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A New Lease of Death (Inspector Wexford #2)

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  1,454 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
A Chief Inspector Wexford crime novel, in which doubts arise concerning a man who was found guilty and hanged for a murder which was Wexford's first case.
Published June 1st 1998 by Chivers Word for Word Audio Books (first published 1967)
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Apr 26, 2009 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a pretty good premise (one that they couldn’t have today, at least in England, though still in America, unfortunately). An man was convicted and executed for a crime, and Inspector Wexford was one of the men who was caught him. Now, years later, the man’s daughter wants to prove he didn’t do it. Or rather, the father of the man she wants to marry comes knocking, hoping to prove that the woman his son loves isn’t descended from a mass murderer (this book has a retrograde notion of h ...more
May 13, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting, and fairly short mystery. This one I did NOT see the answer coming and was quite surprised. (Though I did surmise that some things one of the characters did and said, early in the book, did not seem quite 'right.') All the same, I didn't figure out the main puzzle or question in this mystery - I needed Rendell to walk me to it. Darn!

In this mystery Wexford takes a back seat to the Reverend Henry Archerly, who is determined to prove that the father of his future daughter-in-law, a ma
Robert Corbett
May 24, 2015 Robert Corbett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Jul 25, 2015 Kay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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Charlotte (Buried in Books)
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Karl Marx S.T.
This particular Rendell mystery I guess will be much better if it’s not the second Chief Inspector Wexford book. The story is about a sixteen year old brutal and vicious crime of an old woman whose battered to death with an axe by her helper. Harry Painter is hung for it and Chief Inspector Wexford is certain that they executed the right man. If one is not familiar with Rendell’s whydunits instead of the typical whodunit, readers might be disappointed to learn the identity of the killer which is ...more
Jan 08, 2014 Barb rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was first published in 1967, and is the second of the Wexford novels. His personality is developing (he seems perhaps a Tory). It's hard to say, as Wexford is a secondary character to Reverend Henry Archery, a poncy vicar come to Kingsmarkham to second guess Wexford's sixteen year old conviction of an axe murderer who was subsequently hanged. Said murderer's daughter is now improbably at Oxford reading Modern Greats and engaged to marry this vicar's son. Presumably the marriage just won't d ...more
Aug 24, 2015 Kit rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recentlyread
Despite the trite title - I typed it into goodreads and Rendell's novel wasn't even on the first page of search results for books called Sins of the Father(s) - this novel is a great mystery. I don't think Rendell is an especially amazing prose stylist or anything, but her characters here are fresh and startling, the plot and the story structure even more so in some ways. I see now why Rendell is so revered. Would make a great film.
Sep 07, 2013 Damaskcat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wexford is asked to meet Henry Archery who wants him to look again at the murder of Mrs Primero which happened fifteen years ago. Wexford believes the correct verdict was reached and as it was his first murder case in which he was the officer in charge he is naturally a bit prickly about it. Archery believes that the killer was wrongly convicted and sets out to prove it. In the process he opens rather too many cans of worms.

This is the second in the Wexford series and very good it is too. There
Karl Jorgenson
So now I have bookends. I recently read a 2014 Rendell 'mystery' which was, in no way, mysterious, suspenseful, or really, interesting. Here's a early one. Huh. Apparently her whole career is writing non-mysterious mysteries. Who needs Inspector Wexford? A vicar from somewhere investigates a sixteen-year-old murder, hoping to find evidence that clears the convicted and executed murderer. Sorry, no. Everything is as it appears. Well, not everything. There's a nice surprise at the end, a nice secr ...more
Inspector Wexford takes a backseat to Reverend Archery in this murder mystery.
The Reverend is concerned about having a daughter-in-law with a murderer for a father and tries to enlist the Inspector to help him prove that the father was innocent.

