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Publisher's Summary

The first case for DCI Reg Wexford. When Margaret Parsons disappears, it's assumed that she's run off with another man. But then the missing woman's body is found and a startling discovery is made when Mr. Parsons lets the police into his home...
©2007 Ruth Rendell (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about From Doon with Death

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Masterful novel with beautiful language

Ruth Rendell introduces Detective Inspector Wexford in this book. Set unashamedly in the early 1960s (I. e. contemporary ), the writing is lucid and beautiful. Everything a police procedural should be. The audible book is superbly read, one of the best performances I've heard.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant!

Gripping ride. Was hard to put this one down. Young Wexford was an interesting character to know.

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An enjoyable revisit to the start of Wexford

I read this book many years ago and although it reflects some attitudes of the era (amongst the characters rather than the author). I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the story. The narrator was great with a easy to listen to, relaxing voice.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • connie
  • 12-03-2011

It's worth starting here

I started Rendell with her later Wexford mysteries, but hesitated to spend a credit on this one because it was both older and shorter. I'm glad I finally tired it since it proved a well-wriiten and absorbing mystery made more enjoyable by Rendell's knack for capturing the setting and Wexford's dry wit. The narrator (not favorites Bailey or Anthony) delivers a different but apt voice for Wexford.

58 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicole
  • 09-07-2012

From Doon with Death

Would you listen to From Doon with Death again? Why?

The first Inspector Wexford story, this story is a little dated as you'd expect as it's almost fifty years old. I surmised the murderer early but it was still satisfying to hear the story unfold.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Kathi
  • 12-02-2014

First Inspector Wexford mystery

I enjoy Ruth Rendell's mysteries, have been reading them since the 60's when she began. I could not recall if I had read this one before, the first in which Inspector Wexford and his sidekick Mike Burden appear or not. But I am very happy to have just listened to it.

Although it is clear she has not yet hit her peak, still this is a good story, with good character development. Margaret Parsons, a quiet, unassuming wife, has gone missing. As the story unfolds, we get to see that she had more to her past than might have been first thought.

I have read some reviews that called this kind of so-so. In one way perhaps that is correct--at least by very modern mystery standards. In another, if you consider it for the time in which it was written, it actually reveals a solidly good story, and is helpful for better understanding future Inspector Wexford books. I liked both the story and the narration. Only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because I know how she will go on to grow and develop herself as an author.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 23-03-2014

Spectacular Narration

Where does From Doon with Death rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of many absolutely amazing narrators - the reading really flowed. This is the first book I found truly compelling since the last James Lee Burke book I listened to. It was a good story but the ending situation was not well supported IMO. I was surprised, but a surprise has to be well developed - pretty tricky I guess to keep readers from guessing the ending too soon but not have the end seem to come out of nowhere.

I enjoyed the characters of Wexler and Burton (is that his name) and plan to get more from this series. I've always been a fan of Ruth Rendell and have probably read some of these years ago but this one was new to me. Thanks for including it, Audible!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Kathy in CA
  • 08-06-2016

Engrossing

After decades enjoying various cozy mysteries, I don't know how I'd missed Ruth Rendell. I'm delighted to discover a whole new wealth of books to enjoy.

I'd say that these are comparable to TV's Midsomer Murders, though of a different time period.

I spotted the secret early but not the villain and enjoyed the way it gradually unfolded. Narrator is awesome, able to voice varied characters of both sexes transparently so that I felt as if it was a cast speaking.

I look forward to more in series.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bull
  • 17-10-2012

A very pedestrian mystery

Early Ruth Rendell sounds a lot like an Agathy Christie impersonator. It's fine, it's entertaining, the plot is clever, the dialog is witty. But compared to the mature Rendell it is a pale shadow. Probably an essential read for folks who are interested in seeing the arc of a great mystery writer from her early beginnings. A lesser narrator than Terrence Hardiman would have moved this novel to one-star status.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Allison
  • 16-03-2016

Nice step back

I really enjoyed this calm story unfolding-other reviewers have said it's dated, but that was part of the attraction for me. The character development with thorough and well done, and I did not guess correctly whodunit which is another positive. It is short, but that wasn't a big deal.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • A. Percival
  • 20-05-2021

Set in the 1960s

I was having a really hard time wrapping my head around this novel until I looked up the year it was published (1964) and then the pieces clicked into place. Going in knowing that, it is a pleasant enough police mystery. The POV seemed to bounce between Wexford and another detective, and I had trouble distinguishing between them. It felt rather old-fashioned and slow. I don't think I'll be continuing with the series.

