Christine de Pizan

Christine de Pizan
The Writer Christine de Pizan at Her Desk

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ruth Rendell, the Right Honorable Queen of Detective Fiction

Ruth Rendell (born 17 February 1930)

Okay, there are many great women writers of detective fiction, any number of whom could be called "queen" (Rendell's friend and college, P. D. James, who died on 27 November 2014, was often called "the queen of crime," for example), but Ruth Rendell was appointed Commander of the British Empire, named a life peer, and sits in the House of Lords as the Right Honourable Baroness Rendell of Bahbergh. So, in my book, the "queen of detective fiction" is an appropriate title.

If you haven't yet read any of Rendell's Detective Wexford novels, now is the time--the series began in 1964, with the publication of From Doon with Death. Over the course of nearly fifty years, she has published twenty-four Wexford novels to date, the last one (so far!), No Man's Nightingale in 2013.  

Here's to many more--birthdays and Wexfords. 

Update: Ruth Rendell died on 2 May 2015, shortly after the publication of Dark Corners. In the end, No Man's Nightingale was the last Wexford novel.