Network DVD is delighted to announce the release of The Best of Ruth Rendell Mysteries, a nine-disc set featuring seventeen TV adaptations of stories written by the Queen of Crime, Ruth Rendell, starring some of the biggest names of British stage and screen. This box set will be available to buy on 9th April 2007.

Recipient of fifteen awards including a CBE, a Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence and a multiple recipient of coveted Golden Dagger for Fiction, Ruth Rendell is widely acknowledged as one of the rightful Queens of Crime and instrumental for raising the bar in crime fiction. These highly popular dramas, all Blue Heaven/Meridian Broadcasting Productions, were originally broadcast on ITV between 1994 and 2000.

As well as George Baker starring in three Inspector Wexford mysteries, the episodes also feature other great British actors including Colin Firth, Peter Egan, Leslie Phillips, Sylvia Sims, Amanda Redman, Keith Barron and Susannah York.

A wide selection of Rendell’s work, these extremely popular adaptations of one of the true great British crime writer’s televised works on DVD, this box set will appeal to all fans of Ruth Rendell as well as those with a passion for dramas like Inspector Morse and A Touch of Frost.

Disc One

Master of the Moor

Stephen Whalby discovers the blond-headed body of an artist on Vangmoor. He is interviewed by Det. Insp. Manciple (George Costigan) an ex-met police officer who clearly suspects everybody. Stephen’s father, Dadda - himself a depressive - warns Stephen to stay away from the moor, but Stephen ignores him and comes upon a second blond-headed body… Original ITV Transmission 2 to 16 September 1994

You Can’t Be Too Careful

When Della Galway moves into her new bed-sit in London, her landlady Mrs Swanson, makes it clear that security is her prime interest. Della too, seems obsessed with locks on doors and when her new flatmate, Rosamond, begins arriving home in the early hours of the morning, leaving doors unlocked, Della’s obsession becomes acute… Original ITV Transmission 24 December 1998

Disc Two

Vanity Dies Hard

Alice Whittaker journeys to the home of her friend Nesta Drage. Alice has neither seen nor spoken to Nesta in three months, since Nesta moved from her marital home following the death of her husband a year earlier. When Alice arrives at Nesta’s new address she is alarmed to discover an older man living in the house who has never heard of Nesta Drage!  Original ITV Transmission 24 March to 7 April 1995

The Orchard Walls

At the height of the London Blitz, 16 year-old Jenny is evacuated to the countryside to live with her aunt on their farm. Jenny’s aunt Ella, a beautiful and vibrant 25 year old woman, lives under the thumb of Mrs Thorn, her mother-in-law and Daniel, her husband’s brother who has been left to look after the farm while Philip is off fighting the Germans. Jenny becomes aware of an attraction between Ella and Dennis, an injured spitfire pilot convalescing in the area, and witnesses them kissing in the woods. The family seem unaware of these covert events but when Jenny bursts into the house informing everyone that Dennis dead body is hanging in a tree, Ella goes white and Mrs. Thorn and Daniel appear furious…  Original ITV Transmission 31 December 1998

Disc Three


With Wexford feeling tired and irritable, some of his colleagues can hardly tell the difference from normal. Others, however, counsel a visit to the doctor and when this is backed up by his own daughter Sylvia, Wexford visits the local surgery and meets his new GP – Dr. Akande. Diagnosed with a rather nasty virus, Wexford has to go to hospital, but bad news is waiting for him when he arrives there when Dr. Akande calls him and to ask for help – his daughter Melanie has gone missing…  Original ITV Transmission 26 January to 9 February 1996

The Fallen Curtain

When six year old Richard disappeared from his home, an intense police search revealed nothing and his distraught parents Jean and Stanley were blaming each other when Richard was seen walking up the street. His mother’s scream effectively blocked out all Richard’s memories of the events of the previous 24 hours. Now 19 Richard is at university studying hard but with obvious and psychological and emotional problems, which manifest themselves in his inability to relate to girls. His grandmother dies and leaves him in her will, sufficient money to buy a motorcar. Mysteriously, of all the cars Richard sees, he is drawn to a particular model, black in colour. On his next visit home, he goes out for a drive and finds himself back at he spot from where he disappeared 13 years earlier…  Original ITV Transmission 6 August 1999

Disc Four

The Secret House of Death

When Susan Townsend discovers the body of her neighbour Louise North with that of a man who had been coming to see her, it seems a tragic end to a furtive, suburban affair. Tongues had been wagging in the cul-de-sac for weeks, though of course no one expected the kitchen fitter to shoot his lover and then take his own life out of despair.  Original ITV Transmission 8 to 15 March 1996

A Case of Coincidence

The discovery of Sarah Quinn’s body in a remote Fenland district is the fifth in a series of serial killings baffling Inspector Masters and Chief Inspector Moore in the autumn of 1954. Some say the fact that Sarah’s husband is an eminent brain surgeon and Sarah is subsequently well-to-do has spurred the police on to some positive action. Masters and Moore would both deny this although as a result of Sarah’s death they do have two clocks ticking against them. When will he kill again and will the Home Office decide to bring in Scotland Yard..?  Original ITV Transmission 22 and 29 March 1996

Disc Five

The Double – 1 * 50 mins

Lisa is young, innocent and highly superstitious - she is also in love with Peter who is a smart computer whizz kid. They accidentally meet Zoë who is Lisa’s ‘double’. Lisa goes away for three weeks with her mother and whilst she is away Zoë seduces peter and has him completely in her power. On Lisa’s return Zoë lures her away on the pretext of meeting Peter, who by now realises he really loves Lisa and that he has made a terrible mistake. But is the too late? Legend has it that if you meet your ‘double’ you will die within a lunar month. Of course this is just superstition - or is it - and Zoë, after all, is only human - or is she?  Original ITV Transmission 3 January 1997

