No Man's Nightingale by Ruth Rendell
An Inspector Wexford Novel (Chief Inspector Wexford)

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The insistence on plumbing the past makes this sedate, quirky whodunit read like an uneven collaboration between Rendell and her doomy alter ego Barbara Vine...
-Kirkus

Synopsis

INCLUDES AN EXCERPT OF RENDELL’S FINAL NOVEL, DARK CORNERS

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.
 

About Ruth Rendell

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Ruth Rendell has won three Edgar Awards, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America, four Gold Daggers, and a Diamond Dagger for outstanding contribution to the genre from England’s prestigious Crime Writer’s Association. Her remarkable career has spanned more than forty years, with more than sixty books published. A member of the House of Lords, she lives in London.
 
Published November 5, 2013 by Scribner. 289 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for No Man's Nightingale
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Below average
on Oct 19 2013

The insistence on plumbing the past makes this sedate, quirky whodunit read like an uneven collaboration between Rendell and her doomy alter ego Barbara Vine...

Read Full Review of No Man's Nightingale: An Insp... | See more reviews from Kirkus

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Kathleen Hennrikus on Oct 07 2013

This outing may be more social commentary than conventional murder mystery because the murderer is clear from the start, but because Ruth Rendell is so good and quite keen on observing society, readers will enjoy this offering.

Read Full Review of No Man's Nightingale: An Insp... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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