On a sultry August evening, the bloody body of a middle-aged woman is discovered beneath a hedge by a small boy. There are only two things that surprise Wexford about the murder scene. One, that the only contents of the woman's handbag are some keys and a wallet containing nothing but some money. And two, how even in death, her deathly grey eyes possess a scornful glare. The woman turns out to be Rhoda Comfrey, but there's no murder weapon, no apparent motive, and no one who actually cares she's died. Wexford's only hunch is that the clues to her murder must lie in her solitary London life. But her existence there becomes frustratingly impossible to trace.
Ruth Rendell has won many awards for her writing, including the Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for 1976's best crime novel with A Demon in My View, a Gold Dagger award for Live Flesh in 1986, the 1990 Sunday Times Literary award, and the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger. In 1996 she was awarded a CBE and in 1997 became a Life Peer. Her new Wexford Case novel,The Monster in the Box, is due to be publishing October 2009.