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I'm so glad you did a review of this! I think I'm going to try Rendell one of these days (as opposed to Vine) and this looks like it may be a good place to start. Your review is excellent, and makes this book sound so appealing.


Tara--I really enjoyed this. It had a different feel to it than the Vine novels, and it's not necessarily a surprising read (no astonishing twists) but it was still well done. I'm looking forward to reading more Rendell novels now.


I've read a couple of the Ruth Rendell books (not her Wexford series though) and have really enjoyed those. I read The Bridesmaid by Rendell years ago and loved it.


Iliana--I did mooch the first Wexford book, though I'm not sure when I'll read it. I also read The Bridesmaid quite a while ago and remember liking it (it might have been one of the books that hooked me on her). I wouldn't mind rereading that one.


I had no idea about the Vine/Rendell connection. As a fan of Ruth Rendel I shall try Barbara Van then:) Thanks for the great review!


Just FYI: there's a good film adaptation of this book, called "La Ceremonie", which stars Sandrine Bonnaire. I remember quite liking it, though of course it's not as good as the book. Rendell is amazing.


I think I probably tried reading Ruth Rendell too young. I must have been about 15, had finished all the Agatha Christies and wondered where to go next. I can only recall not liking them, but that was probably teenage disorientation and too much emotional immaturity! One of these days (and certainly if I read any more of your reviews) I will have to try one again.

Dorothy W.

Well, I'll have to add her to my list of crime writers to read! The nonfiction I'm reading now, How Novels Work, talks about Rendell now and then, so she has been on my mind.


I haven't read any of the Barbara Vine books but have enjoyed all the Ruth Rendell books I've read. I'll have to check out some of her Vine books. Great review.


Padma--Yes, she writes under a pen name as well. The Vine books are slightly different. There is still a crime, but she delves into the psychological aspect of them much more. My favorites are Anna's Book (or Asta's Book in the UK), A Dark Adapted Eye and A Fatal Inversion, but pretty much everything I've read by B. Vine has been excellent.
Kitty--I had no idea--I will see if I can get it from Netflix--that sounds great. Is it is a French movie?
Litlove--She's very different than Agatha Christie, so perhaps you weren't in the right mindset for her. A Judgement in Stone might be a good place to start if you decide to give her a try. I plan on reading more and will surely write about them here, too!
Dorothy--Since you are getting into mysteries/crime novels you'll probably come across her eventually. I will have to check out that book--I'd love to read what they have to say about her work!
Lisa--I highly recommend the Vine books! Her writing output is just amazing and I think she is even in her 70s!! She has two books coming out in the UK this fall (a Rendell and a Vine). I may have to break down and order them rather than waiting for US editions!

Candy Schultz

I have never read the B. Vine books but I have read all her crime novels except this one. I assume it is relatively new. I find her psychological acuity in her crime novels sometimes too much to bear. I don't like entering the mind of a sick person. But I am a lifelong fan. I just have to take her in small doses.


Yes, it's a French movie, and it has three of my favorite French actresses in it: Sandrine Bonnaire, Isabelle Huppert, and Virginie Ledoyen. I suddenly have a hankering to see it again.


Candy--I sometimes feel like I read too much crime fiction and mystery novels, but they can be addictive. Some of the mystery novels are just cozies, though, so they balance things out. Judgement in Stone was published in 1977, but she does have a new Rendell novel out this fall (in the UK at least). I've been a fan of the Vine novels for a while and am glad to have so many unread Rendells to look forward to.
Kitty--It sounds interesting. I will definitely be looking for it on Netflix. Interesting that they made a movie out of an English novel--though maybe not so surprising at all?


Kitty--By the way, I think some of her Vine novels were made into films by the BBC, though I've not seen any. I did see some Rendell's made into movies, which I watched earlier this year and enjoyed (not realizing they were taken from books...duh).

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