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3.9 out of 5 stars
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3.9 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 16 September 2016
A very enjoyable introduction to both Wexford and Burden and though they changed character slightly when Ruth Rendell decided to write more of their cases I can see George Baker and Christopher Ravenscroft right there.
A woman goes missing and her flustered husband has a job getting Burden to take him seriously. Then a body turns up and Wexford and Burden must dig deep into her past to find not only who did it but why.
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A good solid mystery with a very satisfying conclusion. I'd previously avoided Ruth Rendell mysteries (not being a fan of the TV series which I found off putting) and really shouldn't have. It's good reading. Plenty of twists and very well written indeed. Enjoyable.
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on 19 May 2017
Well written and interesting, Plot well crafted and sustained.
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on 19 June 2015
Great for travel and holidays

Jolly good read, good plot, but the vocabulary doesn't exactly tax the intellect.
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on 21 December 2014
Fans of Wexford, we listen to audio CD when travelling distances here in the UK.
Very well read, and keeps us alert en route!
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on 27 July 2015
I feel some of the early novels are not very good they do not have the excitement the later novels have.
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on 3 February 2012
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 February 2004
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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on 25 July 2011
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 August 2015
For some reason, this first of the Wexford series has passed me by so I bought the Audible version recently. The pace is slow and measured, but the plotting Is intricate with plenty of clues and red herrings. It's a classic murder mystery, essentially a study of motivation and opportunity, filled with well drawn and quite distinct characters. Each has affectations and secrets.

I was surprised to discover the book was first published in 1964. In some ways, it seemed to sit in an earlier time where strong social attitudes and hierarchy were deeply entrenched. For example, Wexford and his sidekick are treated as Plod and his minion by the solicitor, who's higher up the social ladder. Policing then was very different and there's no racing around or reliance upon detailed forensics. The professional classes resent their dinner parties and cocktails being interrupted by a murder investigation. Wexford is almost acquiescent to demands to leave questions until a more convenient time. Attitudes were very different as was language; reference to underlings, gay countenance and taking a queer turn seem quaint.

Despite the anachronistic feel, it's an interesting tale which meanders around a number of potential suspects as motives and alibis are explored. I enjoyed it and found it a gentle and relaxing tale of truth, lies and dark secrets.
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