To Fear a Painted Devil

To Fear a Painted Devil

by Ruth Rendell

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He was young, arrogant, wealthy and in the bloom of health—or was he?

“Undoubtedly one of the best writers of English mysteries and chiller-killer plots.”—The Los Angeles Times

Like any small community, Linchester has its intrigues: love affairs, money problems, unhappy marriages. But the gossip is elevated to new heights when young Patrick Selby dies on the very night of his beautiful wife’s birthday party.

The whole neighborhood was there, witness to the horrible attack of wasp stings Patrick suffered at the end of the evening. But did Patrick die of a wasp sting? Dr. Greenleaf thinks not. Heart failure, more likely.

Still, Greenleaf isn’t at peace about his death. After all, everyone in Linchester hated Patrick. With the help of a certain naturalist, Dr. Greenleaf begins to think about murder. . . .

“Rendell is awfully good.”—The New York Times Book Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780099203605
Publisher: Random House, Incorporated
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 1.00(h) x 6.80(d)

About the Author

Ruth Rendell is the author of Road Rage, The Keys to the Street, Bloodlines, Simisola, and The Crocodile Bird. She is the winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award. She is also the recipient of three Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America and four Gold Daggers from Great Britain’s Crime Writers Association. In 1997, she was named a life peer in the House of Lords. Rendell also writes mysteries under the name of Barbara Vine, of which A Dark-Adapted Eye is the most famous. She lives in England.

Date of Birth:

February 17, 1930

Place of Birth:

London, England


Loughton County High School for Girls, Essex

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Excerpted from "To Fear a Painted Devil"
by .
Copyright © 1987 Ruth Rendell.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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To Fear a Painted Devil 2.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tamsin and Patrick Selby have an unhappy marriage. Tamsin is a beautiful young woman just on the verge of turning 27. Her husband, who also happens to be her first cousin, is very controlling, down to dictating what kind of clothes his wife should wear (plain in subdued colours), whether she should wear makeup (she shouldn't) and how she is to keep the house (immaculate). They live in a beautiful house in the fictional housing development of Linchester, Nottinghamshire, and Tamsin has invited their neighbours to a get-together she's organized for her birthday. Patrick is rude to her and the guests throughout, and when he gets repeatedly stung by several wasps, no one is much chagrinned by his plight, nor when he is found dead the next day. The local doctor doesn't believe in foul play until some persistent gossiping leads him to investigate a little further to find out if there's any truth to claims that beautiful Tamsin had something to do with Patrick's death. There is an interesting sub-plot having to do with a painting of John the Baptist's head on a bloody platter and it's a good enough story, but none of the characters made much of an impression on me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A bit different from her other books but still well worth reading
carnation More than 1 year ago
I have read at least 40 Ruth Rendell books over the last 10-12 years. Without a doubt, "To Fear A Painted Devil" was the hardest to comprehend. I finished reading it, but the many confusing characters did not make it an easy read. If you can borrow it from a library, it would save you some money, but it's not worth buying either as a book or a Kindle read.