2011: 40. Tigerlily's Orchids

“Olwen was in Wicked Wine, buying gin.”

Tigerlily’s Orchids, Ruth Rendell

Another fun standalone Rendell.  In some sense, it’s typical of her work - a motley crew of characters wend their way to the ultimate conclusion, usually a sort of horrible one, but I particularly enjoyed this one for a few reasons.  One, there wasn’t really that horrible sociopathic serial killer type she returns to so often, just your average regular human horribleness (and goodness too).  Two, I found the characters pretty interesting - from Olwen, determinably drinking herself to death, to stupid Stuart, who lets an inheritance go to his head (and ruin his life), and all the other neighborhood characters.  I liked that, while this was a crime novel, it was also largely a slice of life type novel, just telling us about all these people.  It actually felt like The Rottweiler, but without the part where it was so clearly obvious and annoying who the criminal was.  Here she found a better balance between the crime story and the story story - or managed to make them feel like an integrated whole.  

Categories: Ruth Rendell Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017