The Brimstone Wedding (1996)

1996 Viking hardback SUMMARY
'The clothes of the dead won't wear long. They fret for the person who owned them.'

Unlike the other residents of Middleton Hall, Stella is smart and elegant and in control. She keeps her secrets to herself, revealing nothing of her past. Only Jenny, her young care assistant, seems aware that her heart harbours a dark, painful mystery. And only she can prevent Stella from carrying it to the grave.
- From the 1996 Viking hardback edition




  • Penguin Audiobook, 28/03/1996. Read by Jan Francis.
  • While Gilda Brent is a fictitious character, a character actress called Gloria Brent was working during the same period as her fictitious counterpart.

March 28, 1996


Many of the superstitions in this novel come from A Dictionary of Superstitions by Iona Opie and Moira Tatem, for whose knowledge and expertise I am very grateful.


"The Brimstone Wedding is nominally a mystery, but it bears the same relation to run-of-the-mill mysteries that glass filament does to duct tape. It's a delicate, mad creation, with only the tiniest, scariest little smears of blood. "
- Heather Mallick, Toronto Sun

Completely eschewing London as a setting, Vine sets a languid pace in this haunting tale of old age, obsessive love and the stifling atmosphere of village life. Jenny (the narrator) is one of the most sympathetic characters in any of the Vine books, and her gradual evolution away from a superstitious view of life provides an interesting contrast to the increasing evocations of the supernatural found in Rendell's other work around this time.

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