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No Man's Nightingale

(Inspector Wexford #24)

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  2,379 ratings  ·  405 reviews
A female vicar named Sarah Hussein is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who discovers her body, happens to also be in the employ of retired Chief Inspector Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, detective inspector Mike Burden, Wexford, intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, leaps at the ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 18th 2013 by Hutchinson (first published 2013)
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Elizabeth Elwood Just saw this question! Actually, I do think it was one of her best, but that's because I really like the Wexford novels. If you're more into her…moreJust saw this question! Actually, I do think it was one of her best, but that's because I really like the Wexford novels. If you're more into her stand-alone books with the darker themes, this would not be a favourite.(less)

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Average rating 3.55  · 
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Diane S ☔
3.5 For almost fifty years Rendell has been writing her Wexford novels and Inspector Wexford has aged right along with the series. He is now retired, plowing his way through "The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire." In this novel it is mentioned that this is the goal of many a retiree, not one of mine, but that Wexler is actually accomplishing this and enjoying it as well. At the end of the novel he is I believe on volume 6.

Although his body has aged, his mind has not and he still finds solving
...more
Bettie



Description: A female vicar named Sarah Hussein is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who discovers her body, happens to also be in the employ of retired Chief Inspector Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, detective inspector Mike Burden, Wexford, intrigued by the unusual circumstances of the murder, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators.

A single mother to a teenage girl, Hussein was a woman working in a
...more
Neil
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a real pleasure to revisit Wexford in his retirement although this time he has been called in as a kind of consulting detective with his old bagman Burden, now Superintendent Burden and very much the boss.

The local vicar, a single mother of mixed race, a combination designed to bring out the very worst in her more conservative parishioners has been battered to death in the vicarage. A high profile murder and Burden has asked his old superior to assist and Wexford gladly agrees.

He does so
...more
Elizabeth Elwood
I really enjoyed reading this book, not so much for the mystery, although that definitely held my attention, but because of the pure delight of seeing the modern world through the gently bewildered, determinedly tolerant eyes of a retired Inspector Wexford. Being a baby-boomer myself, I related to much of what he was thinking, and I couldn’t help wondering how much the author was expressing her own feelings through her character’s thoughts. The Inspector and his family have become so familiar to ...more
Ian
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Better than the last Wexford, which was dire, but still not one of the best. I know Wexford is now retired but this is still a contemporary novel and shouldn’t feel so “old-fashioned”. I’ve always thought RR’s writing style set her apart from her peers, but the prose here seems plodding and often repetitious. I spotted a couple of unforgiveable errors again (the name of the supermarket changes from the fictional Questo to the real life Tesco and Burden’s calendar has photos of police station at ...more
Susan Johnson
Let me begin by saying that I love the Inspector Wexford series. It's one of my favorites but the problem with this one is that much of the book is based on an inaccuracy. The novel says specifically that two brown eyed parents can not have a blue eyed child. This isn't true. If both parents had a blue eyed parent then they have a 25% chance of having a blue eyed child. Are there no editors anymore to catch this stuff?
I wish Wexford had not retired. Burden seems to be a little heavy handled in
...more
J.R.
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
There are aspects of the Victorian novel in this latest Wexford and the slow pace probably won’t appeal to those who prefer more action and less ratiocination.

The plot centers on the murder of a female vicar whose sex, race and status as a single mother have not won her much sympathy among her conservative flock. These factors open the door to multiple suspects and numerous red herrings.

Reg Wexford in retirement seems to have become rather stuffy and even a bit of a crank, though the
...more
Bibliophile
The murder mystery was dull, the plot disjointed and the social commentary jarring. Maybe I'm missing something, not being a regular reader of the these mysteries, but this did not feel like a contemporary novel. So many weird references! For instance, a female character talks about buying condoms for her teenage son, and how the pharmacist must have thought she was a transvestite. Had to read that several times before I realized she meant that a woman shopping for condoms is unheard of.
Also,
...more
Maria
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I expect formulaic, but not such predictability I just yawn & yawn.
Tex
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really appreciated how Rendell can put so much activity into a book and make it all seem relevant and potentially menacing at the same time. On the other hand, I rarely fully comprehend her book titles (although they probably actually relate to the story where many mystery books are merely puns on death stuff).
At the base of this story, a vicar (woman, escandelo!) has been murdered and she's really just too nice to have been killed, so who on earth... Racism, fantacism, and accentism all play
...more
Berenike
2.5 - according to goodreads somewhere between 'okay' and 'I liked it' (but nothing special, so I should probably round down)

Wexford was a surprisingly bearable investigator, the crime/murder itself wasn't terribly fascinating but interesting enough, and the other characters were maybe a little one-dimensional but it didn't bother me too much.

