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Murder Being Once Done (Inspector Wexford #7)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  1,937 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
A young girl is murdered in a cemetery.And Wexford's doctor has prescribed no alcohol, no rich food and, above all, no police work.When a young girl's body is found in a London cemetery and the local police, under the command of Wexford's nephew, are baffled, Wexford decides to brave his doctor's wrath and the condescension of the London police by doing a little investigat ...more
Hardcover, 201 pages
Published June 1st 1972 by Not Avail (first published 1972)
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Jul 20, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Rendell's better Inspector Wexford mysteries. Set in London, among the back streets, small vendors, dilapidated 'mansions' divided into smaller flats, and an old cemetery, AND a mausoleum, it doesn't get much better for a Wexford-mystery.

There is no Mike Burden here; however, Wexford has to deal with a different Mike, who is just as arrogant and self-sure as Burden, though at least Burden respects the man he works for.

The basic story is thus: Wexford, on 'vacation' in London due to healt
Mar 14, 2011 Leslie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ruth Rendell is one of the best writers in the English language. Period. She rises above the genres of police procedural and psychological thriller, and simply writes like a dream. I rarely remember inconsequential moments in books that I read, but years after reading certain scenes or comments, they still go through my mind.... A tense woman, playing with her pearl necklace until it breaks and pearls spill across the floor...a woman described as looking young in the way that older women without ...more
Oct 12, 2013 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: random-stuff
Read a paperback copy of this book I’ve had sitting around for 33 years. My copy was printed in 1973. Thought the book might be a bit too dated, but it’s not. Ruth Rendell is a very gifted writer. Her character development is exceptional, she knows how to tell a story and she uses words masterfully.

I’ll let her words do the talking:

"The enthusiasm of a crusader had taken hold of Dearborn and as he talked a light came into his eyes. This was Kenbourne as it had been in the time of the fourth Geo
Judith Teggelaar
An excellent well thought out mystery! I loved every minute reading it and was so glad to be reunited with my old friend inspector Wexford. It had me guessing who the murderer was until the very end. Cudos go to Ruth Rendell and Wexford.
Aug 15, 2011 Sara rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anglophiles, Wexfordphiles, amateur psychologists
I like the Inspector Wexford series because of Rendell's incisive writing AND because the characters are not as dark and twisted as in her later novels. This one satisfies on both counts. After experiencing an embolism in his eye, Wexford has been placed on a draconian and unrealistic diet/exercise/rest program, enforced by his wife and his relatives in London. 1000 calories a day? Puh-lease, this is the only unbelievable part! Naturally he is depressed and weakening quickly until a misunderstan ...more
Rob Smith
Jul 28, 2016 Rob Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
This my first Rendell book after passing her by all these years. Wish i hadn't, if this book is any indication.

This is a lightly written mystery with engaging characters. The mystery is well plugged into a setting that is nearly claustrophobic due to the closeness of all elements in the community adding to the questions that arise. Adding more is that the hero of the story is supposed to be taking a vacation and Rendell makes full use of this nifty device to add flavor to the story.

Rendell's cha
Mar 26, 2013 Constance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was truly hilarious! I really liked it, much more than the other Ruth Rendell book I read when I was studying for the bar. (N.B. That entire summer still remains a really vivid memory in my head, and I specifically remember laying in bed at 3 a.m. in the stifling heat with my barbri books scattered around everywhere trying to finish End in Tears to find out what happened.) Ruth does seem a lot more current/up-to-date/modern than AC, and I didn't realize until the end that this book was ...more
Dec 11, 2016 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 7th book in the Inspector Wexford series by author Ruth Rendell. I find Ruth Rendell books a little hit and miss and unfortunately for me this was a miss.
It was ok but I expect a lot more from the books I read and especially from authors of the pedigree of Ruth Rendell.
Chief Inspector Wexford is on leave in London while recovering from a medical problem and staying with his nephew who is a high ranking police officer. When a young woman is found murdered in a cemetery and the police
Sin Tien Tan
Dec 03, 2016 Sin Tien Tan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Really not bad. Amazed at author's ability to weave what would seem to be fraying ends together. Also quite short, perfect way to pass some time.
Robyn Owens
Creepy graveyard mystery with some good twists. Inspector Wexford series #7
Dec 16, 2016 Jan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
Just didn't hold my interest. I did finish it, but I may leave this series for a while.
Oct 02, 2016 Ellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good Wexford in a different setting
Maria Thermann
May 01, 2015 Maria Thermann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Murder Being Once Done was one of my favourite TV adaptations of Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford murder mysteries, mainly because the usually so astute, self-confident policeman is confronted with his own mortality for once rather than just contemplating the lives of those involved in the crime he's investigating.

Recovering from a series illness, Wexford and his wife Dora go to London to stay with Wexford's nephew Howard Fortune and his wife Denise for a month. Wexford's nephew is a superinten

Murder Being Once Done
A Mystery within a mystery, April 9, 2012
By Ellen Rappaport (Florida)
This review is from: Murder Being Once Done (Paperback)
This is my first Inspector Wexford mystery and perhaps I expected more from an author such as Ruth Rendell. Let me say that this British mystery took me on a journey with the Inspector. In the first chapter we find the Inspector at home and being quarded by his family on a daily basis. He is supposed to be on leave from work. Why is
Feb 03, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Murder Being Once Done" (Inspector Wexford #7) takes starting chapter quotations from Sir Thomas Moore's book, "Utopia", and opens with the body of a young girl being found in an old cemetery in London. Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford is in London, too, on orders of his doctor, the curmudgeonly Dr. Crocker. His health hasn't been good of late (he's had a thrombosis in his eye), and Crocker has ordered him to get some rest. No alcohol. No rich foods. And especialy no police work. To Wexford, th ...more
Pan Alchemist
May 16, 2016 Pan Alchemist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, 2016
This was my introduction to Ruth Rendell, and what an introduction it was!

I really did enjoy this. I understand the crime genre too much to be surprised by where the plot goes, so even though I guessed everything that there was to guess in this book, I found it a satisfying intellectual trip. Rendell writes intelligently. Maybe there is room to make clues a bit more obscure, but then, not all readers cut there their teeth on crime fiction and can smell a clue from a mile away. Or am I being over
I think the Wexford series of mysteries are not Ruth Rendell's best work. They are set in the 1970s and I found this one very dated in terms of social attitudes...not historical enough to be a period piece, but not really socially relevant to today.

In this one, I felt the plot to be rather weak and the characters too stereotyped. The story wanders around and when the killer is revealed it seems totally unexpected as he has not appeared to be very much part of the story. Each chapter is headed by
Bev Taylor
Aug 19, 2013 Bev Taylor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
got interrupted

shoot proof reader - read arrow books paperback. would have been below minus in o levels

montfort vault would have been taped off as scene of crime as body only discovered 24 hours previously
why did mrs dearborn not contact police as girl was killed one the same day as she last saw her daughter
why did wexford not ask for a photo of the girl
why did he not follow up on scarf when mrs dearborn said it was missing

why did he not immediately remember where he had seen the woman wit
May 22, 2016 Liz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rendell-wexford
This is the book in which Wexford takes a step towards the sympathetic. He has had a health scare, and his physician has ordered him to rest and take steps to improve his health. He and his wife Dora head up to London for a few weeks’ stay with their nephew (a London police inspector) and his wife. Soon Wexford is up to his neck in police work again, aiding his nephew Howard in the case of a girl found strangled in a local cemetery vault. Howard’s associates see Wexford as an elderly provincial ...more
Feb 27, 2013 Carol rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audio-book
Wexford is out of his comfort zone and still feeling a little shook up by his recent medical issue. He's not as sure of himself here as he usually is, not as confident. And he's not treated with the same deference he is in his own town. It's a different look at the detective, but in the end after a misstep or two, his intuition and perseverance get them to the killer, even though it's a twisty road.

If I have one complaint about this book, it's the identity of the killer. In most mysteries, the k
La recensione completa su Filomena scrive...

Che dire di questo giallo, non mi aspettavo niente di diverso da ciò che ho letto: una storia piacevole, ben scritta e argomentata, personaggi ben caratterizzati, scorrevole ed esaustiva.

