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A New Lease Of Death: (A Wexford Case) [Paperback]

Ruth Rendell
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

1 Oct 2009 Wexford (Book 2)

The second book to feature the classic crime-solving detective, Chief Inspector Wexford.

It's impossible to forget the violent bludgeoning to death of an elderly lady in her home. Even more so when it's your first murder case.

Wexford believed he'd solved Mrs Primero's murder fifteen years ago. It was no real mystery. Everyone knew Painter, her odd-job man, had done it. There had never been any doubt in anyone's mind. Until now...

Henry Archery's son is engaged to Painter's daughter. Only Archery can't let the past remain buried. He wants to prove Wexford wrong, and in probing into the lives of the witnesses questioned all those years ago, he stirs up more than old ghosts.

Frequently Bought Together

A New Lease Of Death: (A Wexford Case) + Wolf To The Slaughter: (A Wexford Case) + From Doon With Death: A Wexford Case - 50th Anniversary Edition
Price For All Three: 16.77

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099534797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099534792
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 69,792 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More 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.

Product Description


"One of the best novelists writing today" (P.D. James)

"Ruth Rendell has quite simply transformed the genre of crime writing. She displays her peerless skill in blending the mundane, commonplace aspects of life with the potent murky impulses of desire and greed, obsession and fear" (Sunday Times)

"Rendell never fails to come up trumps, and her millions of admirers will eagerly consume this offering as they have all the others" (The Irish Times)

"Ruth Rendell's mesmerising capacity to shock, chill and disturb is unmatched" (The Times)

"A firm grasp of social concerns ensure that her novels are reflective of our own times, as well as hugely absorbing" (Louise Welsh The Times)

Book Description

The second book in the bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series. Perfect for both collectors and new fans of award-winning crime novelist Ruth Rendell, who has written classic detective fiction and gripping psychological thrillers including End in Tears and Thirteen Steps Down.

Some cases are impossible to bury.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Lease of Death 7 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wexford is asked to meet Henry Archery who wants him to look again at the murder of Mrs Primero which happened fifteen years ago. Wexford believes the correct verdict was reached and as it was his first murder case in which he was the officer in charge he is naturally a bit prickly about it. Archery believes that the killer was wrongly convicted and sets out to prove it. In the process he opens rather too many cans of worms.

This is the second in the Wexford series and very good it is too. There is little overt violence and a great deal of interesting insights into all the characters. The psychological aspects of the murder and its effects on the people concerned are very well done and convincing. I like the police characters and the way Wexford and Burden interact.

I first read this series more than twenty years ago and it has stood the test of time very well indeed and the books bear re-reading.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A New Lease of Old Moralities 25 Oct 2009
Some books transcend time: the characters, the situations, the themes. You can read them now and "connect" comfortably. Most Agatha Christie stories do this. Probably the reason they're still read and loved, in English and in translation around the world, to this day.

Other books are firmly rooted in a period: whether by the language, by the characters' preoccupations or by the society they depict. I'm thinking this is one of the main ways in which Dorothy Sayers differs from Dame Agatha ... The reader has to make a bit more effort to get into the mindset of the story. There are other books, though, that require more than a bit of effort: Ruth Rendell's A NEW LEASE OF DEATH fits into this category: the story works within a time and mindset that is very much of the past, but one whose sensibilities are presented in way deeply alienating to the modern reader, oddly much more so than the class-obsessed sensibilities of the Sayers-Wimsey novels. What do I mean? Well, for this story to work, we must accept that having a child out of wedlock is shameful to a paralysing degree. We are also required to identify with a protagonist (Henry Archery, a vicar) who is against his son's marrying the woman he loves, because of something her old dad did (murder an old woman and hang for it).

