Rendell, along with P.D. James, has been credited with changing the course of the mystery novel. Where earlier purveyors of English detective fiction gave us the whodunnit, Rendell is among those who elevated it to the whydunnit, immersing us in the psychology of a killer -- development, environment and sexual obsessions.
With a trunkload of Edgars, Silver Daggers, Gold Daggers, Diamond Dagger and Gumshoe Awards, she's given us a book a year since 1964, writing under Rendell or Barbara Vine. All this while sitting as a member of the House of Lords. Meanwhile, her latest work Portobello comes out in England in November. So we can anticipate yet another next year.
And with her graceful prose and sharp insights into character, we know that Not in the Flesh will have been worth the wait. And the wait is nearly over.