From Doon with Death
The first Wexford novel published by John Long in 1964
The trampled grass led to the body of Margaret Parsons. With no useful clues and a victim known only for her mundane life, Chief Inspector Wexford is baffled until he discovers Margaret’s dark secret - a collection of rare books, each inscribed from a secret lover and signed only as ‘Doon’.
Who is Doon? And could the answer hold the key to Wexford solving his first case?
The verses at the beginning of each chapter and the inscriptions in Minna’s books appear in The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.
I had to give him a name. I’d just been on holiday in Ireland and it was a choice between whether he was called Waterford or Wexford, and Wexford won, I don’t know why. The same thing applied to the name of the town, which is based on Midhurst in Sussex, where I lived for a while as a child. And I chose Kingsmarkham because my son, who was a little boy at the time, had a friend who was called Markham. And the Kings, it was either kings or bishops. Again. I chose kings.—Ruth Rendell 2
Searching for Kingsmarkham with The Curiously Specific Book Club.
Adapted for TV by George Baker in 1991.
Melvyn Bragg interviews Ruth Rendell for The Southbank Show in 2004.
Contemporary Reads 3
Hillary Waugh - The Missing Man
Georges Simenon - Maigret and the Ghost
Patricia Highsmith- The Two Faces of January
Agatha Christie - A Caribbean Mystery
Iris Murdoch - The Italian Girl
Celia Fremlin - The Jealous One
Essay on Inspector Wexford Penguin Books. ↩︎
The People’s Detective, ITV 2010. ↩︎
Book links may earn this site a small commission. ↩︎