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From Doon With Death (2007)

From Doon With Death (2007)
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Rating
3.69 of 5 Votes: 2
ISBN
0345498453 (ISBN13: 9780345498458)
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English
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ballantine books
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From Doon With Death (2007)
From Doon With Death (2007)

About book: Update, May 6, 2015: I am undertaking a Ruth Rendell "key" works project -- the books The Guardian recently noted as such the day of Ruth Rendell's death. From Doon With Death is the first of these . I've just reread this novel again after six years, and while I wouldn't change my rating, I will say that it was definitely a pleasure to have taken it up again. This time through I've noticed much more than I did the first time -- back then I think I was looking much more for plot and storyline, where now I'm tending to focus more on people and what makes them do what they do. This book definitely meets my requirements. -- returning to original review now, but I still recommend this novel - it's much better the second time through. --There's a short section in the back of the edition of this book that I own which notes that Rendell did not follow along the Agatha Christie line and write mysteries based on characters of the upper class. Indeed, From Doon With Death, the first Wexford novel, focuses on the mystery of the death of a somewhat rather dowdy housewife who goes missing and then turns up dead. Margaret Parsons is the flip side of extraordinary; no enemies, lives in somewhat of a rut, and has no sordid qualities about her whatsoever. So why would anyone want this woman dead? Wexford has only a few clues: a spent match on the ground, and inscriptions in some of Margaret's books that are signed "Doon." But there's no clue as to Doon's identity, so Wexford is baffled.For a series opener, it's a bit typical. What I mean is that having read other Inspector Wexford books, I know that the author takes time to more fully develop Wexford's character as the series progresses. Also, as a side note, don't forget that this book was written in 1964 and thus attitudes are a bit dated. Overall though, I love Ruth Rendell's work, and I'm very happy to have read this one.I'd recommend it to readers who enjoy a good British mystery with solid plotting.

Audio. I've read reviews from my mystery-loving friends who love this series. I just can't stand to not start at the very beginning, so off I go!The reason I like to start at the beginning is because I like the character development. I want to know the detective; his foibles and flaws as well as his heroic strengths, whatever they may be. I was a bit surprised and disappointed to find not much character development here in the persons of Wexford and Burden. No little idiosyncrasies, no dark or mysterious pasts, and really, not much chemistry between the two. Just a couple of English blokes doing the day-to-day, so to speak. This was not a super-remarkable story, but pretty solid. I am not much of a detective myself so you don't have to write very hard to keep the truth from me till the very end. I have to say I liked the "reveal" and will be putting #2 on my to-read list.Competent narration by Terrence Hardiman.
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Reviews
Nancy
I am a fan of classis murder mysteries yet was not familiar with Ruth Rendell's writing (nor have I seen Inspector Wexford on television). It seemed like it was time to get acquainted.Since this was the initial novel featuring Inspector Wexford, I suspect that as her series expanded, her detective grew more interesting to readers. I generally feel that when I've read three or more books featuring one character I enjoy each successive book a little bit more. That is an unnecessarily complicated way of saying that I'll try a couple more books by Rendell to see if they become "must reads."Wexford brings a somewhat cold, calm, matter-of-factness to the investigation and that prohibited me from bonding with his character in any way. He was thorough and persistent but didn't seem very imaginative or particularly interesting. BUT, what was interesting, was the psychology of Rendells' characters; it sets the book apart from just being a routine who dun it.
Bettie☯
Read by................ Terence HardimanTotal Runtime......... 5 Hours 28 MinsDescription: Margaret Parsons is dead. She appeared to lead a very dull life. She had been a "good" woman. Religious, old-fashioned, and respectable, her life had been as spotless and ordinary as her home, as unexciting and dependable as her marriage. However, it was not because of her life that Chief Inspector Wexford became involved, but her death. How is it possible that a woman who had led such a quiet, respectable, unspectacular life could have met such a death of passion and violence? To Wexford, it simply does not make sense, until he begins to slowly uncover the layers of Margaret Parsons' real life... Okay mystery, but the writing is wonderful. Looks like I will enjoy this series.
Cathy
I had never read Ruth Rendell and had only vaguely heard of her when Scott Throw, in an interview, said she was the one mystery writer he always read. I love British mysteries, they're so civilized. Rarely are people shot, they are usually killed quite discreetly, the detectives go around asking polite questions over tea, nothing blows up and at the end they sit down and explain it all clearly in case you dozed through an important clue. This is Rendell's first mystery, written in the '60s, and her critics don't consider it her best (her inspector sits down and explains it all in the last chapter), but she has been called the World's greatest living crime writer. She's certainly up there. Her characters are great and apparently in her newer stories she takes on lots of social change issues. Kate Atkinson is still my favorite mystery writer but Rendell is a very close second.
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