Murder Being Once Done/ Murder Being Done Once by Ruth Rendell

‘Murder Being Once Done (USA- Murder Being Done Once)’ is Ruth Rendell’s 7th Inspector Wexford novel and this book sees Wexford in London rather than his usual home of Kingsmarkham.

Reg and Dora Wexford are staying with their nephew Howard in London. Wexford has suffered some health problems, so has been ordered away from Kingsmarkham. He is also on a very strict (and very boring) diet and is not allowed near alcohol or police work. But Howard is a Detective Superintendent and is leading the investigation into the murder of Loveday Morgan whose body was found in a vault in the bleak local cemetery.

When Wexford can contain his curiosity no longer, he visits the vault. Here he meets Howard, and suddenly, against his doctor’s orders and despite the hostility of the local force, Wexford finds himself working on the case. But does Howard really want help or is he just indulging his ageing and useless uncle?

When Wexford thinks he has solved the case but has actually headed in the wrong direction, he really starts to doubt his policing abilities and is set to give up and go home.

Then a vital clue drops in his lap, and his interest is reawakened. Following his instincts and completely disregarding his doctor’s health advice, Wexford uses his skills to find out exactly who Loveday Morgan was and subsequently why she had to die.

Its Wexford’s skills in dealing with people and getting the right information from them that helps solve the case (I wonder what Howard and his team were doing during this time).


This was a brilliant novel and it made Wexford appear very human seeing his insecurities and frailties. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series – ‘Some Lie and Some Die’.


Book Published 1972


See a full list of books by Ruth Rendell

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