Whither Wexford?

The Telegraph’s gossip columnist Mandrake (aka Tim Walker) caught up with Ruth Rendell at a book party and reported the following, in relation to her upcoming Inspector Wexford novel MONSTER IN THE BOX, due for publication in October: “I don’t

want to do any more Wexfords. This is the last one. I have other interests


I want to keep writing for as long as I can but just on my other

Rendells. I suppose I shall do that until I am told not to.” But her longtime editor at Hutchinson, Paul Sidey, was quick to deny such talk at the Guardian: “I was rather surprised to hear the news, and having just spoken to

Ruth she said nothing of the kind,” he said. “So on it goes. I’m in my

27th year as her editor and I’d be very disappointed to lose Reggie

from my life.”

Considering that MONSTER IN THE BOX, her 22nd book in the series, is part current-day story, part origin tale of how Wexford came to be the investigator that he is, and considering further that Rendell turns 80 next year, I’m inclined to stick with the Telegraph on this one – even though it’s just as possible Rendell got misquoted. Whatever the case, it’s clear Wexford isn’t long for this literary world, and we’re just talking about how much more life the old bird has in him yet…