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No Man's Nightingale: (A Wexford Case) [Paperback]

Ruth Rendell
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 July 2014 Wexford (Book 24)

No Man's Nightingale: the eagerly anticipated twenty-fourth title in Ruth Rendell's bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series.

The woman vicar of St Peter's Church may not be popular among the community of Kingsmarkham. But it still comes as a profound shock when she is found strangled in her vicarage.

Inspector Wexford is retired, but he retains a relish for solving mysteries especially when they are as close to home as this one is.

So when he's asked whether he will assist on the case, he readily agrees.

But why did the vicar die? And is anyone else in Kingsmarkham in danger?

What Wexford doesn't know is that the killer is far closer than he, or anyone else, thinks.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (3 July 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0099585855
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099585855
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,320 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

Review

"With every page, Rendell reminds us why she is the doyenne of murder mystery and still absolutely at the top of her game." (Birmingham Post)

"[A] wry and twisty mystery — a joy to read." (Evening Standard)

Book Description

No Man's Nightingale: the eagerly anticipated twenty-fourth title in Ruth Rendell's bestselling Detective Chief Inspector Wexford series.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Murder at the Vicarage revisited 25 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't expect to like the new Inspector Wexford novel. The Vault was pretty dire - hard to swallow and generally dull. But No Man's Nightingale is a jolly enough tale, compelling if not gripping, with some entertaining characters. I liked Jeremy Legge, proto-sociopath, and there was more than a sprinkling of personality disorders kicking around.

Ruth Rendell has always been pretty dodgy on race and racism. She's seems at times fixated on it, but somehow always misses the mark. She condescends grotesquely to ethnic minority characters: their colour is their defining feature and they're invariably beautiful, noble, elegant and exotic. She means well, I'm sure of it, but it's painful. Having said that, this book is by no means the worst example of this inverted racism (Not in the Flesh is the worst for that I think).

I'm so fond of Wexford, though. I've grown up with him. I would love to drink sherry with him and Dora. I'll forgive a lot where he's concerned. I'll forgive, for instance, the ludicrous manner in which he becomes part of this investigation; I'll forgive his "hunches" - always a cop out in detective fiction.

A few typos in the Kindle edition, but nothing major apart from the bizarre copy-editing blooper over the name of the supermarket.

All in all, hang your disbelief at the door and you'll enjoy a decent read.

Three-and-three-quarters stars ...
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it, but...... 11 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover
I do believe that I have read everything in print by Ruth Rendell, and have always looked forward to anything new from her. However, I have to say that if this book was my first experience of her writing, her name would be well down the list of "read later" on my local library's website. What helped was my familiarity and liking for Wexford (enhanced by the great job done by actor George Baker in the television series).
As someone else mentioned, this did seem to be somewhat old-fashioned, and could well have taken place forty years ago.
There is one large error that I thought I should mention - Wexford sets out from home on foot through the snow, then on leaving the destination is also on foot (by which time we have arrived at page 196), spots Clarissa and offers her a lift home in his car. I don't know how this got past whoever reads the book before it goes to print, but it added to my not-quite-satisfied feel about the book.
Yes, I will continue to read whatever Ms. Rendell writes, it wouldn't feel right for me not to do so - but I am guessing that my expectation of first-class well-crafted writing may be lowered.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wrongly named major character 1 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD
Even though I love several of Rendell's books I am getting increasingly irritated by her cavalier use of Indian characters with absolutely wrong names and background details. In this book, the murder victim is called Sarah Hussain and is said to have converted to Christianity from Hinduism, and to hail from Darjeeling. Rendell has done this kind of thing in earlier books too - egregiously misnamed characters, but this one goes a bit too far. Everyone knows or should know that Hussain is a Muslim name. This supposedly Hindu character knows Urdu and Hindi (used interchangeably by Rendell, who doesn't seem to realize that these two languages have different scripts and that very few Hindus read Urdu, so if Sarah did, some explanation would be expected). And, of course, Sarah is so disgusted by the poverty she sees in India (although her grandmother, whose name we fortunately do not know, owns an estate in Darjeeling, that she gets converted by one of the many missionaries who are all over India helping the poor. The book is sanctimoniously scattered with references to racism. The many inaccuracies made this a difficult read for me. Rendell needs to hire an assistant to do some googling on her behalf.No Man's Nightingale: (A Wexford Case)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wexford is even more like Horace Rumpole now 8 Aug 2014
Format:Paperback
Wexford is even more like Horace Rumpole now, only this time his uninteresting attitudes to modern life are padded out further by large chunks of Gibbon, his blood pressure readings, details of which Handel organ voluntaries he does and doesn't recognise etc. etc. The book thus moves very slowly but maybe it has to given the unbelievably weak motive for the murder. However the author comes up with an even weaker one in the motive attributed to the innocent suspect locked up by Inspector Burden, who, judging by his 'detection' here, has undergone a brain operation which has reduced his IQ to single figures. Maybe the next Rendell will be better (hope so!) but on the strength of this she is roughly where Agatha Christie was with Postern of Fate.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A meandering, weak tale... 25 Oct 2014
By Ms JG
Format:Paperback
I tried so hard to like this book, I really did. After reading the dreadful "Tigerlily's Orchids" and suffering through the horrendous "The Vault" I swore I'd never read another of Ruth Rendell's efforts. But a soft spot for Wexford won through and so I gave this wandering, loosely woven tale a go. Well.

Many have commented in their reviews that Rendell seems hell bent on keeping attitudes and fashions very much as though it's still the 1950's, and that's true. For example, we're expected to believe that Burden has a knife edge crease in his denim trousers. Denim trousers?! Please! But it's keeping Wexford stuck in the past that really grates. I don't mind Wexford clinging to his old fashioned views so much (after all, it's not so unusual for people to do so and to believe that the olden days were somehow better), but what I do object to is the expectation that we would actually believe that Wexford had held a very senior position in the sophisticated Metropolitan Police and yet can still be a complete Neanderthal when it comes to anything to do with a computer or a mobile phone. He simply COULDN'T have survived in modern day policing without coming to grips with what have been very, very basic skills for many years now. At one point, we're told Wexford humbly (humbly!) asks Dora "You can send texts to mobile numbers, can't you? Would you show me how to send a text?". Absolutely unbelievable! Does Rendell expecting us to believe this tosh somehow reflect her own lack of ability to execute such a common, everyday type activity? I don't know, but I do wish she'd stop painting Wexford as such a complete Luddite.
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