Inspector Wexford Mysteries (1~24) by Ruth Rendell

Inspector Wexford Mysteries (1~24) by Ruth Rendell
English | Size: 4.14 GB
Category: AudioBook

All are unabridged and are of CD quality. All are recorded at 48 kbps / 44 kHz Mono CBR MP3 and half of the titles here are narrated by Nigel Anthony.

#1. From Doon with Death [1964], 5 hours 28 mins, read by Terence Hardiman.
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 became 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…

#2. A New Lease of Death [1967], 6 hours 53 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
It was a brutal, vicious crime — sixteen years ago. A helpless old woman battered to death with an axe. Harry Painter hung for it, and Chief Inspector Wexford is certain they executed the right man. But Reverend Archery has doubts . . . because his son wants to marry the murderer’s beautiful, brilliant daughter. He begins unravelling the past, only to discover that murder breeds murder — and often conceals even deeper secrets . . .

#3. Wolf to the Slaughter [1967], 5 hours 56 mins, read by Robin Bailey
Anita Margolis, young, beautiful, carefree, has vanished into thin air. She left her home to attend a party one wet evening, but has not been seen since. She is reported missing soon after by her brother, whom she shared a flat with, the acclaimed but eccentric artist Rupert Margolis. Inspector Burden quickly forms an impression of a wanton young girl simply gone off somewhere with a boyfriend having neglected to let anyone know. After all, she was that sort of woman, in Burden’s opinion. However, Wexford has his doubts, and those doubts will soon be confirmed, and they will soon find themselves enmeshed in a case that will throw every assumption they make into doubt.

#4. The Best Man to Die [1969] , 6 hours 5 mins , read by Robin Bailey
Jack Pertwee was getting married in the morning. Charlie Hatton drove his lorry eleven hours down from Leeds just to be there. Charlie was Jack’s best friend and he would be his best man. When the two parted at the Kingsbrook bridge, jack felt as though his life was just beginning. But for Charlie Hatton, life was about to end. Detective Chief Inspector Wexford wondered why the fatal Fanshawe car accident kept upsetting his concentration on the Hatton murder. There couldn’t be a connection. Fanshawe had been a wealthy stockbroker, Charlie Hatton a cocky little lorry driver with some illegal dealing. But was it just a coincidence that Hatton had been killed on the day following that of Mrs Fanshawe’s regaining consciousness?

#5. A Guilty Thing Surprised [1970], 5 hours 30 mins, read by Christopher Ravenscroft
The discovery of Elizabeth Nightingale’s broken body in the woods near her home could not have come as a bigger shock. Called in to investigate, Chief Inspector Wexford quickly determines that the Nightingales were considered the perfect couple – wealthy, attractive and without an enemy in the world. However, someone must have been alone with Elizabeth that night in the woods. Someone who hated – or perhaps loved – her enough to beat her to death. The case seems straightforward. But Wexford soon learns that beneath the placid surface of the Nightingales’ lives lie undercurrents and secrets no one ever suspected.

#6. No More Dying Then [1971], 6 hours 43 mins, read by Robin Bailey
This novel deals with the disappearance of a small boy. Six months earlier, a twelve-year-old girl disappeared in the same vicinity, and was never found. So the two events terrify the community and galvanize Chief Wexford and his deputy Burden into action. At the same time, Burden is having a very hard time dealing with the loss of his wife to cancer about nine months earlier. In fact, the secondary plot of Burden’s emotional struggles almost overshadows the mystery itself…

#7. Murder Being Once Done [1972], 5 hours 57 mins, read by Robin Bailey
Inspector Wexford recuperating from an illness is visiting his nephew Howard, a Detective Superintendent based in London, when a tragic murder case arises. While exploring the dark, dirty streets of London and avoiding the prestigious flower arrangements of his niece, Reg manages to overcome his current illness. In the course of helping his nephew solve this murder mystery, Wexford must contend with Howard’s other inspectors and struggle to prove his knowledge and expertise in the field of character analysis.

#8. Some Lie And Some Die [1973], 6 hours 10 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
During a rock music festival in the grounds of Sundays House, the bands play, the weather is fine, and a good time is had by all except one or two disgruntled locals. Oh, and the sometimes-grouchy Inspector Burden of course, but even he lightens up to the idea eventually. However, as the festival begins to wind itself down, two precocious lovers discover a battered body in a nearby quarry, and Inspector Wexford finds himself investigating murder rather than his earlier duty of making sure everything runs smoothly, and law-abidingly, at the festival….

