Wednesday, the 10th of March, and time for Shelf Control once again! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, simply pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!

Today my pick’s is another mystery, this time by Ruth Rendell, an author I want to explore more of. I have read a couple of her Inspector Wexford books but she’s written a number of novels and short story collections and I want to pick up a few more. To Fear a Painted Devil is a standalone first published in 1965. This is set in a fictional housing development, Lichester, separated from the grander houses in the area by a line of trees. In our story, Patrick Selby dies on the night of his beautiful wife’s birthday party. At the end of the evening, Patrick is attacked by wasps suffering several bites, and the next day he is found dead. But was it the wasps that killed him? Apparently not, for Dr Greenleaf believes that someone has poisoned him. But who?

English author Ruth Rendell, best known for her character Inspector Wexford, wrote thrillers and psychological murder mysteries. Born in Essex in 1930, she became a features writer on her local Essex Paper after high school. Her first published novel was From Doon with Death in 1964, the first Wexford book, before which she had written two unpublished novels. Besides the twenty-four Wexford books, she also wrote several standalones and short-story collections, and a number of books under her pseudonym Barbara Vine. To Fear a Painted Devil was her second book.

This is a short volume and sounds fairly interesting. From Goodreads reviews I see the victim was expectedly a nasty character and more than one person had a motive. I’ve only read one other book where wasps were the cause of death (though I realise here they probably aren’t) but should be interesting to see how it turns out.

Have you read Rendell? Wexford books or others as well? How did you find them? Any you’d recommend? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!

Find Lisa’s pick this week, the Wayward Pines books, by Black Crouch here.

Book cover and description from Goodreads (here) and author info from Wikipedia (here)


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