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Murder Being Once Done (Inspector Wexford #7)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,462 ratings  ·  59 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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(showing 1-30 of 2,022)
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Leslie
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
Sara
Aug 15, 2011 Sara rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Joseph
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
...more
Constance
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
Maria Thermann
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
...more
Laura
"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
Marti
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
Ellen

Murder Being Once Done
~Vintage
(9)
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
...more
Dot
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
...more
Hal
This is a well written book. Rendell is terrific at plotting and developing characters.

She sometimes does not wear her learning lightly, and I found the chapter headings taken from The Book of Common Prayer a bit pretentious.


I have read five or six of her books, and the endings always seem to come from left field. There is little if any foreshadowing. Her novels have more red herrings than a communist delicatessen.
Kathleen O'Nan
The 7th Chief Inspector Wexford novel finds him on a forced "holiday" after having had an eye aneurysm. After going nearly mad at inactivity while staying at his nephew's home in London, he finally joins said nephew in sleuthing and solving a murder case. Liked seeing more of Wexford's personality - too much like Dave!
Bev Taylor
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
...more
Carol
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
...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
Linda
Not as good as One Across, Two Down, but Rendell's writing and character development makes even the less than perfect ones great. Just something about her...
Patti
on rest leave in London Wexford doubts his skills solving murder of girl found in cemetary
Diane
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
Kyrie
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
Rejane
Read in French: Une Fille dans un caveau
Bea Alden
I adore just about every book Ruth Rendell has written. In this London-based murder mystery, of particular value is her revealing portrait of Rendell's signature cop, Reg Wexford. In this story Wexford is not just the clever senior cop, solving the puzzle - he's a real person, complete with self-doubt and foibles. This book sets up the reader for the later Wexford novels, for it is in this "mid-life-crisis" episode that his ongoing personality is established.
Carol
The ailing Wexford is in London for a rest cure--one that deprives him of alcohol, rich food and police work. But when a young girl is found dead in a gloomy nearby cemetery, Wexford can't help but investigate the case. I really enjoy this series of mysteries by Ruth Rendell. Wexford is a compassionate, human and very thoughtful detective and always solves his cases by finding a murderer who is usually a little mad or at least desperate.
Jim
Fish out of water novel, as a senior police officer from a rural area of England, tries to help his police officer nephew solve a murder in London. Deprived of his usual staff and knowing that the London police, other than his nephew, would prefer that he not be involved, the officer nonetheless presses on despite personal medical issues and more than a few self doubts. Enjoyable, smoothly written mystery with many red herrings and twists.
Emily
I love old school British mysteries. They're like well worn, well loved shoes.
Mary
Here again we have the wonderful twists of a well-plotted book. A woman's body is found in a cemetery vault. Who was she? Why is she here? "Who done it?"

Wexford is on medical leave in London and is allowed to assist with the investigation. Lots of red herrings here, and I must say I wished the perpetrator had been a more major character in the story. Still, it was satisfying and a good one to guess at.
Dawn
This is my first Ruth Rendell. It was enjoyable but it was a bit annoying in that the majority of the book followed a story line that was very interesting and engaging but ended up being the side story. The murderer ends up being some one that has a marginal role and feels like an afterthought. I think that for me, mystery writers have to measure up against Phyllis! And not many do!
Jennifer
Come read my full review on my blog.
Barbara
Murder Being Once Done had me guessing to the end and I found myself putting back dinner to finish it!

Whilst first published in 1972 and with some aspects dating it as very much of that time, the book remains contemporary and I love the many and diverse characters that Rendell weaves through out her story.


Tom Piercy
Although this was written as recently as the 1970s, it seems closer to Sherlock Holmes that today's police action. It is set in the good old days, when a house in Brixton cost less than 5,000, senior police officers were gentlemen and never a committee or government target was to be seen. Ah, nostalgia! ...more
Ed
Written in 1972. It is set in London, where Inspector Wexford is recovering at his relatives' house from an eye operation. It's interesting to see Wexford working in that location (set mostly in Chelsea, North Kensington and Highgate Cemetery) and to experience London at that time through Rendell's eyes.
Angie
He even solves murders while on holiday! I missed Kingsmarkham and the usual cast of characters, but London was a nice change. Wexford is nothing if not tidy, clearing up a mess for his nephew and The Yard. We'll see if Burden has bucked up in the next installment.
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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.
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)
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)

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