The Vault

The Vault

An Inspector Wexford Novel

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Former Chief Inspector Wexford returns from retirement to solve a most unlikely case: the mystery of who killed the three people whose corpses were last seen at the bottom of a coal hole in A Sight for Sore Eyes (1999). In the decade since Franklin Merton left St. John's Wood in 1998, Orcadia Cottage has changed hands twice by the time Martin Rokeby, who wants to make room for an amphora his wife Anne found in Florence, pulls up a manhole cover in his backyard and shines a light down a dark shaft to reveal not only the three victims from the author's earlier tale but a fourth, much more recently dead than the others but equally beyond identification. Det. Supt. Thomas Ede, of Cricklewood, is getting nowhere with the case, so he invites Reg Wexford, who's retired to Hampstead Heath, to join him as an unpaid consultant. Accompanying Ede and his sergeant, Lucy Blanch, on interviews, he ventures several guesses as to the identities of the dead: Merton's vanished second wife, Harriet? The young man seen driving an Edsel and heard calling himself Keith Hill? His uncle, from whom he may have taken his name and much more? Orcadia neighbor Mildred Jones's cleaner Vladlena, who memorably burned the shirt of her then husband Colin? He watches as he is proved right or wrong, but does not simply watch, for trauma and tragedy are about to visit Wexford's own family in equally unnerving ways.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2011.
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781451624083
Characteristics: 276 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Aug 11, 2014

One of hers that I really liked -

Apr 06, 2012

I found this a bit dull to be honest and it seemed to me that Rendell can't bring herself to leave Wexford behind so we now get Wexford as a private detective. Also I would recommend re-reading Rendell's A Sight For Sore Eyes first as this is a sort of sequel.

Feb 18, 2012

Retired from the police force, Wexford is asked to help work on a murder case involving 3 dead bodies found in an underground coal hole beside a house when the owner wanted to dig a basement for his house. We tediously follow not only the clues that Wexford leads us to as he solves the crime, but we also endure the unfortunate events surrounding his older daughter's love life. Many interviews with many characters whose interactions only become evident at the end and the continual reminder of Wexford's retirement status decreased the reading enjoyment for me. Even Wexford himself is tired of it all and yearns for a holiday to get away from it all. Hence my 3 stars for a top notch novelist's mystery.

sofiaargentina Oct 07, 2011

Your really have to read A Sight for Sore Eyes to get any connection to this book. Even with this knowledge the book itself was just ok.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at KCLibrary

To Top