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Tigerlily's Orchids When Stuart Font decides to throw a house warming party in his new flat, he invites all the people in his building and, after some deliberation, even includes the unpleasant caretaker and his wife They are a disparate group of people, each with their individual Rendellian psychoses and potential for violenceThere are a few other genuine friends on the list, but he definitely does not want to include his girlfriend, Claudia, as that might involve asking her husbandThe party will be one everyone remembers But not for the right reasonsLiving opposite, in reclusive isolation, is a beautiful young Asian woman, christened Tigerlily by Stuart As though from some strange urban fairytale, she emerges to exert a terrible spell on Stuart and his guests Mr and Mrs Font, the worried parents, will soon have even cause for concern about their handsome but hopelessly naive sonDarkly humorous and piercingly observant of human behaviour, Ruth Rendell has created another compelling fable of our lives and crimes I love Ruth Rendell and her books Her last several have been a little off the mark but this is a terrific one It is a mystery Who killed a handsome tenant But it really isn t It s about the occupants of a flat in London and a neighbor across the street who spies on them and gets everything so wrong It s like a Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith with better writing andsharply drawn characters These people are far from perfect and that s what makes them so interesting I co I love Ruth Rendell and her books Her last several have been a little off the mark but this is a terrific one It is a mystery Who killed a handsome tenant But it really isn t It s about the occupants of a flat in London and a neighbor across the street who spies on them and gets everything so wrong It s like a Corduroy Mansions by Alexander McCall Smith with better writing andsharply drawn characters These people are far from perfect and that s what makes them so interesting I couldn t put this down but since it s short that was OK A great read especially for Ruth Rendell fans As Newsday said re this author s novel Portobello, Rendell has long been the queen of the psychological crime..A novel that glides along Portobello Road like the lime in a gin and tonic It s intoxicating So true I ll admit my bias up front I ve long been a fan of Rendell and when she releases a new book it tops my reading list She s never disappointed me and that certainly holds true of TIGER LILY S ORCHIDS As always we re treated to intriguing characters whom we follow with rapt As Newsday said re this author s novel Portobello, Rendell has long been the queen of the psychological crime..A novel that glides along Portobello Road like the lime in a gin and tonic It s intoxicating So true I ll admit my bias up front I ve long been a fan of Rendell and when she releases a new book it tops my reading list She s never disappointed me and that certainly holds true of TIGER LILY S ORCHIDS As always we re treated to intriguing characters whom we follow with rapt attention, trying to out think the author, which is impossible There s always a twist or quick turn within the next several pages, and we re forced to rethink the possibilities What pleasure This time we re surrounded by outre characters who neighbor in Lichfield House, a London condominium The time seems to be today when London has been affected by depression and snow, lots and lots of snow Each one of Rendell s characters stands alone, worthy of our focus together we find a juggernaut of psychological suspense Stuart Font is a narcisstic to put it mildly fellow who after inheriting a bit from his late aunt is attempting to live on his own Unable to pass a mirror without admiring himself, he is in the clutches of the grasping married Claudia who cannot seem to get enough of him Olwen Curtis is a pathetic 60 year old who is determinedly drinking herself to death, and braves icy sidewalks to replenish her gin Gray haired Marius Potter is a former hippie whose interest in Rose Potter Jones grows stronger each day A trio of disparate college students dwell in another flat Of course, every condo needs a super and this one s a pedophile Across from Lichfield House is a mysterious housewhere immigrants live they are said to be growing orchids Add to this mix the innocuous Duncan who rather than participating in life entertains himself by observing the comings and goings of others We re introduced to all with the opening of the book and a party thrown by Stuart Not a terribly festive evening since Claudia s husband, Freddy, bursts in to threaten Stuart unless he leaves his wife alone Stuart would bethan happy to do so because a she s demanding and expensive b he sees one of the immigrants from across the street the most beautiful girl he has ever seen whom he calls Tigerlily Rendell is one of the most skillful writers working today she makes ordinary folks extraordinary through insightful observations and the revelation of their dark secrets TIGERLILY is a slim, over too quickly gem Gail Cooke At first I wasn t overly convinced by this Ruth Rendell novel It creates its own little world, focusing as it