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The Best Man to Die (Inspector Wexford, #4)
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The Best Man to Die (Inspector Wexford #4)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  2,102 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews
Who could have suspected that the exciting stag party for the groom would be the prelude to the murder of his close friend Charlie Hatton? And Charlie's death was only the first in a string of puzzling murders involving small-time gangsters, cheating husbands, and loose women. Now Chief Inspector Wexford and his assistant join forces with the groom to track down a killer . ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 12th 1987 by Fawcett (first published 1969)
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Dec 23, 2016 Gary rated it liked it
This is the 4th book in the Inspector Wexford series by author Ruth Rendell.
I never manage to read this series in the order they were written but I don't feel that it deflects at all from my overall enjoyment. I have now read about 5 books in this series and although I have given them all a moderate rating I have nevertheless enjoyed them and generally feel the more I read the better they get with the main characters becoming a lot more familiar.
This novel features a stag party on the eve of Jac
May 13, 2015 Jaksen rated it liked it
Another Inspector Wexford mystery, this one from 1970 ...

You read this, with characters who are too materialistic, too made-up (the women) who are wholly narcissistic and who are all about what they own, how much of it and who's looking at it, and you might think, okay, this was written today. We've got these sorts all around, just check the internet...

Then you realize these people have always been around; it's just the way they parade their wealth/status/arrogance which has changed. The book is
Roman Clodia
This was first published in 1969 and it shows in its evocation of a very different world: where having a lift put into a police station is A Very Big Deal, where even 'good' characters like Wexford can be pompously misogynistic, where buying a fridge or a 'record player' or a washing machine is firm evidence of wrong-doing on the part of working-class characters, where a young man in his 20s wears dentures... I partly enjoyed this slice of social history but found Rendell's snide snobbery overbe ...more
Lyn Elliott
May 03, 2016 Lyn Elliott rated it liked it
Shelves: crime
Interesting enough that I read it all through (I'm very often a skipper if a book isn't holding me, life-is-too-short) but I won't retain much of it, except perhaps the large-headed dentist who made the most expensive false teeth in England. From the moment she described his big square head with hair to match I knew he was member of the unpleasant rich classes who feature so often in regional English crime. Mind you, I don't think there's a single nice person in this book. Wexford himself is chr ...more
Jul 11, 2013 Marita rated it it was ok
Whilst I've really enjoyed some of the author's books, this wasn't one of them. The plot was OK rather than gripping, and both Wexford and Burden were tiresomely pompous.
Jul 04, 2010 Jerry rated it liked it
Somewhat "Sourpuss" Characters Spoil Classic 1969 Police Procedural

No one can complain that award winning Brit mystery author Ruth Rendell is anything but prolific - her some fifty novels span a career launched in the early 1960's now into our new millennium. About one-third of the stories, as herein with "Best Man", feature Chief Inspector Reg Wexford, who heads the Kingsmarkham district, which seems to correspond to maybe a county sheriff-type jurisdiction. In this tale, a fairly mild, tavern
Aug 03, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it
Rendell, Ruth. THE BEST MAN TO DIE. (1969; this ed. 1975). ****. Rendell writes some of the most literate and dryly humorous mysteries ever written. This is an Inspector Wexford mystery, with all the usual players present, including his favorite sidekick, Detective Burden. In this installment, we meet the principal players at one of the local pubs, where a stag party is going on for Jack Pertwee, a local electrician who is about to be married the next day. All his friends from the local darts cl ...more
Bea Alden
Oct 08, 2008 Bea Alden rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I think this might have been the first Ruth Rendell mystery that I discovered, and from then on, I was hooked. This early one, written in 1969, begins with a stag party for a groom, the late arrival of the generally unpopular best man, and his subsequent murder. Chief Inspector Wexford, who turns up again in many later books, unwinds the complex series of events that led up to the murder.

