The St. Zita Society
By Ruth Rendell
(Scribner Book Company, Hardcover, 9781451666687, 272pp.)
Publication Date: August 14, 2012
List Price: $26.00*
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From three-time Edgar Award-winning mystery writer Ruth Rendell comes a captivating and expertly plotted tale of residents and servants on one block of a posh London street--and the deadly ways their lives intertwine.
Life for the residents and servants of Hexam Place appears placid and orderly on the outside: drivers take their employers to and from work, dogs are walked, flowers are planted in gardens, and Christmas candles lit uniformly in windows. But beneath this tranquil veneer, the upstairs-downstairs relationships are set to combust.
Henry, the handsome valet to Lord Studley, is sleeping with both the Lord's wife and his university-age daughter. Montserrat, the Still family's lazy au pair, assists Mrs. Still in keeping secret her illicit affair with a television actor--in exchange for pocket cash. June, the haughty housekeeper to a princess of dubious origin, tries to enlist her fellow house-helpers into a "society" to address complaints about their employers. Meanwhile, Dex, the disturbed gardener to several families on the block, thinks a voice on his cell phone is giving him godlike instructions--commands that could imperil the lives of all those in Hexam Place.
"The St. Zita Society "is Ruth Rendell at her brilliant best--a deeply observed and suspenseful novel of murder in the quintessentially London world of servants and their masters.