Nick Petrie Series

Inspector Wexford Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector Wexford Books

From Doon With Death (1964)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sins of the Fathers / A New Lease of Death (1967)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wolf to the Slaughter (1967)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Best Man to Die (1969)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Guilty Thing Surprised (1970)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
No More Dying Then (1971)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder Being Once Done (1972)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Some Lie and Some Die (1973)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shake Hands Forever (1975)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Sleeping Life (1978)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Notes / Put On By Cunning (1981)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Speaker of Mandarin (1983)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Unkindness of Ravens (1985)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Veiled One (1988)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (1992)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Simisola (1994)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Road Rage (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Harm Done (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Babes in the Wood (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
End in Tears (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Not in the Flesh (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Monster in the Box (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Vault (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
No Man's Nightingale (2013)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Inspector Wexford Collections Books

Means of Evil (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Inspector Wexford series is a series of highly successful detective and crime fiction novels written by the well known English crime writer named Ruth Rendell. It comprises of a total of 24 books that were published between the years 1964 and 2013. All the novels in this series feature the main protagonist in the form of Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford. This character is seen recurring in the series, often revolving around the crime scenes. The character of Inspector Wexford made his initial appearance in the debut novel of author Ruth Rendell in the year 1964, which was titled as ‘From Doon With Death’. Since then, he has been the main protagonist in 23 more books written by author Rendell. The Inspector Wexford series was adapted into a television series in England, which was known as ‘The Ruth Rendell Mysteries’. In this television series, the lead role of Inspector Wexford was played by actor George Baker.

The character of Dora Wexford as Inspector Wexford’s wife was played by Louie Ramsay, while the role of DI Mike Burden was portrayed by actor Christopher Ravenscroft. The Inspector Wexford television series was produced by the Meridian Broadcasting and TVS, in association with the Blue Heaven productions for the ITV. It was run on the British television between the years 1987 and 2000, and had a total of 55 episodes. An extra 29 episodes of the series were made that did not feature Inspector Wexford. In one of her interviews given in the year 2013, author Ruth Rendell has stated that Wexford is actually a Liberal Democrat. In the novel series, he is depicted as an intelligent and sensitive man. His family consists of a placid wife named Dora Wexford and a couple of daughters named Sylvia and Sheila. Inspector Wexford seems to have a good relationship and understanding with Sheila. Even she finds herself to be his favorite. However, his relationship with his other daughter Sylvia appears to be a difficult one. Sylvia always feels slighted, but Inspector Wexford never really intends to slight her. In the field of his detective work, Wexford has a strong relationship with his friend Detective Inspector Mike Burden.

The first novel of the Inspector Wexford series was released under the title ‘From Doon With Death’. It was published by the Ballantine Books publication in the year 1964. The story of the book is filled with psychological suspense with dazzling sequences. It has razor sharp dialogues and several interesting plots that are capable of catching and holding like a noose. All these elements established the hallmarks of author Ruth Rendell as a crime legend. Based on these successful aspects of the book, the Times magazine labeled author Rendell as the best writer of mystery novels in the English speaking world. In this book, one of the most famous sleuths of the 20th century, named Inspector Wexford, was introduced. As the plot of the book begins, it is shown that Margaret Parsons is a timid housewife and that there is no extraordinary thing about her. She lives in a quiet town called as Kingsmarkham and devotes most her time to her kitchen, her garden, and her husband. But after a few days, her dead body is recovered from the woods in an abandoned state. It appeared that she was strangled brutally by the killer, after which she was thrown into the woods.

After such a devastating news, everyone in the neighborhood of Margaret Parson begins to wonder who would kill such a woman who had nothing to hide in her life. When Inspector Wexford is appointed as officer in-charge of the murder case, he begins to investigate with the determination of a formidable police chief. But, he does not find any success in his initial investigation. Soon, he feels baffled after coming to know about the dark secret of the life of Margaret Parsons. Inspector Wexford discovers a collection of rare books, whose each and every volume was inscribed breathlessly by her passionate lover, who was identified as Doon. As Inspector Wexford begins to dig deeper into the past life of Margaret Parsons and wolf-like community circling around her memory, the murder case starts building with a relentless momentum. It enters into a surprising finale, which appear to be both clever as well as blindsiding. Author Ruth Rendell has written the book in the form of a chilling story, with rich characters and ingenious construction. These elements helped the book to become one of the best psychological suspense books.

The next installment of the Inspector Wexford series was published under the title ‘A New Lease of Death’. It was released by the Arrow publication in the year 1976. The characters featuring in this book include, Inspector Wexford, Elizabeth Chilling, John Grace, Bert Painter, Henry Archery, Tess Kershaw, Irene Kershaw, Charles Archery, Burden, and Alice. As the novel starts, it is depicted that it is impossible to bury some of the cases. The story of this novel deals with the first murder case of Inspector Wexford, which he thought that he had solved around 15 years ago. Even after so many years have passed, Wexford is not able to forget how violently the murderer had bludgeoned the elderly Mrs. Primero to her death in her home. The fact that it was the first case of Wexford as a detective inspector, is also one of the reasons why he has not been able to forget it. When he had solved the murder case before, he believed that it was not a real case of mystery. Back then, everyone believed that the odd-job man of Mrs. Primero, called as Painter, had killed her. And so, there were no doubts in anyone’s mind. But now, something seems to have come which might change the course of the case entirely. The son of Henry Archery gets engaged to the daughter of Painter and Henry seems determined not to let the past secret remain buried. He desperately wishes to prove Inspector Wexford wrong and tries to probe into the lives of all the witnesses that were questioned in relation to the murder case years ago. And in doing so, Henry Archery ends up stirring the old ghosts once again. Now, the case becomes even more interesting as Wexford has to deal with the killer once again if he Henry Archery becomes successful in proving him wrong.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Inspector Wexford

4 Responses to “Inspector Wexford”

  1. Lesley Edser: 2 years ago

    Brilliant site, I’m always using it, have done for years so it’s about time I said THANK YOU !

    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      Thanks for taking the time to say that Lesley. Really appreciate it 🙂

  2. Phyllis: 2 years ago

    I was so happy to find your website!
    I am struggling, like so many millions of us, through the pandemic ups and mostly downs right now.
    I don’t seem to be able to connect to many books I am trying to read and I decided I needed some great English murder mysteries. I read some of Ruth Rendall’s books many years ago and decided I would like to read them in order. Bingo! I found you fabulous website!
    Thank you and I m going to order the kindle version of her first book today !
    You have made my sad day much brighter!!

    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      You’re welcome. Thank you for making my day with this comment 🙂 Much appreciated.


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