Ruth Rendell, Author of Over 70 Novels, Dies at 85

Known for her Inspector Wexford series as well as over twenty stand-alone crime novels, Ruth Rendell was a pioneering voice in British Mystery Fiction.

Edgar Award–winning author Ruth Rendell passed away this weekend in London, after suffering a stroke in January. Her thrillers were critically acclaimed for bringing social and psychological issues to the forefront and have sold over 60 million copies world-wide. Rendell started her career as a journalist and was notoriously let go after she reported on a local club dinner without actually attending—and failed to mention that the host had died mid-speech.

A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London, she is the recipient of the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crime Writers’ Association. Her popular crime stories featuring Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford were adapted into a long-running British television series (1987–2000) starring George Baker.


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