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A New Lease of Death Audio Cassette – Jun 1998

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio Cassette, Jun 1998
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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Chivers Word for Word Audio Books (June 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754075176
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754075172
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 10.9 x 5.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
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Product Description


"One of the best novelists writing today"

About the Author

Ruth Rendell is the recipient of several awards, including three Edgars and four Gold Daggers from the UK’s Crime Writers’ Association. Simisola, Blood Lines, Keys to the Street, and The Brimstone Wedding (written as Barbara Vine) are available from Brilliance Audio. She lives in England.

No Bio --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ruth Rendell must be one of the most frustrating authors working in the mystery genre, a woman of considerable talent who seems to go out of her way to undercut her own ability. And A NEW LEASE OF DEATH is rather typical of her work: there is little in the way of plot, and what plot there is is repeatedly swamped by Rendell's determination to expose the psychology of her characters--psychology which is often far-fetched and which seldom has anything to do with anything else in the book.
As the novel begins, Chief Inspector Wexford recalls his first murder case: the ax murder of an elderly woman. Fortunately for the then-inexperienced Wexford, the case was remarkably straight-forward; the woman's handyman was obviously guilty. But now, some fifteen years later, a Vicar named Archery has requested an interview with Wexford about the case, and when he arrives he wants to know if there was even a remote possibility that the man convicted was innocent after all. When Wexford negates the idea, Archery sets off on his own to interview the various people connected with the case, hoping to prove Wexford wrong.
The premise is much more interesting than the novel itself. The book opens with no less than two full chapters of exposition--and then Rendell's oddities take over, knocking herself out to expose the psychology of her characters, whether such has any bearing on the story or not. As for the mystery itself... Rendell writes and presents the story exactly as if she were creating a murder mystery, but there is no mystery, none at all, just a series of revelations that arise through pure coincidence and lead every one to some very obvious conclusions about everything from the crime itself to the way in which their lives have been affected by it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa669f840) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa69c2624) out of 5 stars Rendell rocks Dec 15 2012
By Arti - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've been an Inspector Wexford fan for years but only recently read the first books in the series. This has proven something I always suspected, Rendell rocked from the beginning. Many authors mature and improve over time but Ruth had the goods from the very start. In this book Wexford is forced to revisit a case, his first murder in fact, that he considered closed a long time ago. You are kept guessing till the very end as to whether Wexford got it right in the first place or put away the wrong man. In the usual fashion there is plenty of psychology and little domestic details contributing to the fabric of the novel, drawing you in as you learn more about the characters and their lives. New to Rendell or an old fan, this story will not disappoint. I gave it five stars because the writing is masterful and the plot excellent, making it a crime classic in my book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa69c2870) out of 5 stars Let's reexamine a murder June 23 2015
By Linda W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The mystery revolves on the ramifications of a sixteen year old murder on the lives of key witnesses and family members of the victim and the murderer with much emphasis on the psychological effects on these individuals.
The story vacillates around who killed Mrs. Primero. Did Painter do it or not? If not, who could have and who did?
This book delivers what I think of as a traditional English murder mystery featuring small country towns, walks down High Street, drives in the country, and decrepit houses. Elements exist of honor and morality; where sex is subtle - a touch of a hand, an innocent kiss and adultery is all in the mind.
The story is compelling because we view it from the fears and concerns of a father for his son who, as an adult, has become intimately involved in the ramifications of the murder even though the son was a young child at the time of the murder.
At the end of the story a twist comes into view that I did not see coming but helps to resolve the dilemma of the impact of the murder all these years later.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa69c2ab0) out of 5 stars A New Lease of Death Sept. 7 2013
By Damaskcat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Wexford is asked to meet Henry Archery who wants him to look again at the murder of Mrs Primero which happened fifteen years ago. Wexford believes the correct verdict was reached and as it was his first murder case in which he was the officer in charge he is naturally a bit prickly about it. Archery believes that the killer was wrongly convicted and sets out to prove it. In the process he opens rather too many cans of worms.

This is the second in the Wexford series and very good it is too. There is little overt violence and a great deal of interesting insights into all the characters. The psychological aspects of the murder and its effects on the people concerned are very well done and convincing. I like the police characters and the way Wexford and Burden interact.

I first read this series more than twenty years ago and it has stood the test of time very well indeed and the books bear re-reading.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa69c2d2c) out of 5 stars Bad Seed Theory Sprouts Middling Mystery July 26 2015
By M. Buzalka - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A New Lease of Death (1967) was Ruth Rendell’s second Inspector Wexford novel, but the inspector is really just a supporting character here, and mostly a wet blanket on the investigation to boot. The story focuses on the efforts of a clergyman, the Rev. Henry Archery, to clear the name of the father of his son’s fiancee for the brutal murder he was convicted and executed for 16 years earlier.

His motivation is rather fanciful, that the child of a notorious murderer is somehow tainted either morally or biologically(!) by her parent’s crime even though she was a pre-schooler when the murder happened. This is the “bad blood” theory in full flower that I guess it was still prevalent in Britain into the 1960s (I believe there are some Agatha Christie novels that hinge on a similar assumption).

Anyway, the mystery is kind of interesting, though the good reverend’s amateur sleuthing gets rather irritating, especially when he gets tangled up with a local beauty and doesn’t know how to handle his feelings. I would have much preferred the professional approach of Wexford on the case.

At this point in her career, Rendell seemed fixated on amateurs doing semi-competent detective work. Her two previous novels, Vanity Dies Hard and To Fear a Painted Devil, both had largely out-of-their-league snoopers as the focus, but at least those were standalones. New Lease is supposed to be a Wexford novel, but at this point I guess she wasn’t thinking of a long term series. Here, he is merely a recurring character.

Fortunately, I believe she did begin to focus on Wexford with a second book she published in 1967, Wolf to the Slaughter, which I will be reviewing in due course. Meanwhile, I think New Lease of Death is more for Rendell completists who want to see how Wexford’s character was developed in the early books in which he’s featured.
HASH(0xa6c3b03c) out of 5 stars Satisfying Read March 20 2016
By L. M. Keefer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
A man comes to Inspector Wexford's office inquiring about an old case. An elderly lady was bludgeoned to death, and her yard-repair man was deemed guilty. The murderer's daughter is about to be married to this man's son, and he's worried. Is his son marrying the daughter of a murderer?
And what does that mean for genetics of his future grandchildren? It's possible she isn't the daughter of a murderer, then who is the real murderer?

Inspector Wexford gives him free range to satisfy his curiosity, and talk to the remaining employees and family members of the murdered woman.
New revelations come forward. The case is more complex than at first appears.

This is an original plot with some humor and English atmosphere. Ruth Rendell is a talented writer, and a pleasure to read.