British crime writer Ruth Rendell, creator of Detective Chief Inspector Wexford, is critically ill after suffering a serious stroke

The news was announced by Rendell’s publisher, Hutchinson-Penguin Random House, in a statement released on Jan 15.

“She is in hospital under expert care in a critical but stable condition,” says the statement. “Her son, Simon Rendell, is with her and thanks everyone for their concern. The family request privacy while the doctors assess the best course of treatment.”

Rendell’s first novel, From Doon With Death, was published in 1964 and she has since written several award-winning books, including A Demon in My View (1976) and Live Flesh (1986). Most recently, she published The Girl Next Door (2014).

Rendell’s works, some written under the pen name Barbara Vine, have been published in some 30 countries and many have been adapted for television and film. In 1997, she took the title Baroness Rendell of Babergh after being named to the upper house of parliament, the House of Lords, for the opposition Labour Party.

“I still, after all these years, love writing, and I don’t say I write well, but I write as well as I can,” says Rendell in an interview in 2009. – Reuters