Kissing the Gunner's Daughter

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Kissing the Gunner's Daughter
First edition (UK)
AuthorRuth Rendell
CountryUnited Kingdom
SeriesInspector Wexford # 15
GenreCrime, Mystery novel
PublisherHutchinson (UK)
Mysterious Press (US)
Publication date
January 1992
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages345 pp
Preceded byThe Veiled One 
Followed bySimisola 

Kissing the Gunner's Daughter is a 1992 novel by the British mystery writer Ruth Rendell, featuring the recurring character Inspector Reg Wexford.[1] The title of the book refers to historical corporal punishment in the Royal Navy where a sailor was positioned over a cannon to receive a flogging.[1]


Four members of a well-to-do family in Kingsmarkham are shot during dinner, and only Daisy survives with minor injuries. Daisy is the teenage granddaughter of Davina Flory, a popular writer. Wexford wishes to protect her in a fatherly way, as he is with his own daughter Sheila, whose new boyfriend Augustine Casey is a post-post-modernist novelist who has already published a novel devoid of any characters.[1] Daisy had never met her father. Wexford finds that Daisy's father is a former football player nicknamed "Gunner" because he played for Arsenal Football Club.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Entertainment Weekly praised the novel's analysis of class politics in Britain, but found the plot and its denouement both obvious and far-fetched.[2]