Non sono un'esperta di gialli, ma devo dire che questo racconto è scritto estremamente bene, in poche pagine i tanti personaggi trovano una giusta collocazione. Insomma tanta "roba" magistralmente mescolata a creare una storia che nella sua tragicità è verosimile e rea
Apr 28, 2014 Marti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Knowing that I love murder mysteries, a very good friend asked me to read this book and tell her what I thought. I think that Inspector Wexford was new to her--I know that I have read books by Ruth Rendell, so I MUST have read some about the inspector. The poor fellow is recuperating, so may not be at his best. A dead young woman has been found in a graveyard--appropriate or not? There is a man around the neighborhood who has a yen for young women. There is also some confusion as to the dead wom ...more
Mary Sue
I liked exploring London with Wexford. This was my first experience with a Ruth Rendell book. There are two mysteries in the book. First is who killed the young woman found between tombs in a graveyard crypt. Wexford, a rural detective, assists the urban detectives, making some quite resentful. He builds a strong case but it is dashed and the real solution soon followed. The second mystery was why Wexford was being treated as an invalid by his wife, neice and nephew? Never did find out that answ ...more
Aug 13, 2015 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm constantly on the look out for a new mystery writer! I've heard good things about Ruth Rendell and she has about a billion books to choose from. I went with the Inspector Wexford series first and overall I liked it. The writing is quite beautiful and I always go ga-ga a bit for those dreary London settings. The mystery in this one was kind of eh and the murderer ended up being someone barely mentioned so when the big reveal came I was like....ummm who the F is that? Yet, with red herrings ga ...more
Oct 22, 2011 Kyrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's a good story, with convincing wrong trails and clues. When I read her Inspector Wexford books, I have a new appreciation for how good police manage to find the true culprits. I also like how the "old man" (who's too close to my own age to feel comfortable calling him old) manages to be young, despite himself and those around him. Finally, it was odd to read about a culture that purportedly speaks the same language, but well, they do things so differently. I know it was written nearly forty ...more
Jun 16, 2015 Terra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a new favorite main character who solves crimes, Chief Inspector Wexford. He is having a crisis of confidence as he recovers from a serious medical problem, and is forced to take a leave from his job. He and his wife are staying in London with his nephew who is a high ranking police officer and Wexford is so shaken about his usefulness that he needs to help solve the current murder investigation though he is not officially on the case or working. A young lady is murdered in a cemetery. No ...more
Apr 11, 2016 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Wexford is convalescing and under strict doctor's orders to do no police work. He is staying with his nephew in London. But when his nephew, also a police investigator, encounters the baffling murder of a young woman, her body found in a cemetery, Wexford can't resist becoming involved. Wexford thinks he has solved the woman's identity, but there is so much more to discover. Wexford is insecure about his health, his helpfulness, his future. But he works through it all to a twist at the ...more
Aug 23, 2013 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read. Wexford is "resting" in London at the home of his nephew, a police superintendent with a murder that needs solving. Will Wexford's country techniques work in the big city, or just be a source of embarrassment? Bit of both. It takes place in the same section of London as "A Demon in My View." I didn't enjoy that book, but was glad to have read it because I felt like I knew the area quite well for this book. Not necessary at all, but since I didn't like the second book it's good to ha ...more
Dennis Fischman
Mar 25, 2016 Dennis Fischman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Like Inspector Wexford, initially I was completely wrong about the solution to this mystery. Even after he figured it out, however, I was still a couple of twists and turns behind. And yet, I felt that Rendell had played fair with me, and all the clues were there if I had put them together differently. That's the definition of a well-plotted mystery.

It's also a typical Rendell in that there is no evil mastermind, no unmotivated villain, only people acting in character (and often from good motive
Con citas de Utopia de Thomas More Ruth Rendell pasea al lector por un Londres contradictorio y lleno de sorpresas, en que el inspector Wexford molesto e inseguro por la condescendencia con la que es tratado tras su convalecencia y la falta de perspectiva de sus colegas londinenses no descansara hasta identificar a la victima y establecer la causa de su muerte. Trama bien desarrollada que destaca considerablemente sobre las anteriores de la serie en la que no faltan las pistas falsas para confun ...more
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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)
  • Some Lie and Some Die (Inspector Wexford, #8)
  • Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9)
  • A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)
  • Death Notes (Inspector Wexford, #11)

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