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Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15)
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Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford #15)

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  2,759 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Investigating the murder of a socialite family, Inspector Wexford is forced to face his own deepest feelings. Called "one of Rendell's darkest and most suble character studies" (SF Chronicle).
Paperback, 378 pages
Published May 1993 by Mysterious Press (first published January 1st 1992)
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Read by.................. Robin Bailey
Total Runtime......... 12 Hours 3 Mins

Description: Investigating the murder of a socialite family, Inspector Wexford is forced to face his own deepest feelings. Called "one of Rendell's darkest and most suble character studies" (SF Chronicle).

'Kissing The Gunner's Daughter' is an old Naval expression from the by gone days of sailing ships. Whenever an able bodied seaman violated the Captain's shipboard rules the punishment was cruel and severe. The guilty se
Mar 14, 2011 John rated it liked it

Reg Wexford (described pompously on the cover of the US edition as "Inspector Reginald Wexford", f'r gawd's sake, as if they were hoping to make you think he was another goddam Brit cop-with-a-knighthood, or at least an "Hon" to put to his name) has to tackle one of the goriest cases of his career, when an internationally renowned local author has her head blown apart by a gunman or gunmen who also slay her husband and daughter; only her granddaughter Daisy survives. Doing his usual bluff best t
Pamela Mclaren
A police officer takes away a copy of a gun from his son while taking him to work, only to be shot in a bank hold up. Then there is a horrific murder in a country estate leaving only a wounded young woman to tell the tale.

When Chief Inspector Wexford arrives at the estate of celebrity Devina Flory, he has to make sense out of the bloody murder seen, the evidence and the jumbled statements of the lone witness and those who may have seen something ... or not. Statements are not helpful; too many
Sep 18, 2011 Sara rated it it was amazing
A superb Rendell. Begins with a gruesome massacre so if you are squeamish, you might want to skip this one. But then, squeamish folks don't usually read Rendell...
Davina Flory turns out not to have been quite the marvelous character that many think she was, and her controlling nature turns out to have contributed to her demise.
Wexford's daughter Sheila falls in love with an appalling sort of writer, and Wexford's sense of having lost her to this character may have blinded his vision for a time.
Philippa Dowding
Sep 21, 2015 Philippa Dowding rated it it was ok
Here's another book that I inherited from my father. He loved this story and he loved Ruth Rendell, so I thought I'd give it a go before passing it along. It's #15 in a series about Inspector Wexford, an interesting and competent English detective with a group of very smart co-workers. I don't think you have to read the previous 14 books to get his character or understand his relationships with his wife, family and the other detectives since Rendell handles that really well (and it's not easy to ...more
Caroline Eising
I chose to read Kissing the Gunner's Daughter after reading another author's book that I had disliked, because I wanted to read something dependably entertaining and familiar. I was not disappointed. The observations of small town life and the intricacies surrounding a murder investigation were stock standard for this genre - interesting but rarely hugely surprising. The descriptions of the characters and surroundings are three dimensional without being overwordy. One character in particular I c ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire

Ruth Rendell is so ubiquitously associated with the crime novel in the UK that it's easy to write her off as just another best selling author and forget what an excellent writer she is. Though the ending of this book was a little tangled up and the solutions to the minor mysteries got a little lost in the unveiling of the major mystery it didn't really detract from an excellent plot. There were a lot of characters to keep straight and if I'd read it at a slower pace I might have got irritated an

Jun 20, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, listened-to
My husband and I listened to this book in the car over a the course of a couple weeks. The reader, Davina Porter, was excellent. The story is complex and layered. We both got quite caught up the mystery and discussed it frequently when we were not listening. We figured out more or less who-done-it slightly before Wexford's final explanation but there were still twists in how and why right up to the end. This book is almost surely one that is better listened to slowly than read at a fast pace.
Apr 01, 2012 Kyrie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Definitely one of Rendell's best tales so far. I'd say I could do without the personal life issues, except in this case, they were needed to help Wexford move along and solve things. Or at least they entertwined with the plot well enough I didn't wonder when we were going to get away from his daughters and move on to the "real" story. It definitely had some bizarre twists. I think I need to reread the last chapter to be sure I know who did what and why.
Jul 15, 2015 Donna rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I did not give this book the attention it deserved -- reading it only in bits and pieces as I was falling asleep each night -- so perhaps my rating is a bit skewed.

I tried to think of who was "too present" in the novel for unknown reasons, and ended up suspecting several minor characters wrongly.

I like Inspector Wexford quite a bit and will continue reading this series.
Thoughtful...engaging...evocative...of course, I felt it went on too long. The premise was amusing: two murders committed about a year apart, each with a gun, are immediately understood to have been committed with the same gun. Why? Because it's England and there are not that many guns floating around.

