Monday, May 16, 2011

BOOK: Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell

Tigerlily's Orchids by Ruth Rendell, 280 pages

Mystery and Suspense Challenge; review book from

As mysteries go, this was a quiet one. No detective called in to solve the case, no amateur sleuth who just happens to be around. No, this is not a cozy mystery nor a police procedural both of my usual mystery fares. There's not even a death until well over halfway through the book. It reminded me of Rear Window, the Jimmy Stewart/Hitchcock movie where the man across the street, bored with a broken leg, begins spying on his neighbours across the street. There actually is a bored man across the street who 'keeps an eye' on his neighbours in the apartment of flats across the street, or whatever those are called in London. He likes to give names to everyone and imagine their relationships. As the reader, we get to see the truth about the people, and how wildly off he is in his nosiness.

No, it's not a classic mystery, but it was a great story. Seeing how the tenants were connected, and what was going on in their lives - some sad, some cute, some tragic, made for great reading. As the characters got more and more entwined, as people who live near each other are wont to do, I was kept on the edge of my seat. It wasn't scary suspense, but there was a feeling that something would happen to someone, and soon. There were some surprises and the plot moved quickly in the second half. I enjoyed the characters although they weren't all good people. It's a story with characters that lie to the police because they have something to hide, but not related to the case usually. Sigh, it must be tough to be a police officer investigating a case.

Great writing, interesting characters, and a that plot meanders for an enjoyable read.

This is my contribution for this week's Crime Fiction Alphabet. Ruth Rendell for the letter R. Rendell has written a pile of mysteries, prolific would be the term. How have I never read any of her books? There is a series with Inspector Wexford, and a large number of stand-alones, plus even more written as Barbara Vine. I managed to pick up another book at the used book sale: The Water's Lovely. Can't wait.

Rendell has been winning awards from the Crime Writers' Association  since 1976, up to the 1991 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger and the 2004 Gumshoe Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Hosted by Kerri at Mysteries in Paradise
By Friday of each week you have to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week.
Your post MUST be related to either the first letter of a book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname.
So you see you have lots of choice.
You could write a review, or a bio of an author, so long as it fits the rules somehow.