I just finished reading a pre-pub of the new Ruth Rendell novel due out June 14th, Tigerlily’s Orchids. It is one of her standalone novels outside of the Inspector Wexford series. Now, I love the Inspector Wexford series and do think Rendell is an excellent writer. However, her standalone books are usually just 300 page character sketches with very little plot, and this one is no exception. Reviewers always rave about her characterizations and they are in-depth, usually studies of horrible people you would never want to know. The main plot point happens almost at the end and for most of the book you suffer through reading about variously shallow, rude, boring, stuffy, old-fashioned, generally unlikable characters. I wouldn’t recommend this novel. Wait for the next Inspector Wexford installment.
-contributed by staffer Shannon Baker