guess I've come a long way in getting over my phobia about reading a
series out of order. When I was given the chance to listen to Ruth
Rendell's latest Reginald Wexford novel, I didn't hesitate to say yes.
I have heard only good things about the Wexford books, and my only regret at meeting the chief inspector in his twenty-fourth adventure, No Man's Nightingale, is that I now need to find the time to read the earlier installments. I'm sure Rendell's fans are cringing at all the character development and background I've missed, but I truly didn't notice any gaps.
This review includes no spoilers for No Man's Nightingale, but I don't know what I might be giving away from earlier novels in the series.
- What's the mystery? When his housekeeper discovers the dead body of the local female vicar, Reginald Wexford is called out of retirement to act as a consultant. It appears that, for a number of reasons (she's a woman, she's modern, she's biracial, she's a single mom), the Reverend Sarah Hussain was not universally liked in her parish. As Wexford interviews suspects and digs into the vicar's life, he discovers a complicated mesh of petty crime, secret pasts, and hidden relationships.
- The chief investigator: I liked Wexford's personality: He seems very grounded and has a kind streak, but at the same time, he's no pushover. He also seemed to be at peace with his retirement, but when asked to take a look at the crime scene, he was more than happy to oblige. Rendell did a great job conveying Wexford's struggle with remembering that he is now a civilian, with no real authority.
- The other characters: I liked that we get a glimpse of Wexford's wife, daughter, and grandson because it allows us to see the man in his different roles. The witnesses, suspects, and red herrings are all convincingly developed, and I was unable to work out the murderer on my own.
- The audiobook: The unabridged audiobook was produced by Simon & Schuster Audio (8 hr, 44 min). Although my full audiobook review will be published by AudioFile magazine, I'll give you a hint now: I loved narrator Nigel Anthony's characterizations. This is my first experience with Anthony, and I was impressed.
Source: Review (see review policy)
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