A Dark Blue Perfume – 1 * 50 mins

Haunted by his past, Mark returns to his home town as a stranger hoping for a new beginning. However, he doesn’t allow for Sheila who has not forgotten Mark and what made him leave his home originally. Mark desperately tries to oust the ghosts of that awful time but instead is continually haunted by them. Even his relationship with a new love is threatened by the memories of his ex wife. She had betrayed him and he had tried to make her pay for it. Now was his chance for a new life and to become at peace with himself. However, sooner or later you have to confront the things that you run from and for Mark and his new love, this confrontation will have tragic and horrifying consequences as he battles against his past to survive his present.  Original ITV Transmission 10 January 1997

Bribery and Corruption – 2 * 50 mins

Nicholas and his father Nick, a widower, have moved house. Nicholas, on a blind date at an expensive restaurant meets an old acquaintance, Julius Sorensen, dining with a woman who isn’t his wife. Sorensen is a boat builder who made Nick redundant and they were once all good friends. Nicholas had a crush on Sorensen’s wife, Emma as a teenage boy. Nick believes he has found love again but doesn’t tell his son it’s Emma he loves. She finishes the affair but agrees to meet Nick once more - at night. Emma’s body is found the next morning…  Original ITV Transmission 17 January 1997

Disc Six

May and June – 2 * 50 mins

On her way to attend William’s funeral, May thinks back to the past when she and her estranged sister, June were children. June was always the favourite, attractive, intelligent. May was due to marry William but June stole him from her. When they meet, June expresses her desire for them to start again now that they are both alone and although May at first is very bitter towards her, June persuades her to come over to the house after the funeral. May admires the house and starts to relax. They begin to talk and eventually June asks May to move in with her. But can she really forgive June for stealing the one and only man she has ever loved - or is she just biding her time…  Original ITV Transmission 7 and 14 February 1997

Front Seat – 1 * 50 mins

Cecily and Hugh Branksome retire to the seaside town of their youth. They meet up with Arnold Cottle, an old rogue they both knew from their childhood. A seat in the town has been erected in memory of a man acquitted of murder. Cecily’s father was a figure of some note in many years before but some misdealing he had, had fallen from grace. Cecily feels this was unjustified and that a seat should be erected in the memory of her father. Arnold and Cecily are convinced that the man acquitted of murder is guilty and are determined to uncover the truth and prove his guilt, and they don’t care what it takes, hounding an innocent old woman and the memories of her past friends and loves.  Original ITV Transmission 21 February 1997

Disc Seven

Going Wrong – 3 * 50 mins

Guy Curran and Leonora Chrisholm first met when Leonora was a schoolgirl, hungry for experience, and Guy, Danny Danilo and Linus Pinedo were the rebellious Dream Traffic. Guy and Leonora were young lovers for three years, even though her ‘civilised’ middle-class family disapproved of her arrogant boyfriend. But after Linus’s traffic death whilst high on drugs supplied by Guy, the young couple parted. Five years later, Guy and Leonora meet again. He has become wealthy through unconventional business ventures, and Leonora has been through university, landed her first job and shares a shabby bed-sit with her friend Rachel Lingard. She agrees to a regular Saturday lunch date with Guy, who telephones her daily, despite having a lover - stunning model Celeste…  Original ITV Transmission 2 to 11 June 1998

Disc Eight

Road Rage – 2 * 100 mins

To Detective Chief Inspector Wexford’s dismay a by-pass is to be built around Kingsmarkham that will destroy an area of natural beauty. The plans have attracted the attention of environmental activists who attempt to disrupt the construction work by building tree houses and demonstrating in the town. In the wood protesters uncover the badly decomposed body of a missing German student. She had last been seen some months earlier outside the Brigadier Pub, having called a taxi. As matters come to a head between construction workers and the tree protesters, Contemporary Cars is raided by masked and armed gangs…  Original ITV Transmission 8 and 9 November 1998

Disc Nine

Lake of Darkness – 1 * 100 mins

When accountant Martin Urban wins a substantial amount of money on the lottery, he is determined to give some of it away to deserving causes. That doesn’t include his old university colleague Tim Sage. But generosity dose have its rewards, and for Martin it comes in the shape of flower delivery girl Francesca, with whom he quickly falls in love, even the discovery that she is married with a young child doesn’t deter him from pursuing happiness with her. Meanwhile, Martin tries to give money to a destitute woman and her disturbed son. But the strange boy has no qualms about committing murder, and his misunderstanding of Martin’s offer has devastating consequences…
Original ITV Transmission 3 May 1999

Harm Done – 1 * 100 mins

DCI Wexford and his team are called in to investigate another abduction, that of a sixteen year old Lizzie Crowne. As on previous occasions, Lizzie turns up unharmed. We learn that the abductor, “Vicky”, had terminal cancer and has taken to abducting young girls as potential cares for her son who has severe facial disfigurement. Meanwhile, a paedophile (Tommy Smith) is released back into the community at the same time as 3 year old Sanchia Devenish disappears. His release is leaked by the newspapers and emotions run high. A vigilante group pelts Tommy’s house with bricks, one of which hits his daughter, Susanne. She dies as a result of her injuries.  Original ITV Transmission 11 October 2000

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