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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly good debut novel, also a great mystery
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 got involved, but her death... How is it possible that a...
Published on 17 Feb 2004 by RachelWalker

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle have ruined an excellent book
I must concur with the last negative review. I paid 5.50 for my kindle version of a terrific book and it was utterly spoiled by the constant typographical errors and spelling mistakes. OK if I'd paid nothing or a couple of pennies I might have expected a couple of errors. However, these mistakes were two to a page, or more. I'm just sorry I didn't take more notice of...
Published on 6 Nov 2011 by E. Ford


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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly good debut novel, also a great mystery, 17 Feb 2004
By 
RachelWalker "RachelW" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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 got 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...
This, the first Wexford novel and Rendell's debut in the world of the published writer, is a remarkable crime novel, for several reasons. Firstly, and most importantly of course, it is an excellent mystery; a brilliant puzzle, worthy of Agatha Christie. The investigation twists and turns down unexpected paths, and the diligent Inspector Wexford follows each clue faithfully, until the entirely satisfying and surprising solution. However, unlike Christie, Rendell's mystery is more rounded. It is more socially conscious (although that's not at al to say that some of Christie's weren't; she was excellent at the divide between the upper- and lower-classes), the characters are more real, more developed, more human and thus more interesting. The writing is also better; more compelling, with greater clarity; precision.
"From Doon With Death" is one of the most important debuts of all time. Not just because it marked the future coming of a great novelist, but because it displayed a CURRENTLY great novelist who has, over the years, simply ascended to pinnacles of even greater excellence and quality. It is a great novel from a novelist who got even better. It has also stood the test of time remarkably. The themes it covers are still very relevant today, and in some areas this book is even very much ahead of its time. Another thing to be noted is that, even though almost 20 other Wexford novels have appeared since, it is still one of the very strongest, and also unique in the series. Rendell has never repeated herself, and over the course of 50+ books, that's rather amazing.
This is an absolutely wonderful debut novel, and a brilliant mystery as well. It comes as highly recommended as all her work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrow Books disgrace excellent writing, 3 Feb 2012
By 
Lee Holton "Paola" (Highlands, Scotland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: From Doon With Death: (A Wexford Case) (Paperback)
A classic, elegantly written series, spoiled by the cheapness of Arrow Books and their disgracefully bad proof-reading. The Wexford books are a witty puzzle and I'm enjoying re-discovering them after many years; they are a refreshing antidote to the under-plotted overly sadistic work of the Scandinavian gorefest writers. Shame that the publishers can't read and won't accept the extent to which typos spoil the enjoyment of reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle have ruined an excellent book, 6 Nov 2011
By 
E. Ford (Essex) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I must concur with the last negative review. I paid 5.50 for my kindle version of a terrific book and it was utterly spoiled by the constant typographical errors and spelling mistakes. OK if I'd paid nothing or a couple of pennies I might have expected a couple of errors. However, these mistakes were two to a page, or more. I'm just sorry I didn't take more notice of previous reviews. I will definitely be more cautious in future and I hope you wont make my mistake.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is Doon?, 13 Feb 2000
By 
tuppence (Adelaide , Australia) - See all my reviews
This is the first of Ruth Rendell's books and we are thrust into the death of Margaret Parson's. All we have are the inscriptions in books from Doon, who is Doon and what is the link to Margaret? I was so pleased to come across this novel. the first in the series of Wexford novels. This book will have you wondering who is Doon ? and you won't know till the final pages. A very good first novel and as we know the rest is history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From Doon With Death, 28 Aug 2013
By 
S Riaz "S Riaz" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
First published in 1964, this is the first Chief Inspector Wexford mystery. For some reason I had never read the Wexford novels before and it is a good beginning to the series. The story begins when Inspector Mike Burdon is alerted by a neighbour that his wife is missing. Ronald Parsons almost prides himself on his dull and respectable life. He claims it is totally out of character for his wife, Margaret, to disappear without word. Burdon tends to agree and contacts the police station. When Margaret is found murdered, it is up to Wexford and Burdon to unravel Margaret's past and discover what led to the death of a quiet, suburban housewife.

Although this book does feel a little dated, that adds to the charm. Although Ruth Rendell does use certain stereotypes, it is clear that she has laid down a great basis for further books - Wexford is plain talking, intelligent and not easily swayed by a pretty face; Burdon a great sidekick and the small town of Kingsmarkham well described. Unusually, Rendell does not make any of the characters particularly sympathetic and that adds to the reality of the crime and suspects. There is also a great twist and sharp plotting, which bodes well and makes me want to read on.

The next book in the series is A New Lease Of Death: (A Wexford Case). However, I do agree strongly with other reviewers that this kindle book had a large number of typos, which is very disappointing. I am sure that a proof reader could have easily rectified the mistakes and, although I expect to see them in a self published book, it is unacceptable to find so many in a traditionally published ebook. However, the story itself was good and I am looking forward to reading more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great story, rubbish proof reader!, 25 July 2011
By 
A Proctor "MrsP" (Durham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: From Doon With Death: (A Wexford Case) (Paperback)
I have to admit I haven't finished the book yet, I am really enjoying the story and it is well written but I am starting to get quite irritated with this version. Every chapter has at least one incorrect spelling, a complete word missing or a letter missing from a word. It feels like someone has copy typed this version from the original and never even bothered to proof read it more than once and have just run a spell check over it with no skill.

I *think* I have connected a few dots in the story - you can certainly tell this is a first novel as, unless there is going to be a sudden huge twist at the end, I am pulling together the threads of Margaret's life and seeing who Doon could possibly be. I will have to keep reading and see though.

I would highly recommend the story - perhaps try a different print edition though!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first novel, 14 Feb 2014
By 
Iain C. Davidson "iain1825" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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I have recently started re-reading all the Ruth Rendell Wexford novel and 'From Doon With Death' is the first. Published in 1964, it is quite short but packed with incident. Obviously, it is dated but I rather like its snapshot of English market town life in the early sixties. The characters are interesting and I very much like the contrast between the three principal women; Mrs Parsons (dull, ordinary, respectable), Mrs Missal (flamboyant, self centred) and Mrs Quadrant (classy, sensitive). Interestingly, Inspector Burden is the main detective here and Wexford is seen through his eyes and its a very different Wexford from the man who would later become such an avuncular, intelligent and - above all - well read, literary man! I think that, even now, the identity of the murderer will surprise most readers and, at the time, it must have all been shockingly original. I really enjoy 'Doon' (apart from the rather rubbish title itself) and would highly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic mystery with a twist, 1 Feb 2014
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I have read quite a bit of Ruth Rendell so it was interesting to go back to wexford's first appearance. Excellent and unexpected twist in the identity of the murderer and of course wonderful story telling
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Very Ordinary Novel, 14 Sep 2013
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Wexford seems not to play a central part most of the time and the underlying story was rather thin. I really wasn't interested in who dunnit.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good start, 10 Sep 2013
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Great book to read but quite a few spelling errors spoil it. Would still read it again. Great author too.
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From Doon With Death: (A Wexford Case)
From Doon With Death: (A Wexford Case) by Ruth Rendell (Paperback - 1 Oct 2009)
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