Honestly the whole premise behind looking into the murder was rather annoying. The Reverend comes across as a self righteous prat, which if that was the intent it worked really well but it rather ruined the book for me.
Tricia Ebbs
Mar 31, 2015 Tricia Ebbs rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Ruth Rendell but I haven't been able to warm to Inspector Wexford, which is a bummer because I have just about exhuausted all the non-Wexford novels and found Barbara Vine a bit hard going. So I had the brilliant idea of reading the Wexford novels from the beginning and guess what....I really like them. This is the second Wexford and starting at the beginning is giving me a greater insight into the characters and their surroundings as well as a greater understanding of the period when thi ...more
Feb 22, 2016 Simone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read

Hmm, I've been reading this on and off, since I liked the earlier Inspector Wexford novel, but this one felt a bit like a let down. Mainly because the narrator is a Vicar and he is sort of dull. He frets about things, including the main reason for investigating a sixteen year old crime, his son wants to marry the daughter of the man hanged for the murder. So there's a lot of pearl clutching about "being a good person."Of course it was originally published in 1967, but the whole conundrum seems d
Anthony Fisher
I enjoyed this early Ruth Randell's Chief Inspector Wexford crime mystery, having read many of these mysteries over the years. I was not disappointed.

The story flows at a steady pace with many twists and turns in the plot. It is interesting that the investigation in this case is not performed by Wexford. He, is involved mainly as the investigating officer of a murder that had taken place 16 years previous and the suspect was caught by him, found guilty and given the death penalty.

A Reverend Hen
Farhana Sufi
Wexford cases seem not always to be Chief Inspector's active deductions, but just the cases he worked on. It's refreshing from that angle.

As for this particular book, it is amusing to see the thoughts of society, even the religeous one, on the families and the heredity of a murderer. Reading the books from half a century ago is amusing in many respects. For one thing there was much less need of profiling and criminal psychology studies were in the beginning stages.

British set up is my comfortab
#2 in the Chief Inspector Wexford series. This 1967 series entry was dense and hard-going, as British mysteries sometimes are. I kept having the feeling that I should be enjoying the mystery more than I was and I read it to the end. I haven't yet read #3 - Wolf to the Slaughter (1967).

Chief Inspector Wexford series - It was a brutal, vicious crime -- sixteen years old. An old woman battered to death with an axe. Harry Painter hung for it, and Wexford is certain they executed the right man. But R
Jan 01, 2014 Francoise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A clergyman comes to Kingsmarkham questioning the outcome of Wexford's first murder investigation, which had led to the hanging of a man whose daughter the clergyman's son now wishes to wed. I can't say I understood, precisely, the reason a murderer's child, even one educated at Oxford and clearly psychologically sound, might be an unsuitable candidate for marriage, but the clergyman is worried and wishes to reopen an investigation closed twenty years prior.

We know, of course, that it is uncons
I was a bit sceptical if I would enjoy reading a crime story from the 60s. But surprisingly I did!
Rendells writing kept me interested in what happened in the past and what is going to happen in the present. You can make up your own mind throughout the story, and maybe have to adapt your ideas about the murderer as new details are revealed.
Inspector Wexford does not feature in this story very much, but I was happy enough to follow Rev. Archery on his quest.
Although the book is very short, I got
Apr 25, 2016 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, rereads
According to my INFALLIBLE GoodReads records, I actually read this in 2008 first. In the last 8 years I forgot all about it and reread it and remembered nothing about the plot, so GO ME! Also I seem to like it better now than I did then.

A strength of a Rendell novel is that the characters are so real, so well-sketched, that none of them is 100% likeable. That is the case here. (By the same token, it's unusual for a character to be completely UNlikeable... but it happens.) A weakness of some Rend
Allan Nail
With school starting back this week, and with me preparing for one new class and an overall overload, it took me a bit to get through this one. That isn't to say it's bad, just that I was dozing off mid-chapter and not remembering things I'd read. Going back a few pages and asking "did you read this?" isn't the most pleasant experience.