The Rev Archery tootles about Kingsmarkham trying, not very effectively, to prove the murderer innocent of his crime, because only then will the dear old fusspot sanction the marriage! It's deeply irritating. We have to put up with this wretched man's neurotic struggle to support his son in spite of what his faith tells him is morally unacceptable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a detective novel 10 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Wexford is not actually the hero or main character in this book. The lead character is a middle aged vicar whose son wishes to marry the daughter of a convicted murderer. The vicar sets out to clear the fathers name so that his future grandchildren will be untainted.
I actually enjoyed this far more than I thought I would
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interewting 26 April 2014
By Bella
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
INteresting to read the attitudes of the 50s and 60s quite hard to accept but you have to otherwise te story doesn't work
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More dated than most... 14 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
'A New Lease Of Death' was published in 1967, the second of Rendell's Wexford novels. Whilst I always enjoy the nostalgic elements of these early novels, I do feel that this one suffers more than most from the passage of time. The motivations of some of its characters are rooted firmly in the times to the point where its quite difficult to even understand them, reading today! As a result of this perhaps, the principal character of Henry Archery starts out insufferable and ends up rather pathetic. There are very few likeable characters in this novel - Archery's son, his daughter-in-law-to-be (who should be sympathetic) and her rigidly respectable mother are all irritating. The denouement is ultimately unsatisfying and, really, the only things to save this book from a two star (in my opinion) are the Crilling duo, mother and daughter who are also unlikeable but are, at least, interesting. All Rendell's novels are worth a read but this, IMO, is not one of her best.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good old inspector wexford 31 Oct 2013
By patd
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
all ruth Rendell books deserve 5 stars. it is a great read for anyone who likes detective novels. would definitely
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rendell is as Frustrating as Ever 18 Nov 2003
Ruth Rendell must be one of the most frustrating authors working in the mystery genre, a woman of considerable talent who seems to go out of her way to undercut her own ability. And A NEW LEASE OF DEATH is rather typical of her work: what plot there is is repeatedly swamped by Rendell's determination to expose the psychology of her characters--psychology which is often far-fetched and which seldom has anything to do with anything in the book.
As the novel begins, Chief Inspector Wexford recalls his first murder case: the ax murder of an elderly woman. Fortunately for the then-inexperienced Wexford, the case was remarkably straight-forward; the woman's handyman was obviously guilty. But now, some fifteen years later, a Vicar named Archery has requested an interview with Wexford about the case, and when he arrives he wants to know if there was even a remote possibility that the man convicted was innocent after all. When Wexford negates the idea, Archery sets off on his own to interview the various people connected with the case, hoping to prove Wexford wrong.
The premise is much more interesting than the novel itself. The book opens with no less than two full chapters of exposition--and then Rendell's oddities take over, knocking herself out to expose the psychology of her characters, whether such has any bearing on the story or not. As for the mystery itself... Rendell writes and presents the story exactly as if she were creating a murder mystery, but there is no mystery, none at all, just a series of revelations that arise through pure coincidence and lead every one to some very obvious conclusions about everything from the crime itself to the way in which their lives have been affected by it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Death again
A well known write who always manages to be original- Always a good read.
Published 8 days ago by David J. Clifton
4.0 out of 5 stars I have always enjoyed the Ruth Rendell (Wexford case) series and this...
I have always enjoyed the Ruth Rendell (Wexford case) series and this book is no different, very well written and a great storyline, if you have read Wexford case stories in the... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a Wexford novel, not a mystery!
Since Wexford and Burden are only guest characters in this novel, it seems misleading to call it a Wexford mystery, especially because the plot has little that can be identified as... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Michael Farman
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it
Unfortunately I found that this was one I had read before but that was my fault. I think I will give it as a gift
Published 10 months ago by J. Bailey
3.0 out of 5 stars ok
Not the best Wexford novel, a bit short I prefer others. Probably won't read again.that's the problem with Kindle lots of books stored that Iprobably won't read again
Published 11 months ago by sallyann
2.0 out of 5 stars Well read but disappointing
We listened to this book on CD during a long drive through France and it certainly helped the miles fly by. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Paul Sloane
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
ruth rendell at her best as always, always sad to rach the end of one her books waiting a new story
Published 17 months ago by Kindle Customer
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