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Put on by Cunning (Inspector Wexford #11)

3.73  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,142 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Sir Manuel Carmargue, one of the greatest flautists of his time, was dead. Misadventure. An old man, ankle-deep in snow, he lost his foothold in the dark, slipping into the water to be trapped under a lid of ice. Only a glove remained to point to where he lay, one of its fingers rising out of the drifts. There's nothing Chief Inspector Wexford likes better than an open-and ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 19th 1982 by Arrow (first published January 1st 1981)
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Aug 31, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DEATH NOTES. (1981). Ruth Rendell. ****.
Rendell manages to weave a web of conspiracies in this novel. When a famed flutist becomes ill and wants to contact his daughter after almost twenty years, his purpose was to let her know that he was leaving her all of his estate. When his daughter shows up in England to see her father, he probes to make sure that she is who she says she is – after that long a period of time, she had changed. She passed the test questions with flying colors except when she
Sep 07, 2011 Sara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
We fall in love with Manuel Camargue in the very first chapter, and then, naturellement, he is murdered. I don't think this is a spoiler because the build-up is suspicious from the beginning, you just know something bad is going to happen to him, he's too dear. The murder factor is also clear.
But then things get extremely complex, satisfyingly so, with a character we love to hate who ends up...oops, that would be spoiling.
A little trip to California and another to the south of France, and a num
Sanjay Sanghoee
Oct 21, 2013 Sanjay Sanghoee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Rendell is widely regarded as one of the premier English mystery writers of the 70s and 80s, and I can see why. Death Notes is my first book by her and my first introduction to Chief Inspector Wexford, more of a Columbo than Sherlock Holmes but with equally strong effect. The story revolves around a straightforward accident by drowning of a famous flautist (flutist in America), which Wexford starts to realize might actually be murder. The various characters that dance in and out of this dra ...more
Felisa Rosa
Jul 07, 2012 Felisa Rosa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
One of the better Inspector Wexford mysteries, though the solution to the murder is a bit too intricate to be actually satisfying.
May 18, 2015 Richa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't have much hopes with this book, having inherited and not bought it. I took it up only to feed a curiosity. I was ready to speed read it, skipping pages and then go on to some other 'known' book. Well, I was mistaken.
This book is a very good mystery. Having finished with Agatha Christie's, I found Rendell's style refreshing.
The narrative style, the suspense, the clues, even the detective, was plausible. No 'quirks' here.
A mystery, plain and simple. There wasn't much humor in this one, bu
Judith Teggelaar
Aug 25, 2015 Judith Teggelaar rated it really liked it
A nice little mystery where you can sit back in your armchair and occasionally use the gray cells until you have guessed the killer. In this case, you can't but enjoyable trying.
Jun 23, 2015 Bob rated it really liked it
This is my second Inspector Wexford book, and I liked it a lot. I like Rendell's writing style, which is calm, thoughtful, and descriptive. The books remind me of some of those British TV police dramas we in the US often see on PBS. I like them too. There is nothing exaggerated or sensational.

Like the other book of hers I've read (Babes in the Woods), it is very complicated. There are lots and lots of characters. I find that I can't keep track of them without an ebook version that I can search q
Maria Thermann
May 01, 2015 Maria Thermann rated it liked it
When Sir Manual Carmargue, an elderly musician, drowns in his own pond in the middle of winter, the verdict is misadventure, but Chief Inspector Wexford is not convinced. The sudden and rather startling return of Carmargue's daughter, Natalie Arno, whom the old man met only once after nearly twenty years of absence and denounced as not being the real thing to his young fiancée, sends the Chief Inspector into one of his most complex and vexing cases of his career.

He becomes obsessed with proving
Lukasz Pruski
What a coincidence! Having finished Julian Symons' "The Belting Inheritance", I picked Ruth Rendell's "Death Notes", and the similarities between the two novels are striking. Both are based on the motif of an impostor attempting to get inheritance, both have a part of the plot happening in France, and both exhibit what I call a triple-D, a Deeply Disappointing Denouement. Well, maybe it is just double-D with Ms. Rendell's book, without the "Deeply". Maybe.

Sir Manuel Camargue, an elderly, world-f
Aug 07, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good Inspector Wexford mystery.