I adore all of Ruth Rendell's novels, as she skillfully draws the reader into the mind of her protagonists, a
Jan 12, 2009 Pam rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This book was written 40 years ago, but it's still a great read. I love Rendell's Inspector Wexford series. Her mysteries are so well written, they practically read themselves. She knows just how to hook the reader and keep him/her turning the pages. In the past, many of the older books in the Wexford series haven't been available at the library, so I was thrilled to find this reissued paperback in the "new books" section. This is a short one (just 200 pages), but you actually get two mysteries ...more
I don’t read detective stories all that often, as most are slightly disappointing to me. But occasionally I pick one up, which is how I came to read Geknipt voor lijk.

This one was alright, no more no less, although I must say I liked the televison series better than the book and while reading, I kept seeing George Baker and Christopher Ravenscroft :-) which helped in this case, as it made me visualize the story a bit more, as the writing itself just didn't do it for me (but you can get used to j
Regina Lemoine
Jan 21, 2017 Regina Lemoine rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
Not my favorite, but still a fun read.
Dec 22, 2016 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not as gripping as the prior book, but I didn't see the solution coming as it did. I enjoy seeing prior characters named, but earlier books need not be read to enjoy this one.
Jan 09, 2017 Patrick rated it really liked it
A very well put together mystery. Rendell gives us lots of little clues and spins them into a fine story. She does a fine job in describing each of the main characters. I like this series a lot.
Laila (BigReadingLife)
Wexford's wry humor is delightful. I'm seriously addicted to these mysteries.
Eugenia Andino
Dec 17, 2016 Eugenia Andino rated it liked it
un poco aburrido para ser de Rendell. Creo que me gustan más las novelas que no son de Wexford como protagonista.
Mar 20, 2017 Kim rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
It was an enjoyable read; however, I actually was able to figure out the 'whodunit' much earlier than I normally do in a Rendell book.
Mar 08, 2017 Kate rated it liked it
i love British mysteries. I love Elizabeth George.
I liked this book but wish it would have moved along a bit faster.
Bernard Morey
Feb 20, 2017 Bernard Morey rated it it was ok
I was enjoying this until about two-thirds of the way through when this giant plot hole opened up that was never resolved. It essentially destroyed the story.

Recall that in the beginning the aunt misidentified the dead girl from the car wreck because she was hideously burnt in the crash and, it is implied, was found in the car along with the deceased driver. Then, much later, a work acquaintance of the deceased is able to identify her from the remains of her charred and burnt stockings.

Then we'r
Sep 10, 2015 Patricia rated it really liked it
Even if the promotional blurb on the back of the book hadn’t told us that Charlie Hatton was going to die, we would know it within 2 pages of meeting Charlie. When we do meet him, he is several hours late to the stag party for his best friend, Jack Pertwee, for whom Charlie is to be the best man the next day. When he does arrive, he flashes wads of money in everyone’s face (and most of these men are poor). He deliberately insults each man there, except Jack, in some ethical or personal way. And ...more
Dyah Subagyo
Jun 17, 2016 Dyah Subagyo rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
I have such a mixed feeling for Ruth Rendell's Wexford series.
When it delivers, it really delivers. But when it is boring, it bores me out of my mind. One quick read, boredom hits, and a quick skip to the end and 'aaaaah'. Rendell's books remind me of Christie's books, but with a detective who cannot rouse even a small portion of affection I have towards one particular small Belgian man with excellent grey cells and magnificent moustache.
But again, when she delivers, she really delivers.
The mys

Read by............... Robin Bailey
Total Runtime......... 6 Hours 5 Mins

Description: Jack Pertwee was getting married in the morning. Charlie Hatton drove his lorry eleven hours down from Leeds just to be there. Charlie was Jack's best friend and he would be his best man. When the two parted at the Kingsbrook bridge, Jack felt as though his life was just beginning. But for Charlie Hatton, life was about to end.

Detective Chief Inspector Wexford wondered why the fatal Fanshawe car accident kept up
Jan 04, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing
A stag party takes place. All is well, even if Charlie Hatton does do his best to needle some folks in the pub. But he's the best man and the wedding's the next day. And his best friend in all the world is the groom.

