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Ruth Rendell dies at 85; prolific English mystery writer
Ruth Rendell dies at 85; prolific English mystery writer

When the after-dinner speaker at a tennis club banquet clutched his chest and keeled over dead, one door slammed shut and another flew open for a young writer named Ruth Rendell. Reporting for a local newspaper, Rendell wrote an account of the gala without actually having attended it, thereby missing the speaker's death and the most dramatic event of the day in the placid English town of Chigwell. She resigned immediately — but, still in her early 20s, poured herself into fiction, ultimately penning about 70 mystery novels and psychological thrillers to become one of the most celebrated crime writers in the English-speaking world. Rendell, creator of the gruff, literate,...

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