does on the middle class residents of a block of flats and some of the people who live in the surrounding houses , but my initial impression was that this was just a slight collection of short stories interweaved together There s the good looking young man having an affair with a married woman a Latin scholar who has a connection with his new age neighbour a trio of student girls sh At first I wasn t overly convinced by this Ruth Rendell novel It creates its own little world, focusing as it does on the middle class residents of a block of flats and some of the people who live in the surrounding houses , but my initial impression was that this was just a slight collection of short stories interweaved together There s the good looking young man having an affair with a married woman a Latin scholar who has a connection with his new age neighbour a trio of student girls sharing a flat an alcoholic old lady drinking herself to death and so on For the opening hundred pages or so I thought the book was just too annoyingly inconsequential, with a cast of characters nowhere near enough compulsive to really grab this reader s attention.But then, slowly and almost surreptitiously it worked its charms and I found myself drawn into these people s lives and the drama which surrounds them So that even before the crimes start this is a Ruth Rendell novel, there is always going to be crime and once the book gets going, the criminal actions really do mount up I was enthralled in the world Rendall had created Tigerlily s Orchid is an understated little gem Oh, how I adore Ruth Rendell And the RR I love is back There s no one quite like Rendell at observing the way that people think about themselves, particularly when they are vain or self satisfied or totally delusional or just very lucid about their place in the world She does plenty of it in this novel that chronicles the lives of a bunch of residents of a London apartment building One of them, of course, is murdered by the time it s all done the particularly beautiful one I think RR has i Oh, how I adore Ruth Rendell And the RR I love is back There s no one quite like Rendell at observing the way that people think about themselves, particularly when they are vain or self satisfied or totally delusional or just very lucid about their place in the world She does plenty of it in this novel that chronicles the lives of a bunch of residents of a London apartment building One of them, of course, is murdered by the time it s all done the particularly beautiful one I think RR has it in for beauty But along the way we get to observe all the residents interact with each other in ways that are, by turns, slightly mysterious and very funny I almost didn t care who had committed the murder so taken was I with some of the characters But on that front I read that a new Inspector Wexford is in the pipeline It s to be published in the fall A smashing read When Ruth Rendell does it good, no one can beat her What better premise than a block of flats in a dreary suburb of London, possibly Hampstead Garden Suburb A parade of shops, houses and the flats in which our diverse characters live their lives.A vain and foolish young man named Stuart who embarks upon a dangerous affair with married Claudia This is the central story, but there are several intertwining plots that are just as compelling There is Duncan, who lives in an overh A smashing read When Ruth Rendell does it good, no one can beat her What better premise than a block of flats in a dreary suburb of London, possibly Hampstead Garden Suburb A parade of shops, houses and the flats in which our diverse characters live their lives.A vain and foolish young man named Stuart who embarks upon a dangerous affair with married Claudia This is the central story, but there are several intertwining plots that are just as compelling There is Duncan, who lives in an overheated house opposite the flats, and who spends his days making wild assumptions, always wrong, about his fellow neighbours Molly, a young student with a dreary boyfriend who adores Stuart once she discovers he is not gay caretaker Wally and his awful wife, and poor dear old Olwen who is intent on drinking herself to death but finds herself thwarted by the weatherIt s Rendell at her very best You just want to keep on reading until the final page, and it is a real treat Highly recommend I was disappointed and surprised by this book Surprised because it is written by such an accomplished author who has a wealth of awards for her writing and is well known for her elegant prose, intricate plots and insights into the human mind particularly when it comes to the socially isolated and disadvantaged Disappointed because I found Tigerlily s Orchids somewhat lacklustre and I hate to say this, a bit boring Apart from a handful of characters, notably Olwen, I found it hard to picture I was disappointed and surprised by this book Surprised because it is written by such an accomplished author who has a wealth of awards for her writing and is well known for her elegant prose, intricate plots and insights into the human mind particularly when it comes to the socially isolated and disadvantaged Disappointed because I found Tigerlily s Orchids somewhat lacklustre