All bow for the Baroness of Crime!

Books by Ruth Rendell / Barbara Vine in Westminster LibrariesThe red velvet was brought out and draped at Mayfair Library to welcome the Labour peer and author Baroness Ruth Rendell when she visited last Thursday.

A packed house of very appreciative fans listened to her describe her early years as a writer, the progress of her career over almost 50 years, her many awards and why she also writes as Barbara Vine – she wrote A Dark-adapted Eye and as a psychological thriller it didn’t feel right to publish it under her Ruth Rendell name as it was “different”.

Ruth said more questions were asked in the evening at Mayfair than at much bigger venues – we really didn’t want her to leave!

She appears both practical and straightforward: when asked where she draws her inspiration for her psychopaths and criminals – was it from studying psychology? – she revealed that one sees strange people all around and she doesn’t need to study because she observes.

She was also asked whether she likes the characters in her books, and replied that it is just fiction and she doesn’t like or dislike them. Chief Inspector Wexford from her Wexford novels is most like her, he holds same social and political values and she finds writing the Wexford novels easier than others.

And when asked if she is going to continue writing she replied

“Of course, I enjoy writing – and what else would I do?”

Ruth Rendell at Mayfair Library, February 2013We put on this event assisted by the Friends of Mayfair Library, and after refreshments, a book raffle, book signing, much applause and a presentation of flowers, everyone left knowing they had been in the presence of a legend.

The latest Barbara Vine is out this month – ‘The Child’s Child’ – and we are already looking forward to next year and another novel.

Some comments from the audience:

“A truly delightful evening – Ruth Rendell came across as a very modest author, charming and relaxed.”

“The author was splendid – articulate and lucid.”

“I really enjoyed the evening – very biographical… and it was good to see the audience asking so many questions – some very much to the point.”

A rapt audience for Ruth Rendell at Mayfair Library, February 2013



3 responses to “All bow for the Baroness of Crime!

  1. Christopher Barr

    It was a great evening and fascinating to learn how she was instrumental in changing the whole genre of crime fiction.


  2. Pingback: You’ve got a Friend in Mayfair | Books & the City

  3. Pingback: “It’s a lovely job – I’ve been so lucky” | Books & the City

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