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  • Arlene Olsen
  • 12-05-2021

I like inspector Wexford

Like the book overall and the story, wasn’t my favorite narrator. I guess I have a hard time with change.

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  • Roberta L. Ruben
  • 29-01-2021

Twisted Tale of Love

The author has once again created a character so unique that I could believe she was a murderer. Wexford, using his skills of dedication and organization determined that this was a love hate relationship which most us would never have guessed. I had to listen to every word of this tale and still never guessed who done it.

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  • T
  • 04-05-2015

Convention-breaking period piece

This was Ruth Rendell’s first novel, and our introduction to her Inspector Wexford. For the modern listener, it's a little like getting into the mood and mores of an Agatha Christie novel because it is firmly set in another era. Apparently the dénouement was controversial and regarded a ground-breaking back in 1964 when it was first published. Most readers/listeners nowadays will have seen it coming, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good listen. It’s well read, a good story in itself and of course sets the scene for more than 20 further Inspector Wexford novels to follow.

16 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kirstine
  • 30-06-2010

Vintage Rendell

It was interesting to listen to this book as I've seen the TV version a couple of times, but I'd forgotten the ending and so could enjoy the gradual detection process of Wexford's incisive mind. As with other Ruth Rendell novels, there's plenty of psychological disfunction and complex motivations displayed before the killer is revealed.
I believe this is either the first or one of the earliest Inspector Wexford novels. Wexford's character comes over strongly, but Inspector Burdon doesn't figure as prominently as he does in later books.
It's a well-crafted story with false trails but it all hangs together in a satisfactory way and the ending is a bit of a surprise, but not entirely implausible.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Annie
  • 11-05-2016

The First Case!

In this book we first meet DCI Reg Wexford.
The lady disappears & a body is found.
Who did it?
This is the basic plot.
The reader did well, but having got to know Wexford on TV, it is hard to accept another voice.
I think that the books got better as the characters developed, but it's always worth hearing the first book in a series.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Vicuña
  • 21-07-2015

Slow and slightly dated but great characters

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it introduces Wexford. It's slow in pace, but measured. A relaxing listen with a range of characters and a neat little murder mystery which explores motivation.

What was one of the most memorable moments of From Doon with Death?

The denouement.

What does Terrence Hardiman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

His narration is excellent, brings a different and recognisable voice to each character.

Any additional comments?

Surprised at how quickly this book has dated in terms of language and attitudes. The professional classes resent the interference of police interrupting dinner parties and cocktails. There are references to underlings. Having 'a gay countenance' and a 'queer turn' now have a different meaning. Despite the anachronistic feel, it's an interesting tale which meanders around a number of potential suspects as motives and alibis are explored. I enjoyed it and found it a gentle and relaxing tale of truth, lies and dark secrets.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Monica
  • 01-06-2015

Ruth Rendell RIP I need to start at the beginning

What made the experience of listening to From Doon with Death the most enjoyable?

I have read most of Ruth Rendell's books, but decided after her death to listen to the first Wexford story and was not disappointed

Who was your favorite character and why?

Always Wexford, he is my type of man

Have you listened to any of Terrence Hardiman’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the first Terrence Hardiman performance I have listened to but I really liked his voice.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Never judge a book by its inscription.

Any additional comments?

Nope

7 people found this helpful

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  • ZippyTip
  • 28-11-2019

An easy listen and a good story with nothing gory

Very nearly gave up on this book because of the irritating poetry at the start of every chapter, which I felt really didn’t add to the story. However, I’m glad I persevered with this book as it was a good easy listen and it gave an interesting insight into a bygone age.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Much Read Photographer
  • 20-05-2016

Really enjoyed!

Any additional comments?

It is difficult to find fault with any of Ruth Rendell's work and I especially love the Inspector Wexford series. This was up there amongst her best work.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Maryb
  • 09-03-2016

Typical Ruth Rendell. As always a good plot.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes if you are a Rendell fan. Lots if subtle hints throuout.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

A subject not often spoken about back then.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The husband interpretation made me laugh.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Probably.

Any additional comments?

The voices were good but some were amusing. Made me lol.

2 people found this helpful

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  • melissa
  • 17-11-2015

Great first book as all her books.

Liked the narrator. I have read many of her books but decided to read them in order now on audible. V enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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  • bibliophile
  • 04-08-2015

Excellent!

The plot is well developed and the characterisation of Wexford and Burden heightens the interest. Expertly read, too!

2 people found this helpful

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