Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Copper Peacock and Other Stories” as Want to Read:
The Copper Peacock and Other Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Copper Peacock and Other Stories

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  260 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Here, from top international mystery writer Ruth Rendell, are nine new stories--one starring the astute Inspector Wexford--that turn a microscope on the tortuous pathways of the human mind and the merciless twists of fate.

Poetic justice overtakes a cocksure young thief from the public library... a dying man's wife exacts a subtle revenge when he begs to see his long-lost m

...more
Hardcover, 183 pages
Published January 1st 1991 by Mysterious Press (first published January 1st 1980)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Copper Peacock and Other Stories, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Copper Peacock and Other Stories

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 419)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
michael spencer
Rendell is a master of her craft, and The Copper Peacock is congruent with such aptitude. The only complaint might be the seemingly inverse relationship of length to predictability; nevertheless, the prose flows effortlessly to both sneakily coax English sensibility and reward those who trust their instincts.
Kasey Jueds
Hard to think of anything about the amazing and incredible Ruth Rendell that I haven't already written before. I love her, she's a genius, I hope she lives forever, etc. These stories are dark and smart and completely compelling--in part because Rendell is such an incredible stylist, and in part because she has such a profound and often startling understanding of human nature. I especially noticed, in this book, her skill with unattractive narrators. The one in the title story is a great example ...more
Laila
3.5 stars.

Rendell is a master of the short story - especially unsettling ones. The one about the cat lady, Long Live the Queen, is one of the creepiest short stories I've ever read. And I like cats.
Amy
I haven't read short stories in a while. She really is staying away from tidying up all the loose ends in this one. More like "choose your own ending." Like life, I suppose.
Nick
I found this in a used bookstore, not having realized that it existed and I hadn't already read it everything that Rendell had written (so far). It's about ten short stories, less mysteries than just creepy vignettes of people either doing or about to do evil deeds. That's where I think Rendell is so successful, at showing the series of choices that lead up to an average, everyday person choosing to do something truly horrifying. She makes murder seem humdrum in a way that manages to be relatabl ...more
Renee
Rendell packs a lot into a short story. Minimal pages, maximum impact.
Kirsti
I enjoyed rereading these. Not as enthralling as her novels, though.
Joanne
Good stories, especially the title one.
Deanne
A good collection of short stories.
Antonia
An engaging collection of darkly-humored stories that reflect the author's quirky understanding of human nature!
Robert
The Copper Peacock and Other Stories
by Ruth Rendell
There are nine Stories in this book . I must say that I enjoyed reading them . But it would not be a book I would get again . The stories are all a bit dark . If you are like me you enjoy darker books . I found a few of the books a it sad , and all have to do with death one way or anther . So if your looking for a quick read , that is a bit on the darker side . I think you would enjoy this one .
Sharonm
This was short stories, not my favorite, but well executed by Rendell. The stories were each somewhat ironic and I found the twists very interesting. The people in these stories were not terribly sympathetic, but were well drawn given the short story format.
Jenn
Typically, I didn't love all of the short stories, but I liked them all. I particularly liked Long Live the Queen (an interesting take on the "cat lady") and An Unwanted Woman.

Audio Review: It was expertly read by actress Penelope Keith.
Kristal Cooper
The audiobook format failed me on this one. The big twist at the end of each story must have been a little reference back to some detail I missed while I was paying more attention to traffic than the narrator.
Robert
An excellent collection of short stories read by Donada Peters. I've listened to several read by Ms. Peters and this is, for me, easily her best performance I've so far encountered.
Megan
Not her strongest collection, but still solid and a few of them-- A Pair of Yellow Lilies, Paperwork and The Fish-Sitter-- were excellent.
Sarah
This is a great collection of suspense short stories from one of my favorite contemporary British authors, Ruth Rendell.
Melissa
Short stories, strange, raw, storybookish
Dana
Always worth reading Ms Rendell.
Biddy
great short stories each with a twist.
Swarna
Swarna added it
Jan 28, 2015
sirgss
sirgss added it
Jan 24, 2015
Julia
Julia marked it as to-read
Jan 18, 2015
Raquel
Raquel added it
Jan 09, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 13 14 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Gallowglass
  • Slowly, Slowly in the Wind
  • Winter Frost (Inspector Frost, #5)
  • Morse's Greatest Mystery and Other Stories
  • Dialogues of the Dead (Dalziel & Pascoe, #19)
  • Murder at the War: A Modern-Day Mystery With a Medieval Setting (Peter Brichter, #2)
  • Runaway Heart
  • Now That You're Back
  • Goldfish (Penguin 60s)
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2009
  • The Best American Mystery Stories 2007
  • Mystery Writers of America Presents The Blue Religion: New Stories about Cops, Criminals, and the Chase
  • Istanbul Noir
10890
A.K.A. Barbara Vine

Ruth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also writes under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, is an acclaimed English crime writer, known for her many psychological thrillers and murder mysteries.
More about Ruth Rendell...
From Doon With Death (Inspector Wexford, #1) A Judgement in Stone The Babes in the Wood (Inspector Wexford, #19) A Sight for Sore Eyes Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15)

Share This Book