Judith Teggelaar
Nov 10, 2016 Judith Teggelaar rated it it was amazing
WOW! I am so sorry that I came to the end of this book -- it was a thoroughly enjoyable mystery and one that I certainly will read again. A dastardly murder occurs at the beginning of the story and brings Inspector Wexford on the scene. He solves this crime and another and also deals with concerns about his daughter.
Amanda Patterson
May 20, 2011 Amanda Patterson rated it liked it
I have read all of Chief Inspector Wexford's investigations as penned by Ruth Rendell. I have become acquainted with his wife and daughters. And learned about the sibling rivalry between them.
Wexford is a bit of an old-fashioned plodder. He is not a rogue, rough around the edges detective. If you like old-fashioned police procedurals you will love this series.
Oct 30, 2007 Margie rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, series, u-k
This would get two and a half stars. I liked it, but it wasn't her best. The ending left a bit to be desired.
May 08, 2015 Kay rated it it was amazing
Truly excellent - perhaps the best novel in the series.
Keith Barraclough
Feb 26, 2017 Keith Barraclough rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Ruth Randell after recommendation and I wasn't disappointed. The story did unfold slowly and I found it disconcerting that we had to wait until the last 4 pages for it all to come together. But all told I will read more Wexford.
A long detailed mystery. Starts with the murder of a family and is intriguing enough to keep you reading. Interesting characters are well observed.
The pace is bit slow and the ending tacked on.
She writes good characters and dialogue.
3 stars
Mavis Hewitt
Feb 07, 2017 Mavis Hewitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective
Managed to put this one down, some of the Wexford series I've just had to keep reading. Possibly because I like Wexford had no inkling of 'who dun'it', but a good story none the less.
Mar 19, 2017 Madge rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite good, dragged in some sections.
Dec 30, 2016 Lorelie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Great mystery. I will have to read more of this series!
Aug 20, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it
Another great Inspector Wexford mystery by Ruth Rendell.

In this one three people are killed (slaughtered actually) while eating dinner in a great mansion located in a somewhat secluded, private wooded estate. Yes, they are wealthy. One's a famous author; the other two are her husband and daughter. There is one survivor, a granddaughter, shot in the shoulder and who nearly bleeds to death.

Wexford, with his sidekick, Burden, and various other police aides, officers, and forensics experts set up ca
Dec 26, 2016 John added it
Alan Hughes
Sep 21, 2009 Alan Hughes rated it really liked it
From Kirkus Reviews

Rendell's last few books haven't been up to her extraordinarily high standard, but Chief Inspector Wexford's first appearance since The Veiled One (1988) is cause for celebration. The crime under investigation--the murder of monstrous old novelist Davina Flory, her younger MP husband Harvey Copeland, and her daughter Naomi, along with the shooting of granddaughter Daisy--is thick with mysteries beyond whodunit: What were the two criminals looking for beyond a bit of jewelry?

This is the fifteen book of the Inspector Wexford series, which is becoming better and better....

4* Going Wrong
4* The Keys to the Street
3* The Fever Tree and Other Stories
4* A Judgement in Stone
3* Fall of the Coin
4* People Don't Do Such Things
3* The Girl Next Door
3* Harm Done (Inspector Wexford, #18)

Inspector Wexford series
3* Shake Hands Forever (Inspector Wexford, #9)
3* The Veiled One (Inspector Wexford, #14)
4* Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (Inspector Wexford, #15)
TR From Doon With Death (In
Aug 07, 2013 Liz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rendell-wexford
The emergency call was from a woman who said, “They’re all dead. And I’m going to bleed to death.” When police arrived at the isolated estate in its lovely wooded grounds, they did indeed find celebrity writer Davina Flory, dead at her dining table from a gunshot wound. Her daughter and husband are also dead, and her teenaged granddaughter, the one who telephoned, is wounded, but not seriously. As the only witness to the massacre of her family, she gives the police a great deal of information, b ...more
Pmalcpoet Pat Malcolm
May 28, 2014 Pmalcpoet Pat Malcolm rated it really liked it
Having read the most recent Inspector Wexford titles, I have been making my way back through the older ones I haven't read. What I especially loved about this one was the opportunity to stop along the way and enjoy the natural surroundings as described by author Ruth Rendell. It was fun to look up unfamiliar names of plants and discover how we know them here in the US. At that point the colors and textures came alive and became a very real backdrop to the story. I puzzled along with Wexford and ...more
The crime Inspector Wexford is investigating - the murder of monstrous old novelist Davina Flory, her younger MP husband Harvey Copeland, & her daughter Naomi, along w/ the shooting of granddaughter Daisy - is thick w/ mysteries beyond whodunit: What were the two criminals looking for beyond a bit of jewelry? How did they make their escape? What's happened to Naomi's business partner, Joanne Garland, & what's her connection to Daisy's father, George (Gunner) Jones? What links the killing ...more
An Inspector Wexford novel, he is called to a horrific murder in an English mansion. Three people are murdered at the dinner table. However, there is a survivor, a fourth person. She crawls to the phone to call for help before she bleeds to death. The dead are her mother, grandmother and grandmother's husband. The only family the 17 year old has left is her father, who has not had contact with her since she was a toddler. There are suspects, more victims and a year old, unsolved murder of a poli ...more
Bev Taylor
Jan 05, 2016 Bev Taylor rated it really liked it
sgt martin enters a bank on fri 13th with everything to look forward to. not long after he is dead

wexford and his team r called to tancred house where a wealthy woman, her husband and sister r all found dead and daisy, the grand-daughter barely alive who had crawled to the phone for assistance

r the 2 crimes linked? an intricate plot woven round many disparate and fascinating characters. plus wexford is having his own problems with his daughter

to be honest i would have preferred less narrative
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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)
  • 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)

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