Inspector Wexford

Chief Inspector Reginald "Reg" Wexford is a recurring character in a series of detective novels by English crime writer Ruth Rendell. He made his first appearance in the author's 1964 debut From Doon With Death, and has since been the protagonist of 23 more novels (plus some short stories). In The Ruth Rendell Mysteries he was played by George Baker.

Reginald Wexford
First appearanceFrom Doon With Death
Last appearanceNo Man's Nightingale
Created byRuth Rendell
Portrayed byGeorge Baker
In-universe information
TitleChief Inspector
OccupationPolice officer


In a 2013 interview, Rendell stated:[1]

Wexford is a Liberal Democrat though, and I am a Labour party member, in fact a Labour peer, so I am further to the left than him.

Wexford is an intelligent, sensitive man. He has a placid wife, Dora, and two daughters, Sheila and Sylvia. He has a good relationship with Sheila (his favourite) but a difficult relationship with Sylvia (who feels slighted though he has never actually intended to slight her). He also has a strong friendship with DI Mike Burden.


The Wexford series of novels are set in "Kingsmarkham", a fictional town in Sussex.[2] Kingsmarkham has been reported as "inspired by Midhurst in West Sussex".[3]

Rendall says that Kingsmarkham "is not romantic at all, (with) ugly modern buildings, huge supermarkets, open car lots and bus garages, and sprawling blocks of local authority housing with the police station a concrete box of tricks amid the quiet crowded houses of High Street … a piece of gaudy litter in a pastoral glade and having modern furniture and (a) sleek, gleaming reception counter".[4]


  1. From Doon with Death (1964)
  2. A New Lease of Death (1967) (known as Sins of the fathers in the US)
  3. Wolf to the Slaughter (1968)
  4. The Best Man to Die (1969)
  5. A Guilty Thing Surprised (1970)
  6. No More Dying Then (1971)
  7. Murder Being Done Once (1972) (known as Murder being once done in the US)
  8. Some Lie And Some Die (1973)
  9. Shake Hands Forever (1975)
  10. A Sleeping Life (1978)
  11. Put on By Cunning (1981) (known as Death notes in the US)
  12. The Speaker of Mandarin (1983)
  13. An Unkindness of Ravens (1985)
  14. The Veiled One (1988)
  15. Kissing the Gunner's Daughter (1992)
  16. Simisola (1994)
  17. Road Rage (1997)
  18. Harm Done (1999)
  19. The Babes in the Wood (2002)
  20. End in Tears (2005)
  21. Not in the Flesh (2007)
  22. The Monster in the Box (2009)
  23. The Vault (2011)
  24. No Man's Nightingale (2013)


  1. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (18 August 2013). "Ruth Rendell: 'Withholding information from the reader should be part of any story'". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  2. ^ "Ruth Rendell, crime writer - obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 2 May 2015. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  3. ^ Dennison, Matthew (19 August 2014). "Fifty years of Inspector Wexford – and a new detective on the block". The Spectator. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
  4. ^ Rendell, Ruth (2007) [1964]. From Doon with Death (2 ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-345-49845-8. (Introducing Chief Inspector Wexford by Daniel Mallory; from 1990 Rendell interview with Marilyn Stasio)

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