and I hate to say this, a bit boring Apart from a handful of characters, notably Olwen, I found it hard to picture the numerous protagonists in my mind s eye And the plot itself was rather slow and predictable even for me who is not the sharpest knife in the drawer at the best of times Sorry Baroness Rendell of Babergh whom I also admire for her generosity of spirit, political views and philanthropy, but on this occasion though you surprised me, it was not for the anticipated reasons Although I recently read another book by this author, the library notified me that I should pick up my copy of this, her latest book I m always pleased to read Rendell Despite my previous statement and my fondness for her books, this was not one of Rendell s best efforts There was an interesting, unusual collection of characters, but the story did not sustain my interest Perhaps it s my current mood. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here A well written book with twists and turns The story revolves around a block of flats and the people living in them Duncan an elderly man who lives across the street weaves fantasies about the people who live in them divorced from reality There is also black humor throughout the stories Stuart a spoilt man who is living off the legacy from an aunt who is very naive and not the sharpest card in the deck He begins an affair with a married woman, Claudia who gives freeloaders a bad name Freddy A well written book with twists and turns The story revolves around a block of flats and the people living in them Duncan an elderly man who lives across the street weaves fantasies about the people who live in them divorced from reality There is also black humor throughout the stories Stuart a spoilt man who is living off the legacy from an aunt who is very naive and not the sharpest card in the deck He begins an affair with a married woman, Claudia who gives freeloaders a bad name Freddy her husband finds out and takes it badly Wally the caretaker a pervert with paedophillia inclinations who is an unsavory character The saddest tenant is Olwen an elderly woman set on drinking herself to death Marius and Rose are the nicest wannabe couple with a past that slowly brings them together The three young girls Molly, Sophie and Noor add to the mix Sophie helping Olwen or herself in the end, Molly s obsession with Stuart and her boyfriend Carl and Noor with her wealthy boyfriend In the end Carl is a very jealous and bonkers boyfriend In some ways the reveal is a disappointing with so many people loathing Duncan The themes of slavery, naivety, jealously, lust, greed and social manners A solid 3.5 and Duncan s overheated house and his imagination of why is very amusing I had the privilege of learning the title of this book from Ruth Rendell herself when I met her in November 2009, shortly after she finished it and months before her publisher officially announced it Two days short of nine months later it s in my hands, one of the first copies to be received in the U.S from England love those pre order prices at Book Depository, and no shipping charges, even on Transatlantic purchases Fifty pages in, I can tell you that s it s the typical Rendellian mixture I had the privilege of learning the title of this book from Ruth Rendell herself when I met her in November 2009, shortly after she finished it and months before her publisher officially announced it Two days short of nine months later it s in my hands, one of the first copies to be received in the U.S from England love those pre order prices at Book Depository, and no shipping charges, even on Transatlantic purchases Fifty pages in, I can tell you that s it s the typical Rendellian mixture that her readers have come to expect and to love, obsessive compulsives and eccentrics such as a woman who is bent on drinking herself to death, a high maintenance mistress, a former Hippie, a porter maintenance man with a secret vice, and a young man who can t pass a mirror without admiring himself, to mention just a few And when reality isn t enough for some of these characters, they begin to create their own as does the lonely widower who makes up lives for neighbors he doesn t really know, such as the mysterious people going in and out of the house next door to his own, one of whom is a young Asian woman to whom he s given the name Tigerlily It s a recipe for disaster, of course, and Rendell is the mistress of such concoctions 8 11 Finished it Yes, it s a page turner, but, regrettably, I have to say that this one promises a bitthan it actually delivers Engrossing, yes, but not completely satisfying in its resolution, which is really rather abrupt although there s a murder, ultimately its motive is obscure Various characters pop in and out without having much to do with anything that s going on But even three star Rendell is superior to just about everyone else


About the Author: Ruth Rendell

A.K.A Barbara VineRuth Barbara Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, who also wrote under the pseudonym Barbara Vine, was an acclaimed English crime writer, known for her many psychological thrillers and murder mysteries and above all for Inspector Wexford.


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