And yet, I didn't really dig this one. OK, let me say that I didn't dig the first three-quarters. Like the first Wexford, A New Lease of Death puzzles me. Here, w
Jan 04, 2013 Cata rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biblioteca, 2013
A sinopse deixou-me curiosa e intrigada. E sabem o que dizem... “A curiosidade matou o gato”. Bem, neste caso não me matou mesmo ou não estaria a escrever neste momento.. mas vocês perceberam a ideia. Sorte a minha que tinham o livro na biblioteca. E já que ele estava na prateleira e mais dia menos dia acaba-me o prazo de empréstimo, porque não fazer dele a primeira leitura de 2013? Até era uma estreia com uma autora nova e tudo! Existia maneira mais perfeita de iniciar as leituras de um novo an ...more
Clarissa Draper
Jul 26, 2014 Clarissa Draper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ruth-rendall
I listened the unabridged version of this novel.

Throughout the book my suspect for the murder changed repeatedly. That's the sign of a great mystery.

I didn't mind the character of Archery although I didn't quite understand the motivation. I guess today we wouldn't assume a daughter would take after a parent in crime. And I fell in love with Tess early on.
The only thing that bothered me was the relationship that Archery tried to start in the middle of the novel. To me, that didn't make sense.
Jack Erickson
Rendell's Inspector Wexford series usually star the acerbic Kingsmarkham detective who digs deep into peoples psyches when he is investigating a puzzling murder.
But in "Sins of the Fathers," Wexford is a bit of a foil when a troubled clergy member, Henry Archery, comes to town wanting to disprove a murder conviction and execution involving the father of a young lady, Tess, whom his son wants to marry.
Wexford is firmly opposed to an amateur digging up an old murder case which he believes was fai
Mar 09, 2016 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not much of an Inspector Wexford novel. He does none of the investigating and only appears occasionally, as does Burden. This book did hold my interest and there was a slight surprise at the end but the surprise was a bit disappointing. All in all, not one of my favorite Wexford mysteries. Also, I was disappointed in the poor character demonstrated by the lead investigator (who was a vicar).
This was a definite improvement over the first book in the series. Rendell has some wonderful turns of phrase and character development was good. The story dragged quite a bit through most of the book. There were a great number of characters to keep straight, so that was occasionally confusing. The resolution was interesting and had an unexpected twist. I'll be on to the next installment soon.
1967, #2 Inspector Wexford, Kingsmarkham
[cosy police procedural - A-toA/4.25]

Interesting tale of old murder and new love, as the daughter of a murderer tries to rise above her beginnings. The atmosphere of “bad blood will tell” seems terribly old fashioned now, but this is a nicely dark suspenser woven around the emotional melodramatics. The ending is a tad sweet, and although an important bit or two seem rather fudged to me, the overall effect is very good.

Satisfying characterizations, good se
Oct 08, 2015 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a murder mystery but a novel about what happens the characters after the book has finished.
Years after the murder has been solved the people who surrounded it come to terms about what really happened.
A psychological thriller, beautifully written. I expected a murder mystery in the style of Christie but this wasn't it.
I liked it but it didn't really hold my attention.

Christine Cody
May 31, 2015 Christine Cody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The American title of this book is The Sins of the Fathers, but Goodreads lists it only with its original title. In this second Wexford, the detective remains in the background of the story, but his presence is always felt, and the reader begins to learn more about the very experienced, intelligent, and often grumpy, Chief Inspector Wexford.
Nov 09, 2015 Erinevans rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This one was a slog. This may be the earliest I guessed the answer to a mystery (maybe 25% in?) and I'd even figured out all the details long before the end. Disappointing.

The only thing that kept me remotely interested was the father and his terrible son - they were well-written, though I disliked them.
Sep 04, 2016 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This is the second in a long series featuring Inspector Wexford. So far, I am unconvinced that Wexford actually does anything, except be very cranky and kind of a dick. This story nearly put me to sleep. Ruth Rendell has a great reputation so I'm hoping they get more interesting as they go along.
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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)
  • 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)
  • Murder Being Once Done (Inspector Wexford, #7)
  • Some Lie and Some Die (Inspector Wexford, #8)
  • Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9)
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  • Death Notes (Inspector Wexford, #11)

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