17th February 1930 – Ruth Rendell born.
With more than 60 titles to her name, Rendell’s last book was The Girl Next Door, which came out last year. It was published along with a 50th anniversary edition of her debut novel From Doon With Death, which saw Inspector Wexford make his debut.
Wexford has appeared in more than 20 novels – the last of which came out in 2013 – and were turned into The Ruth Rendell Mysteries for ITV, with the late George Baker playing the lead role for more than 10 years.
The taciturn inspector worked in Sussex and was prone to “feelings… about some small thing when a case was about to break, and the small thing always turned out to be vital and his hunch seldom wrong”.
She had recently finished work on a new novel, which is set to be published as planned in the autumn.
Rendell also wrote psychological crime thrillers under the pen name Barbara Vine.
In 1996 she was awarded a CBE and in 1997 she was made a life peer.
Sources – google images (for quote) and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-30828386