2014: 46. The St. Zita Society

"Someone had told Dex that the Queen lived in Victoria."

The St. Vita Society, Ruth Rendell

Another Rendell, but a timely one to re-read after just finishing Servants, as it concerns a group of people who all work as help of one sort of another on the same snooty block in England.  They form a group - the St. Vita Society (evidently St. Vita is the patron saint of servants), and the book tracks them over the course of a year as (duh this is a Rendell) dark things happen.  It is one of those Rendells where there is a vague psychopathic person, bien sur, but he's not the focus (though SPOILER he is related to the bad thing that happen), but it's also one of those Rendells where a seemingingly normal person become involved in crime, and that's much more my bailiwick.  Moreover, it's  just a fun read - the inhabitants of the square are great characters - from Rabia, the nanny who loves her charge as if he were her own, to Monserrat, the au pair with eyes on something bigger, to June, the long time retainer.  Rendell definitely captures how weird service is in this day and age - the uneasy relationships between employer and employee, and the many different kind of jobs that can constitute "help."  A fun mystery for sure, and with a little bit of social commentary buried within - how can you go wrong? 

Categories:  Ruth Rendell Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017