London, May 3:
British crime fiction writer Ruth Rendell, author of more than 60 bestselling thrillers, died on Saturday in London, her publisher, Penguin Random House, said. She was 85.
Rendell, who suffered a stroke in January, created the popular Inspector Wexford series and was known for the psychological depth of her works, which at times dealt with social problems.
In a communique, her publisher regretted the passing of “the last grande dame of the police thriller”, whose works were translated into more than 20 languages and latest one “Dark Corners”, goes on sale next October.
“We are devastated by the loss of one of our best-loved authors,” the publishing house said in a communique, adding that Rendell began publishing with Hutchinson in 1964 and also wrote under the pen name of Barbara Vine for Penguin, both belonging to the same publishing group.
Ruth Rendell, who considered herself a leftist, was made a baroness by the Labour government in 1997, and from the House of Lords she promoted progressive causes including the current law against female genital mutilation.
Susan Sandon of Cornerstone Publishing said that “her writing and her company enriched all our lives.”
Her thrillers about Inspector Wexford were made into a television series in Britain under the title of “The Ruth Rendell Mysteries” and she also published many psychological suspense novels that went far beyond the usual scope of mysteries and crime fiction.
Born on February 17, 1930, in London, Rendell, who started her career as a journalist, leaves a legacy of more than 60 novels that have won numerous awards, including a number of British Gold Daggers for Fiction and Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards, the most prestigious of the category. (IANS)