Until Charlie turns up the next day - dead. Very dead.

So begins another excellent entry in Ruth Rendell's Inspector Wexford series (Book 4 if you're counting). We're starting to see a more personal side of Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford, as he copes with his daughter's new boyfrien
Allan Nail
Feb 12, 2014 Allan Nail rated it really liked it
What a nice surprise. This was a series I'd started, then stopped for reasons I've already written about and won't go into again. Don't know what prompted me to pick it up again except that I suspected that she would get better. And she does.

Wexford is an interesting twist to the kind of inspector I usually read. He's competent, successfully married, adjusted. He's a bit grumpy, but generally likable. My complaints really had to do with the quality of the plots, sorta important, but lacking in
Nov 01, 2015 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The development is better than the denouement but that's only because the development is superb. There is a moment when the surviving car crash victim reveals new information that is wonderful in itself but made glorious by the fact that we don't know whether to believe her.

It's an early Wexford which means that Rendell is still exploring the possibilities of the genre rather than glorying in them. The portrait of English society is there for the purposes of the novel and isn't meant as socio-ec
Aug 26, 2016 Peggy rated it really liked it
This is a good British police procedural. Chief inspector Wexford is a sympathetic character. He is smart and experienced. In this book a lorry driver is murdered after he leaves a bachelor party for his best friend. Charlie Hattan was to be the best man the next day, but is found by a stream with his head bashed. Charlie was adored by the groom and his bride, but is disliked by almost everyone else. As Wexford explores the death he discovers that Charlie was living high, flashing cash everywher ...more
Anne M.
I have enjoyed all the Wexford books written by Ruth Rendell. If you like an old fashioned murder/mystery this is the one for you. Obviously written some time ago going by some of the words used, (which would be frowned on today), and money which in this book is deemed a lot but today we could spend in one visit to the shops!
However the story itself is good with the usual twists and turns of the Rendell stories.
The victim the best man due to be at a wedding the next day is found murdered, there
Si vede che sono di buon umore. L'ho anche trovato gradevole. Solita Inghilterra di villaggio, solita chiamata in causa del classismo, solito poliziotto burbero ma perspicace e tenace, soliti collaboratori, diligenti e mastinetti, solita storia di miseri rapporti tra vicini, solito squallore da assistente sociale ecc. Insomma un po' alla Jack Frost. Che (insieme a Barnaby) è una delle pochissime circostanze che mi fanno accendere l'apparecchio tv. Svago non ignobile ma senza alcunissima pretesa. ...more
Denise Spicer
Feb 07, 2017 Denise Spicer rated it it was amazing
This 1969 Inspector Wexford mystery has compelling characters, plot and setting. It’s interesting to hear the author’s sociological comments from the 60’s point of view. The more things change, etc. Also notable – Fantastic Dog Description!!! Won’t give away spoilers but is almost a must read for that alone. hehehhe
Jun 04, 2013 Dorothy rated it it was ok
With a writer as prolific as Ruth Rendall, it is inevitable that some books are better than others. I think the Wexford series is my least favourite. I find the characters of Wexford and Burden rather shallow...the author sometimes treats the reader to having Wexford pontificate on some subject while solving a crime...but there are no real insights forthcoming. In this one, the plot is turgid and the characters one-dimensional.
Apr 15, 2013 Kay rated it liked it
Another typically good Rendell mystery with Inspector Wexford.Love these books and this deserves more of a 3.5 rating. It is one of her earlier books. It is well done and worth reading, it's just that some of her later books are more complex. Great character and plot development into true mysteries with none of the violence, nasty language and gory fluff of some American writers with which I'm familiar (not that all American writers are bad - I'm sure there are plenty of writers around the world ...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.
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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)
  • 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)
  • A Sleeping Life (Inspector Wexford, #10)
  • Death Notes (Inspector Wexford, #11)

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