpredictability of fate and human nature.

These novels, among others, highlight Ruth Rendell’s exceptional ability to explore the psychological landscapes of her characters while delivering riveting suspense, making her a cherished figure in the world of crime fiction. Her successful novels have not only garnered a dedicated readership but have also inspired adaptations for television and film, bringing her complex characters and twisty plots to a broader audience.

Themes and Writing Style
Rendell’s novels often delve into the darker aspects of human nature, exploring themes of identity, family secrets, and the subtle horrors of the mundane. Her writing style is precise and eloquent, with a knack for creating suspense through detailed character studies rather than through violence or sensationalism.

Personal Life and Impact
Rendell’s personal life was as rich and varied as her novels. She was an active member of the House of Lords for the Labour Party and was involved in various charitable endeavors. Ruth Rendell passed away on May 2, 2015, but her legacy endures through her vast body of work which continues to captivate and enthrall readers.

Ruth Rendell’s contribution to crime fiction earned her numerous awards, including the Silver, Gold, and Cartier Diamond Daggers from the Crime Writers’ Association. Her insightful, socially conscious, and gripping narratives have not only provided entertainment but also provoked thought about the complexities of the human psyche, securing her a place among the greats in crime literature.

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