Best known as the creator of Chief Inspector Wexford, Rendell authored over 50 novels and numerous novellas, short stories and even a few non fiction titles.
The daughter of two teachers, Rednell was born in London in 1930, becoming a writer for the local Essex paper straight out of high school. Her first published novel came in 1964 with From Doon with Death, featuring the enduring Inspector Wexford. Rendell was known for providing a human side to many of the criminals in her stories, portraying them not as mindless evil stereotypes, but real people with desires, lives, families, and often mental illness.
Many stories were made into telemovies in the Ruth Rendell Mysteries in the 1980s.
She became a political figure in her later years, sitting in the House of Lords and providing large donations to the Labour party.