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I guess it is not a mystery to everyone –of course, for the ones who read some of my blog entries— that Ruth Rendell is one of my favorite authors (in a sense that I would read everything she writes), so it is expected that I’ll possibly have biased opinions but if I do sound too favorable which is easy to do, just do say so.  But I promise I will be honest as possible.

This collection of short stories is my first Rendell anthology and it’s not excitement I just felt before I start reading anything from her but it includes expectations for the author I respect and grew to love. Stories from this collection compose of different themes, from the clever happy tone, the mischievous, from the moving and to the shocking. Honestly, some of the stories here leave me with enough confusion. Asking myself like if I really understand the story or it just holds a self-interpretative ending. Some of it are also ‘just okay’ stories, like I’ve fully understand them but I guess I can’t quite relate that makes them less memorable. I also chose not to mention those titles not just with the intention of not spoiling readers but to give them an unbiased reaction when a time came they encounter this collection. All in all, by the time I’m ready to give the whole collection an impression that I don’t like majority of its stories, thus came the moment I read –the title story— The Copper Peacock, which saves the whole team from losing.

The title story is one of the most moving stories I’ve read. It is not just clearly and beautifully written but as I’ve finished reading, I have the triumph of not just having the thought that I’ve understand the story completely –ha-ha— but mostly, a particular character from it still haunts me, which is until now still makes me think of him/her. Oh well.  And a Chief Inspector Wexford –Rendell’s most famous creation— story, just saves the whole ship from sinking. In the end, I realize that what I’ve read is a wonderful collection, and each is made with precision, style and is carefully planned and written which makes them very readable. I recommend this to everyone not just for Rendell fans but for large readers of fiction especially of the short story form.

Stories:

A Pair of Yellow Lilies

Paperwork

Mother’s Help

Long Live The Queen

Dying Happy

The Copper Peacock

Weeds

The Fish-Sitter

An Unwanted Woman (A Chief Inspector Wexford Story)

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