This is a complicated story, with lots of red herrings and confusing/conflicting clues and leads. Wexford is all over the place in this one, going one way, then turning around and heading in an entirely opposite direction. His assistant, Mike Burden, is his usually self-righteous and opinionated self, though marriage (after being a widower) has tamed him a bit. The character development in the Wexford series is all the more obvious if one reads the books in
Jan 02, 2016 Anilou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Deceit Abounds

This story was hard for me to follow, unlike the other Wexford novels, among my favorite whodunits. There seemed to be so many words and deeds and characters to consider and sort out that I gave up guessing who the killers were and gamely kept reading. The last few pages gave me what I wanted. Good effort, Ms Rendell. Keep 'em coming.
Mar 26, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A world-renown flautist, Manuel Camargue, is drowned in an icy lake on his estate in Kingsmarkham late one night just before his marriage to a much younger woman. His daughter, Natalie, whom he had not seen in 19 years, had appeared out of nowhere a week before his death, but he swore to his fiancee, Dinah, that the woman who visited him was definitely not his daughter. Now, the same woman who claims to be Natalie has moved into his estate and stands to inherit a not-insignificant amount of mone ...more
Feb 05, 2010 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An elderly (and famous) flautist drowns just before he is to be married. Was it an accident, or murder? His estranged daughter had recently sought a reconciliation--or had she? Many of the pivotal events turn out to have very simple explanations, and it makes the story very interesting. Intricately written, as always!
Dharia Scarab
Mar 19, 2015 Dharia Scarab rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
Not to my taste.

Since I don't normally write reviews unless I have something specific to say, here's the break down of how I rate my books...

1 star... This book was bad, so bad I may have given up and skipped to the end. I will avoid this author like the plague in the future.

2 stars... This book was not very good, and I won't be reading any more from the author.

3 stars... This book was ok, but I won't go out of my way to read more, But if I find another book by the author for under a dollar I'd
Jul 08, 2012 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nancy by: Felisa Rosa
Shelves: mystery
Death Notes is a short mystery packed with red herrings, dead ends and lose threads, all the elements of a good mystery. Then a realistic twist explains part of the mystery at the end. Somehow, though I claim realism and plausibility make for the best mysteries, I found this disappointing.
Jan 15, 2015 Kerrie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
source: unabridged audio book from
Narrated by: Charles Kay

This made excellent listening. Charles Kay does a very good job of narration and particularly allows you to savour Ruth Rendell's wonderful writing. There are little bits of particularly British humour that come over very well.

The central story focuses on trying to prove whether the young woman who claims to be Sir Manuel Carmargue's only daughter, estranged from her father for 19 years, is who she is. Fo
Karen Gail Brown
Dec 09, 2014 Karen Gail Brown rated it liked it
I do like the Inspector Wexford mysteries by Ruth Rendell. This is pretty farfetched, however. A famous flautist is murdered a few days before he is to remarry. A person who claims to be his daughter is set to inherit the estate. Carmargue, the murdered man, had planned to leave his estate to his wife once they were married, and write off his daughter..

The case is complicated, has a load of different characters, and seems too unlikely a plot.

I have to say...the above is not the edition I read...
Feb 05, 2011 Stacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part mystery, part travelogue, Wexford travels the pacific coast highway in this one and even gets to visit the south of France. It was pretty fun to see a Brit's view of California. I quite enjoyed this one. Oh, and the mystery is satisfying too.
Nov 29, 2014 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
# 11 in the Inspector Wexford mystery series set in a small community just outside of London. Famous and retired flautist Sir Manuel Camargue, who is about to marry for a second time, is found floating in the lake near his sprawling English country house. The consensus is accidental death until the victim's fiancee raises concerns and doubts when she tells Wexford that Camargue felt the woman who claimed to be his daughter and is inheriting his wealthy estate wasn't. From here on, the mystery be ...more
Aug 05, 2015 Gill rated it it was amazing
I don't know whether senility has set in but I don't remember reading this, yay!!! found another RR I haven't read.
Aug 10, 2015 Lorena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 19, 2015 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read any books by Ruth Rendell before yesterday when I read two in a row. Very enjoyable. Her style reminds me of Josephine Tey with a very thoughtful police inspector (Grant by Tey, Wexford by Rendell). The plot of this one involved someone who inherited a large estate who might be an imposter, which made me think of Brat Farrar.
Mika Auramo
Mar 03, 2016 Mika Auramo rated it it was ok
Shelves: rikos, leffa
Komisario Wexford tutkii tällä kertaa rikkaana kuolleen vanhan huilistin murhamysteeriä (suomennettu nimellä Kultainen huilu). Muutama vuotta ennen DNA-tutkimuksen keksimistä aletaan jäljittää, onko tyttäreksi ilmoittautunut kaunis nainen sittenkään oikea perillinen vai onko hän rahankipeä haaskalintu.

