A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a man is murdered. After another body is found, the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard. Though the second crime had a witness, her description of the killer is so strange its unbelievable.
Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own. The victims are so different that there is no rhyme or reason to their deaths. Nothing logically seems to connect them - except the killer. As the investigation widens, a clear suspect emerges. But for Rutledge, the facts still don't add up, leaving him to question his own judgment.
In going over the details of the case, Rutledge is reminded of a dark episode he witnessed in the war. While the memory could lead him to the truth, it also raises a prickly dilemma. To stop a murderer, will the ethical detective choose to follow the letter - or the spirit - of the law?
"Starred Review. Todd has rarely been better." - Publishes Weekly
"Another well-written, well-plotted entry in this always engaging mystery series." - Booklist
"Another winner Strong atmosphere and a complicated mystery make this book one that readers won't be able to put down." - Romantic Times
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Rated of 5
Mystery in a long-ago setting
This is the first Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery I have read, having read and enjoyed a few Bess Crawford mysteries by the same authors, which are set during WWI. As in Bess Crawford, here the authors have developed a likeable central character with many facets to his personality that also lend a bit of intrigue to the story, and have set him in England in a now popular time period (think Downton Abbey).
I have to admit, though, that the story seems to drag in sections. The continual shuffle of small village settings during the course of the investigation of the double murder may be part of the trouble as well as the multitude of minor characters that left me a little confused at times.
Nevertheless, I would not be averse to reading another of the 15 other titles in this series, and I would not hesitate to recommend this one to those who like mystery, England, and the post-WWI era.
Charles Todd is the author of nine Ian Rutledge mysteries to date, and one
stand-alone novel, The Murder Stone. This USA-based mother-and-son
(Charles & Caroline) writing team maintain a strong level of anonymity, even
though they appear on many author panels together and Charles is a very active
member of the Mystery Writers of America. They live somewhere along America's mid-Atlantic coastline. Some
biographies show Charles living in Greenville Delaware, but that simply
refers to a P.O. box they maintain.
Ian Rutledge Series
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