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Ruth Rendell
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    (February 17, 1930-May 2, 2015)
    Born in South Woodford, England, United Kingdom
    Birth name was Ruth Barbara Grasemann
    Wrote a series of police procedurals featuring Chief Inspector Wexford, including 'From Doon with Death' (1964), 'Wolf to the Slaughter' (1967), 'Some Live and Some Die' (1973), 'An Unkindness of Ravens' (1985), 'Kissing the Gunner's Daughter' (1991), 'The Monster in the Box' (2009) and 'No Man's Nightingale' (2013)
    Non-Wexford crime novels include 'To Fear a Painted Devil' (1965), 'One Across, Two Down' (1971), 'A Judgment in Stone' (1977), 'The Killing Doll' (1984), 'Talking to Strange Men' (1987), 'Going Wrong' (1990), 'Adam and Eve and Pinch Me' (2001) and 'Dark Corners' (2015)
    Using the pen name Barbara Vine, wrote 'A Fatal Inversion' (1987), 'King Solomon's Carpet' (1991), 'Asta's Book' (1993), 'The Blood Doctor' (2002), 'The Minotaur' (2005) and 'The Child's Child' (2012)
    Named a Life Peer as Baroness Rendell of Babergh (1997)
    She was a newspaper reporter until she skipped a local sports club dinner and filed a story based on the after-dinner speaker's pre-printed remarks -- and thus failed to report that the speaker collapsed and died mid-speech.
    She divorced and remarried Don Rendell.
    She had a reputation as a difficult interviewee.
    She bristled at being called 'the queen of crime,' saying the title was 'snide and sexist.'
    She was fluent in Swedish and Danish in addition to English.
    She was a patron of the charity Kids for Kids which helps children in rural Darfur.
    In the House of Lords, she introduced the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2003).
    John Mortimer said, 'If it weren't for a ridiculous literary snobbery about 'crime writing,' Ruth Rendell would be acclaimed as one of our most important novelists.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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