2012: 7. The Copper Peacock

"A famous designer, young still, who first became well-known when she made a princess's wedding dress, was coming to speak to the women's group of which Bridget Thomas was secretary." ~First lines of "A Pair of Yellow Lillies"

The Copper Peacock and Other Stories, Ruth Rendell

A typically fun collection by Rendell.   You know, short stories of this sort really are a lost art - unless the author is already successful, like Rendell, or Stephen King, where do you ever stumble upon a genre short story? Not a New Yorker slice of life type thing, but a short mystery, or horror story? For that matter, where, other than The New Yorker (and small literary magazines that no one reads) do they even publish short stories these days? It's a shame, because there is something very enjoyable about picking up a short story collection where the stories are all small creepy mysteries knocked out efficiently (rather than short ponderous think pieces you have to figure out at the the end).   These particular stories range from suspense to mystery, and most of the stories are stand-alones, though there is one Wexford at the end.  While they slant towards the psychological suspense angle that Rendell is known for, they aren't too overbearing in that way (which is to say, they aren't all about psychopaths, as some of her later novels tend to be).   If you like Rendell, you'll definitely like these, and if you haven't read her, it's be a good place to start.

Categories: Fiction, Ruth Rendell Project 

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017