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Not in the Flesh

New or Used: 3 copies from $7.87
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Promotional Information

The twenty-first book in the bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series, from the author of classic detective fiction and gripping psychological thrillers including End in Tears and Thirteen Steps Down. The past is a shallow grave...

About the Author

Ruth Rendell has won many awards, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View; a second Edgar in 1984 from the Mystery Writers of America for the best short story, 'The New Girl Friend'; and a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986. She was also the winner of the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, as well as the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded the CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer.


In bestseller Rendell's superb 21st Inspector Wexford mystery (after 2005's End in Tears), the British police detective investigates first one, then two male bodies that turn up on the old Grimble property in the insular hamlet of Flagford. Who were these men? Are their deaths related? Older people fill this wise and nuanced story--sleepy, bitter and disengaged--since no "current" crime is at stake, just these two literal skeletons from the past. Among the suspects in the bizarre case are dying fantasy novelist Owen Tredown, who lives with two loopy women, Claudia and Maeve, his divorced first and second wives, in a hideous Victorian manor. Outside groups--including members of the Somali community and itinerant fruit-pickers--tantalize with their secrets and idiosyncrasies. The suspense persists until the book's final sentences, when the last pieces of the puzzle click elegantly yet unexpectedly into place. (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

The prolific Rendell (or Barbara Vine, depending on what you're reading) offers her 21st Chief Inspector Wexford novel. Readers watch as a truffle-hunting suburbanite and his dog stumble across a long-buried body on a vacant property. Upon investigation, Wexford and his team uncover a second murder victim in the basement of the abandoned house on the property. The crimes were committed so long ago that the bodies themselves yield few clues, but the neighbors all seem to have reasons to be cast in a suspicious light. Wexford embarks on an arduous probe in an effort to unravel the mystery, encountering along the way the usual odd assortment of characters. Interspersed in his investigation is an odd subplot involving the genital mutilation of young Somali immigrants in Britain. As always, Wexford endures modern (and in his opinion, less civilized) British society and patiently prods his suspects until they reveal all. Not quite as compelling in tone as some of Rendell's other works but complex enough to satisfy any mystery fan. Recommended for all public libraries.--Caroline Mann, Univ. of Portland Lib., OR Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Rendell's genius with the whodunnit form works to make everything doubly vital. Without being remotely didactic, she is the pre-eminent thematic novelist of her day . . . Jane Austen would have approved of Rendell's cliche-dissecting wit . . . It's impossible to imagine her writing anything devoid of import. She is one of the rare breed that make you feel privileged to be around at the same time as they are. She doles out death so that we might feel more alive" * New Statesman * "The queen of the whodunnit returns" * Word * "Ruth Rendell's books are not only whodunits but whydunits, uncovering the motive roots of murder" * Mail on Sunday * "Superb ... The suspense persists until the book's final sentences" * Publishers Weekly * "Gripping and memorable" * Sunday Times *

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