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Book Reviews uted to the effort to change the political seeing his two daughters accomplish what ferson County Office of Senior Citizens’ structure of Birmingham. they did, not only educationally, but in Services and both authors have post- This book is complete with photos of serving humankind. graduate degrees and both are members Mr. Shores throughout his long, fruitful We all know Judge Helen Shores of the First Congregational Christian career, which depict his upbringing, his Lee and her stellar career at the bar and Church of Birmingham. long marriage, his dedication to his chil- on the bench.  Her sister, Barbara Sylvia This book should be obtainable dren and to his faith, and his pride upon Shores, is Executive Director of the Jef- through all local book stores and beyond.G Ruth Rendell The Monster in the Box: An Inspector Wexford Novel Scribner, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., NY 2009    187 pages This reviewer has only recently dis- of the House of Lords and maintains her covered Ruth Rendell, an English author, residence in London. who is deservedly acclaimed to be the lit- The Monster in the Box also describes erary heir of Agatha Christie.  She is the Inspector Wexford’s compulsory suspi- author of about 70 novels and most of her cion of the murderer when there is no work has been recognized by literary crit- evidence that the murderer has done any- ics and organizations as a cross between thing wrong.  It just so happens that dead mystery and psychology. people seem to follow him from time to The title of this book, The Monster time as he does his “favors” for others. in the Box, is a double entendre: the term Ms. Rendell also writes under the “monster in the box” is a layman’s way of name Barbara Vine.  This reviewer is in expressing how psychiatrists describe the the process of reading the novel, The Mi- ability of humans to encapsulate thoughts notaur. that might involve anxiety, fear and imag- Any of Ms. Rendell’s/Vine’s novels ined illusions.  It is difficult to say where are recommended to you as fine literary Ms. Rendell’s abilities as a psychologist examples of psychological deviates in ac- begin and where the mystery ends.  All tion.  Most can be obtained in paperback of her books revolve around abnormal for approximately $15.00.G psychology.  In this novel, she describes an individual who offers to do murder as lads and girls all must, as chimney sweep- a “favor” to individuals who seem to be ers, come to dust.”  That particular quote wanting the riddance of a family member happens to be from Shakespeare’s Cym- or an associate.  In the murderer’s mind, beline as one of the characters describes he is doing a “service.” life at its close.  In the novel, Inspector Interspersed throughout all of her Wexford is visiting a nursing home and novels are references to great english lit- the sick and elderly inspire his thoughts erature.  For example, in this novel, Ms. of Shakespeare. Rendell has her protagonist (who is a Ruth Rendell is so honored as an devotee of english literature) state “golden author in England that she is a member Contributor Robert R. Kracke Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Winter 2012 17


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