Monen mutkan kautta komisario lähteen ihan Amerikkaan saakka lomailemaan rouvansa kanssa, ja siinä sivussa jatkaa yksityisesti tutkimuksiaan. Ne johtavat tietysti jäljille, ja ruumiit eivät jääkään
Jan 03, 2015 JodiP rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allan Nail
Got to remember that Wexford novels are not for binge reading. This was a solid one, with a nice solution that I didn't see coming, but reading two in a row like this really brings to light the flaws in this series. Very much in the vein of what Chandler decried about detective fiction (I'm mentioned this before, I think?), and Wexford is particularly obvious in his withholding from the audience all he knows. Too often the mystery is finally solved for the reader in an extended conversation betw ...more
Another cozy mystery in Wexford series by Ruth Rendell. The mystery is quite complicated but the ending is quite flat. It was four stars for me except the ending.

Wexford gets in the grip of one of his obsessions when he suspects foul play in the death of an older musician of international fame. He is tipped about false identity of musician's daughter Natalie, who came back unexpectedly into her father's life after almost two decades of absence. Except Burden, no one believes in Wexford.

Mystery p
John B
Jul 03, 2014 John B rated it liked it
Wexford investigates a murder that involves an alleged false claim to the deceased inheritance by his long-lost daughter. His investigations take Wexford to California to find out more about the mysterious heiress.

You can't win them all, and while the prose and description, especially of Wexford's visit to the West Coast, are classic Rendell, there's something lacking in the plot, especially later in the book. If you're a Wexford fan, like me, give it a go, though.
Dec 22, 2015 Ravi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I bought this book at a sale. This is the first Ruth Rendell and I am sure to continue picking up her books.

The title of the books read Put on by Cunning but at the end , the so called plot, is nothing short of a ill fated coincidences.

The writing is a little too British and I had to re-read a few paragraphs before I could make out what exactly is the analogy being pointed out.

In the end though, it was a great read and I will recommend it to everyone.
Nov 09, 2015 Erinevans rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this so much that I began reading Rendell's Wexford mysteries chronologically. Excellent mystery, convincingly frustratingly slow detective work (and Wexford's wife is a saint), fascinating characters across the board. Loved it.

It's also fun to read a book from a British author with parts set in America - I couldn't help but wonder if Rendell had traveled to California herself, and if this was the impetus for the mystery/travelogue she wrote.
Aug 19, 2015 GONZA rated it liked it
Shelves: biblioteca
For many years I have underestimated Ruth Rendell and now I'm trying to be forgiven. This book is a little jewel where nothing is as it seems and everything is. Great krimi.

Per molti anni non ho preso in considerazione la Rendell, per qualche strano motivo che ignoro, e ora sto cercando di recuperare. Questo giallo é fantastico, niente é come sembra mentre tutto lo é.
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A.K.A. Barbara Vine

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, was an acclaimed English crime writer, known for her many psychological thrillers and murder mysteries and above all for Inspector Wexford.
More about Ruth Rendell...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Wexford (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1)
  • A New Lease of Death (Inspector Wexford, #2)
  • Wolf to the Slaughter (Inspector Wexford, #3)
  • The Best Man to Die (Inspector Wexford, #4)
  • A Guilty Thing Surprised (Inspector Wexford, #5)
  • No More Dying Then (Inspector Wexford, #6)
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  • Some Lie and Some Die (Inspector Wexford, #8)
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  • A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)

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