And at least the murderer was definitely a surprise.
...more
Chris
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Perfectly competent murder mystery. If you like the rest of Rendell's Wexford series, you'll like this one. The lackluster rating is from a few ticks that I'm finding more than a little bit annoying:

a) Rendell never gets over her really really white perspective on growing societal diversity, especially cultural mixing and immigration. She's overall most of the time, I think, intending to be good about it, in a didactic way, but pretty much all her core character remain, book after book,
...more
Julie
No Man's Nightingale: An Inspector Wexford Novel by Ruth Rendell is 2013 Simon and Schuster publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

When a female vicar is found murdered, the now retired Inspector Wexford is invited by his former partner, Michael Burden to help investigate.
Sarah Hussein left behind a seventeen year old daughter named Clarrisa. Evidently, Clarrisa's father is unknown and this leads to much speculation. The
...more
David Wardell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peter
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Twenty-four books into the series and Wexford is retired. Burden has taken over Wexford's office and the stage is set for an interesting look at the conflicts and complications that could arise as both Burden and Wexford juggle their new-found roles as friends. Sadly, to me anyway, the attempt to create conflict, crisis and even co-operation between these two was weak in this novel. Ruth Rendell sets up an interesting crime, and she still is a master of plot, red-herrings and the creation of ...more
b e a c h g o t h
Most drawn out, boring-conclusion crime novel I have ever read.
I cannot believe I forced myself through all of this.
Jaksen
May 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, standard, Wexford mystery in which, when retired, good old Reg tries to help solver a murder mystery involving a female vicar. However, I did find it a bit convoluted in places, as if Ms Rendell had to stand on her head, etc., in order to make thinks come out right. There's also the case of her making a mistake involving heredity, and the reason one has blue eyes, brown eyes, etc. Unfortunately, eye color is one of those traits which is controlled by groups of genes, and not just two (or ...more
Felix Hayman
I have never been a great fan of the Wexford novels of Rendell.Perhaps it is that they have stuck almost religiously to the police procedural and also the fact that Reg Wexford is the most annoying detective in crime fiction,and, for most of us ,we are burdened(good pun there) with the voice of George Baker in our heads forever.

But "No Man's Nightingale" is a good read as we are thrown back into Retirement Reg's world once again.This time Wexford is puzzled by the murder of a local vicar, her
...more
Jill Hutchinson
I have always loved the Wexford books and have read almost all of them. But I think the author made a mistake when she had him age along with the books and retired him from the police force. He is now a civilian who gets involved in crimes, sometimes by request of the police, and sometimes on his own. I can't get used to this approach and he seems like an incidental character on the outside looking in. This may not bother other readers but it bothers me.

In this tale, the local female vicar is
...more
Kirsti
Jul 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, anger, mystery
Beautifully written with great character development as always, but I felt like it didn't really add up to anything in terms of the plot. Rendell always seems to think that she's smarter than her characters. This is true, but it isn't entertaining.
Linda Rowland
Aug 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What can I say? Done and done. Beautiful ending.
Louise
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Slow paced Wexford story, engaging enough though, always good to catch up with Reg.
Carol
It moves a little slowly, but since Wexford is older, that seems apt. Kept me going at the gym, even after a spin class, so there's that...

I do enjoy the Inspector Wexford series...
Barbara Cromer
Nov 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like this series.
Lynn Weber
I have issues. Full review to come.
David Pearce
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love reading the Wexford books and always have.No Man's Nightingale is the final Wexford book and a thoroughly fitting end to the series and for the character, arguably of the two best realised policemen in the literature of the last 30 years. Reg Wexford is now retired and living in less than contented retirement. He is very happy when Mike Burden, his old assistant and his successor, asks him to be the adviser on the case. The case itself is the usual complex riddle of the kind that Ruth ...more
Cleopatra  Pullen
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-series, own
If asked I would undoubtedly state that I prefer Ruth Rendell’s standalone work to the Wexford series and I prefer her writing as Barbara Vine to both but that is a little bit disingenuous as I am very fond of dear old Wexford, this was the man who shepherded in my crime reading tendencies in early adulthood and having checked out the publication dates he’d already had at least fourteen books published about him by then.

Anyway by the time we get to book number twenty-four Wexford is in
...more
Maxine
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When the vicar of St Peter's Church in Kingsmartin is found murdered, there are a lot of suspects. The fact that the vicar was a woman, half Indian, and a single mother had made her unpopular with many both in her congregation and throughout the village. Although Wexford is now retired, he is asked to assist by his replacement in the police. When they make an arrest, Wexford is convinced they have the wrong man but he's the only one who thinks the man is innocent and he is determined to find the ...more
Brian Clegg
I've always had mixed feelings about Ruth Rendell, and this is a book that highlights her bad points more than her good. One of the problems here is that the main police character, Wexford, has now retired and so has to act as an unpaid sidekick to the endlessly bland Burden, with much agonising about what is and isn't appropriate now that Wexford isn't really a policeman.

The plot seems to be derived primarily to allow for Rendell's usual musings on political correctness from Wexford's viewpoint
...more
R.L.
Sep 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wexford is now retired. His life is anything but boring with the incessant chatter of his gossiping house keeper. Burden has taken his position in the police force. There is some tension between these two friends as Burden asks Wexford to be an observer and help on a case that has recently come up. The case is that of the murder of a woman vicar in her home. The woman had some trouble with a few parishioners because of her skin color and because she was using newer translations of the Book of ...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.

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)