#9. Shake Hands Forever [1975], 6 hours 43 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
Robert Hathall is bringing his overbearing, overcritical mother home to meet his second wife Angela, a woman whom Mrs Hathall clearly detests (mainly for the fact that she thinks she split up her son’s first marriage). Angela was supposed to meet her husband and mother-in-law at the train station, but didn’t turn up. Eventually, the two make their way home, and discover her dead body, strangled on the bed. Having cleaned the house immaculately for the impending visit, there is almost nothing to go on. This is not really a whodunnit, as pretty early on Wexford decides he knows who did it. All he has to do is prove it, and the why, and the how. But it proves an impossible task, and when he is warned off the case by his superior, for “harassing” his chief suspect, Wexford undertakes some private investigations of his own…

#10. A Sleeping Life [1978], 10 hours 6 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
A body is found in a rural town outside London, and the townsfolk easily identify the victim. Yet, who was she, really? No one knows her real name, occupation, or address, much less who would want to kill her. Rhoda Comfrey’s death seemed unremarkable; the real mystery was her life. A wallet found in Comfrey’s handbag leads Inspector Wexford to Mr. Grenville West, a writer whose plots revel in the blood, thunder, and passion of dramas of old; whose current whereabouts are unclear; and whose curious secretary – the plain Polly Flinders provides the Inspector with more questions than answers. And when a second Grenville West comes to light, Wexford faces a dizzying array of possible scenarios–and suspects–behind the Comfrey murder.

#11. Put On By Cunning [1981], 6 hours 56 mins, read by Charles Kay
Wexford investigates the death of renowned flautist Sir Manuel Camargue, who is found dead in a snow-drift having ventured outside his house during the night. At first it seems a straightforward case of death by misadventure; a nice easy case for Wexford to tie up. However, he has his niggling doubts, which are strengthened by the return of Camargue’s estranged daughter, now his heiress, after a considerable absence of 19 years.

#12. The Speaker of Mandarin [1983], 5 hours 52 mins, read by Michael Bryant
Chief Inspector Wexford is in China visiting ancient tombs and palaces with a group of British tourists. After their return to England, one of his fellow tourists is found murdered – a burglary it seems, but Wexford has other ideas. As he questions other members of the group, Wexford finds secrets of greed, treachery, theft, and adultery, leading the distressed inspector to ask not who is innocent, but who is least guilty . . .

#13. An Unkindness of Ravens [1985], 8 hours 9 mins, read by Michael Bryant
When Chief Inspector Wexford was asked to investigate the disappearance of his neighbour Rodney Williams he was certain it was just a case of another middle-aged man having run-off with a young woman. All the signs pointed that way. A waste of time to concern yourself with, his thoughts tell him. However, he would be shocked to his core when, weeks later, Rodney’s disappearance turns out to be the centre of a violent and bizarre murder.

#14. The Veiled One [1988], 9 hours 2 mins, read by Robin Bailey
Chief Inspector Wexford investigates the discovery of a garotted body found in a Shopping Centre Car Park, hidden between two cars. The victim identified as Gwen Robson, a home-help of late middle-age, who lives in Kingsmarkham with her arthritic husband. However, before Wexford himself can do much investigating, he too faces death, in the form of a politically motivated car-bomb intended for his daughter Sheila. So, Mike Burden forges ahead on his own, quickly narrowing in on a suspect, the son of the woman who found the body. But are his intuitions right?

#15. Kissing the Gunners Daughter [1992], 12 hours 3 mins, read by Robin Bailey
The crime under investigation–the murder of monstrous old novelist Davina Flory, her younger MP husband Harvey Copeland, and her daughter Naomi, along with the shooting of granddaughter Daisy–is thick with mysteries beyond whodunit: What were the two criminals looking for beyond a bit of jewelry? How did they make their escape? What’s happened to Naomi’s business partner, Joanne Garland, and what’s her connection to Daisy’s father, George (Gunner) Jones? What links the killings to a fatal bank-robbery a year before? Wexford, ruefully treating Daisy as a replacement for his beloved actress daughter Sheila, who’s deserted him for an obnoxious, postmodern novelist, patiently sifts the stories of the large cast, setting off the string of quiet, continuous, steadily deepening revelations of character that are the hallmark of Rendell’s best work.

#16. Simisola [1994], 10 hours, 56 mins, read by Christopher Ravenscroft
Black residents are highly visible in a small English country town like Kingsmarkham. Yet Dr. and Mrs. Akande’s daughter, Melanie, fresh from university but a disappointment to her career-driven parents, has disappeared into thin air. She was last seen at the Employment Centre, where she has just signed on for social assistance, when she inexplicably vanished. Now Inspector Wexford finds himself with an investigation complicated by Melanie’s feckless boyfriend, his own eye for a too-pretty employment counsellor, and a bizarrely incompetent burglar…as well as a systematic adulterer, a vengeful wife, a treacly politician… and a perplexing corpse!

#17. Road Rage [1997], 11 hours 23 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
England just like everywhere else in the first world has to continuously build more motorways and freeways to make sure traffic can get from one place to another. The road builders have come to Kingsmarkham where Chief Inspector Wexford resides and presides. Far be it for a senior police officer to join the ranks of the radical demonstrators and professional agitators but we are left in no doubt that Wexford does not approve of the destruction of countryside around his district. His wife Dora is not so restricted and openly joins the demonstrators. Then during the clearance of the proposed site a body is found so Wexford and Burden become deeply involved.

