A Sleeping Life

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A Sleeping Life
First edition hardcover
Author Ruth Rendell
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Inspector Wexford #10
Genre Crime novel
Publisher Hutchinson (UK)
Doubleday (US)
Publication date
8 May 1978
Media type Print (Hardcover & Paperback)
ISBN 0-09-132540-4
OCLC 4068236
LC Class PZ4.R4132 Sl 1978b PR6068.E63
Preceded by Shake Hands Forever
Followed by Put on by Cunning

A Sleeping Life is a crime-novel by British writer Ruth Rendell, first published in 1978. It features her popular investigator Detective Inspector Wexford, and is the tenth novel in the series. It was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers' Of America Edgar Award, making it one of only two Inspector Wexford novels ever to have been shortlisted for either of the "big two" crime-fiction awards, the Edgar or the CWA Gold Dagger, despite the series' huge commercial popularity. An Unkindness of Ravens was also nominated several years later.


The body found under the hedge was that of a middle-aged woman, biggish and gaunt. There was nothing to give Detective Chief Inspector Wexford her address, her occupation or even her identity - let alone any clues which might lead to her killer.