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Ruth Rendell or Barbara Vine?

Crime, Thriller & Mystery

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Feb 2, 2010, 11:39pm Top

Ruth Rendell is my favorite writer . . . well, except for Barbara Vine, that is. I love discussing her books under either name, and enjoy knowing how others feel about them. I've read most of her books at least twice, and many of the Vines 3 to 5 times each - one of them,ASTA'S BOOK - titled ANNA'S BOOK in the US, has become an an annual tradition - I've read it 13 times.

Edited: Feb 8, 2010, 12:05pm Top

Have not read any of hers, but checked her on Internet and sound interesting. I do like British mysteries. Have you tried any of Caroline Graham's, P.D. James, or Martha Grimes?

Feb 8, 2010, 1:20pm Top

Strangely Anna's Book is one of the few BV/RRs I haven't read and I consider myself a fan of sorts. It's on my lookout list, but I never see a copy when I'm shopping.

Edited: Feb 8, 2010, 5:23pm Top

i started reading Ruth Rendell....then found out she also wrote under the moniker Barbara Vine....all told i like the "Vine's" more...RENDELL has written some petit stinkers.......

Feb 8, 2010, 11:24pm Top

I enjoy Rendell's Inspector Wexford, series the best.

Feb 10, 2010, 10:01am Top

I'm glad I stumbled on this thread. I discovered this great author a year or two ago, and I think she's great!

I love the differences in writing styles between Ruth Rendell and Barbara Vine. I am just now working my way through the Inspector Wexford series.

MY favorite Ruth Rendell has to be Judgement in Stone and my favorite Barbara Vine is a tie between A Dark Adapted Eye and Asta's Book. I am glad that I have many more of her books left to read!

Mar 5, 2010, 3:23pm Top

I tried reading a Ruth Rendell book once (parts of it were told from the point of view of the killer, a psychopath butcher) and I really couldn't stomach it. I'm not that keen to give her a second try. Barbara Vine, on the other hand, is one of my favourite mystery writers (and yes, I'm aware RR and BV are the same person, but you know what I mean), although I've heard things about her latest, The Birthday Present, that make me think I wouldn't like it. Has anybody read it? Is it darker than her usual stuff?

Mar 5, 2010, 8:20pm Top

#7 You might try reading Rendell's, Insp. Wexford mysteries. They are more like Colin Dexter's mysteries or Peter Robinson's I know what her other books you are talking about. I didn't care for them either.

Mar 5, 2010, 11:48pm Top

I refuse to read her books under either name.

Mar 6, 2010, 8:29am Top

I'm sure it keeps her up at night.

Mar 13, 2010, 7:55am Top

There's a "third" Ruth Rendell too. Aside from the Barbara Vine psychological thrillers, and the Ruth Rendell Inspector Wexford series, there are quite a few Rendell "out of series" titles, including some of her best. For instance, "Live Flesh".

Some of her very earliest books, from the mid to late sixties, were not very good, but since then she's always pleased me. At her very best I'd put her up against "literary" authors...

Mar 25, 2010, 3:56am Top

Barbara Vine all the way. A Dark Adapted Eye and A Fatal Inversion are two of my all time favorites in the genre.

Mar 29, 2010, 5:10pm Top

#7 -- Just finished reading The Birthday Present. I actually thought it was rather weak -- though I did enjoy it. She really has a way of presenting these complicated characters who intersect in life through chance events.

And I love both the styles of Rendell and Vine. I have been a fan for years. And, for whatever reason, the book that still haunts me is The Chimney Sweeper's Boy.

Mar 29, 2010, 7:16pm Top

#13 I know what you mean about The Chimney Sweeper's Boy. I read it years ago. I have been a fan also for a long time. I stick to the Insp. Wexford Mysteries.

Apr 1, 2010, 5:58am Top

Rendell/Vine is an old favorite, especially The Bridesmaid
and The Crocodile Bird.

Apr 1, 2010, 9:57pm Top

#13 and 14 - I know other Rendell/Vine fans who say the same thing about The Chimney Sweeper's boy - and it is a good one, but for me I think A Fatal Inversion is the one that haunts me - just because before I read the book, I had had the fantasy of inheriting a great property when still very young and the fact that Vine made such a common fantasy turn so chilling is just...

Apr 2, 2010, 8:12am Top

Add me to the list of Rendell fans. I started reading her books about a year ago, and as creepy as many of them are, her ability to delve into the mind of the tortured killer and somehow induce sympathy, always amazes me. I haven't read any BV books yet, so I can't compare them.

May 28, 2010, 4:25pm Top

i"m half-way through my third Rendell End in Tearsand so far it's a real bore. This is the second Wexford novel I've read and I really don't find him very interesting at all. I much prefered one of her stand-alone novels which had wonderful macabre wit. It was so nasty and tastey at the same time. Can anyone describe what is the difference between her writing as Rendell or Vine? And is her work anything like PD Jameswhom I've never read.

May 29, 2010, 9:22am Top

My favorite book of hers is under Barbara Vine, and it's A Dark Adapted-Eye. I think I tend toward Vine for more psychologically-oriented suspense.

May 29, 2010, 11:06am Top

well for the most part James is a police procedural writer and sticks to one series featuring Adam Dalgliesh, her main protagonist. The earlier books are better because I think these days she's lost touch with current methodology and technology and the books suffer for it. But I don't read Rendell's cop series so I can't compare the two. One glaring difference is Rendell's first-person or omniscient portrayal of sociopaths. She's often hiding out in the minds of her criminals and James never does that. James's books follow a much more calculated formula and Rendell's don't. That's not to say that you'll solve a James book before she wants you to, she just pretty much writes the same action sequence for every book.

May 29, 2010, 4:39pm Top

The one PD James book that reminded me of Ruth Rendell's more psychological books is the out-of-series title Innocent Blood. It's been a while since I read it but I recall thinking it was pretty good.

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