#18. Harm Done [1998], 14 hours 29 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
A pedophile is released from prison to live in one of the council houses in Kingsmarkham. Naturally, the community is literally up in arms. And, more to the point, this novel addresses spouse and child abuse in its various forms, and the readers cannot escape this thematic approach to another of our societal aberrations. Along the way, a policeman is killed by a mob protesting the pedophile’s presence, and, eventually enough, there is a murder for Wexford to solve.

#19. The Babes in the Wood [2000], 12 hours 10 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
There hadn’t been anything like this kind of rain in living memory. The River Brede had burst its banks, and not a single house in the valley had escaped flooding. Even where Wexford lived, higher up in Kingsmarkham, the waters had nearly reached the mulberry tree in his once immaculate garden…The Subaqua Task Force could find no trace of Giles and Sophie Dade, let alone the woman who was keeping them company, Joanna Troy. But Mrs Dade was still convinced her children were dead. This was an investigation which would call into question many of Wexford’s assumptions about the way people behaved, including his own family…

#20. End in Tears [2005], 10 hours 13 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
At first there was no reason to link the killings. The first one, months earlier, seemed totally random: a lump of concrete pushed off an overpass onto a passing car. By contrast, the gruesome bludgeoning death of Amber Marshalson, returning home late from a night out clubbing with friends, was obviously calculated. The killer had been seen waiting for the girl in a nearby wood. But when Chief Inspector Wexford discovers that Amber had been the driver right behind the crushed car – and that she’d been driving a silver Honda, while the car in front of her was a gray Honda – he knows that someone wanted the teenager dead badly enough to kill twice to get the job done!

#21. Not In The Flesh [2007], 9 hours 54 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
When the truffle-hunting dog starts to dig furiously, his master’s first reaction is delight at the size of the clump the dog has unearthed: at the going rate, this one truffle might be worth several hundred pounds. Then the dirt falls away to reveal not a precious mushroom but the bones and tendons of what is clearly a human hand.
Chief Inspector Wexford tries to piece together events that took place eleven years earlier, a time when someone was secretly interred in a secluded patch of English countryside…

#22. The Monster in the Box [2005], 8 hours, 52 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
Wexford had almost made up his mind that he would never again set eyes on Eric Targo. And yet there he was, back in Kingsmarkham, still with that cocky, strutting walk. Years earlier, when Wexford was a young police officer, a woman called Elsie Carroll had been found strangled in her bedroom. Although many still had their suspicions that her husband was guilty, no one was convicted. Another woman was strangled shortly afterwards, and every instinct told Wexford that the killer was still at large, and that it was Eric Targo; a psychopath who would kill again…

#23. The Vault [2011], 8 hours 24 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
Chief Inspector Reg Wexford has retired. He and his wife now divide their time between Kingsmarkham and a coachhouse in Hampstead belonging to their actress daughter, Sheila. For all the benefits of a more relaxed way of life, Wexford misses being the law. But a chance meeting in a London street, with someone he had known briefly as a very young police constable, changes everything. Tom Ede is now a detective superintendent, and is very keen to recruit Wexford as an adviser on a difficult case. The bodies of two women and a man have been discovered in the old coal hole of an attractive house in St John’s Wood. None carries identification. But the man’s jacket pockets contain a string of pearls, a diamond and a sapphire necklace as well as other jewellery valued in the region of 40,000. Wexford is intrigued and excited by the challenge – until this new investigative role brings him into serious physical danger!

#24. No Man’s Nightingale [2013], 8 hours 43 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
Sarah Hussain was not popular in the community of Kingsmarkham. She was born of mixed parents – a white Irishwoman and an immigrant Indian Hindu. She was also the Reverend of St Peter’s church. But it came as a profound shock to everyone when she was found strangled in the vicarage. A garrulous cleaner, Maxine, also shared by the Wexfords, discovers the body. In his retirement, the former Detective Chief Inspector is devoting much time to reading, and has little patience with Maxine’s prattle. But when his old friend Mike Burden asks him to assist on the case as Crime Solutions Adviser (unpaid), Wexford is obliged to pay more precise attention. Wexford retains a relish for work and a curiosity about people, which is invaluable in detective work; while Burden tends to jump to conclusions. But he is wise enough to listen to the man whose office he inherited, and whose experience makes him a formidable ally…

Blood Lines–A Wexford Long Story (1995) 1 hour 12 mins, read by Nigel Anthony

Means of Evil: And Other Stories (1979) 5 hours 31 mins, read by Nigel Anthony
Nigel Anthony’s reading sets this recording of five short mysteries by Rendell above others in the genre. Chief inspector Wexford and inspector Burden investigate poisonings, baby-swapping, theft, and forgery in “Means of Evil,” “Old Wives Tales,” “Ginger and the Kingsmarkham Chalk Circle,” “Achilles Heel,” and “When the Wedding Was Over.” The venues vary in these classic English mysteries from Kingsmarkham to the south of France and California, but the characters, for the most part, lack development somewhat. (Puzzle-solving listeners may enjoy these short, flat pieces,but they are perhaps not the best examples her work.)

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