Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
To Fear a Painted Devil
Cover of To Fear a Painted Devil
To Fear a Painted Devil
A Novel
Borrow Borrow
He was young, arrogant, wealthy and in the bloom of health—or was he?
"Undoubtedly one of the best writers of English mysteries and chiller-killer plots."—The Los Angeles Times
Like any small community, Linchester has its intrigues: love affairs, money problems, unhappy marriages. But the gossip is elevated to new heights when young Patrick Selby dies on the very night of his beautiful wife's birthday party.
The whole neighborhood was there, witness to the horrible attack of wasp stings Patrick suffered at the end of the evening. But did Patrick die of a wasp sting? Dr. Greenleaf thinks not. Heart failure, more likely.
Still, Greenleaf isn't at peace about his death. After all, everyone in Linchester hated Patrick. With the help of a certain naturalist, Dr. Greenleaf begins to think about murder. . . .

"Rendell is awfully good."—The New York Times Book Review
He was young, arrogant, wealthy and in the bloom of health—or was he?
"Undoubtedly one of the best writers of English mysteries and chiller-killer plots."—The Los Angeles Times
Like any small community, Linchester has its intrigues: love affairs, money problems, unhappy marriages. But the gossip is elevated to new heights when young Patrick Selby dies on the very night of his beautiful wife's birthday party.
The whole neighborhood was there, witness to the horrible attack of wasp stings Patrick suffered at the end of the evening. But did Patrick die of a wasp sting? Dr. Greenleaf thinks not. Heart failure, more likely.
Still, Greenleaf isn't at peace about his death. After all, everyone in Linchester hated Patrick. With the help of a certain naturalist, Dr. Greenleaf begins to think about murder. . . .

"Rendell is awfully good."—The New York Times Book Review
Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
  • Text Difficulty:

Recommended for you

Excerpts-
  • From the book PROLOGUE

    He was nine. It was his first morning in England and he began to wonder if all English houses were like this one, large yet with small rooms, full of things that no one could use: armless statues, vases with lids to them, curtains as immovably draped as one of his mother's evening gowns.

    They had arrived the night before and he had passed through the hall wrapped in a blanket and carried in his father's arms. He remembered only the great front door, a heavy wooden door with a picture of a tree on it in coloured glass. They had left him to sleep as long as he would and someone had brought breakfast for him on a tray. Now as he descended the stairs, crossing the half-landing which a bronze soldier guarded with his lance, he saw the hall below him and his steps faltered.

    It was a fine morning but the room looked as rooms do at twilight, dim and still. Instead of being papered the walls were hung with embroideries stretched on frames, and between them curtains that covered—what? Windows? Doors? It seemed to him that they covered things people were not supposed to see. There was a single mirror with a wooden frame and this frame, of carved and polished red wood, looked as if it had grown branches of its own, for strips of wood shaped into leaves and twigs twined across the glass.

    Within this mirror he could see not himself but an open door reflected and beyond it the beginning of the garden. The door stood wide and he went through it, seeking the garden where he knew the sun must be shining. Then he saw the picture. He stood quite still and he stared at it.

    It was a painting of a lady in an old-fashioned dress of striped silk, bright blue and gold, with a little gold cap on her head. She was holding a silver plate and in the plate was the head of a man.

    He knew it must be a very good painting because the artist had made it look so real. Nothing was left out, not even the blood in the plate and the white tube things in the man's neck where it had been cut from his body.

    The lady wasn't looking at the thing in the plate but at him. She was smiling and there was a strange expression on her face, dreamy, triumphant, replete. He had never seen such a look in anyone's eyes before but suddenly he knew with an intuition that had in it something of an a priori knowledge, that grown-ups sometimes looked at each other like that and that they did so out of the sight of children.

    He tore his eyes from the picture and put his hand up to his mouth to stop them hearing his scream. Then he rushed blindly away, making for the glass place that separated this room from the garden.

    He stumbled at the step and put out his hand to save himself. It touched something cool and soft but only for a moment. The coolness and softness were succeeded by a terrible burning pain that seemed to smite him exactly like the shock he had had from his mother's electric iron.

    Away in the garden someone laughed. He screamed and screamed and screamed until he heard doors banging, feet flying, the women coming to him from the kitchen.


    1

    'Prussic acid?' The chemist was startled. He had been a member of the Pharmaceutical Society for ten years and this was the first time anyone had made such a request to him. Not that he would grant it. He was a responsible citizen, almost—in his own estimation—a doctor. 'Cyanide of Potassium?' He looked severely at the small man in the suit that was too dark and too thick for a hot day. 'What d'you want that for?'

    Edward Carnaby, for his part, was affronted. Mr. Waller was only a chemist, a pharmacist really, not a proper chemist...
About the Author-
  • Ruth Rendell is the author of Road Rage, The Keys to the Street, Bloodlines, Simisola, and The Crocodile Bird. She is the winner of the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award. She is also the recipient of three Edgars from the Mystery Writers of America and four Gold Daggers from Great Britain's Crime Writers Association. In 1997, she was named a life peer in the House of Lords. Rendell also writes mysteries under the name of Barbara Vine, of which A Dark-Adapted Eye is the most famous. She lives in England.
Title Information+
  • Publisher
    Random House Publishing Group
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 99 titles every 1 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
To Fear a Painted Devil
To Fear a Painted Devil
A Novel
Ruth Rendell
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel