Beyond the Book: Background information when reading A False Mirror

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A False Mirror

An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery

by Charles Todd

A False Mirror by Charles Todd X
A False Mirror by Charles Todd
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2007, 384 pages

    Paperback:
    Jan 2008, 416 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

This article relates to A False Mirror

Print Review

Charles Todd is the author of ten 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.

According to Caroline "because of Charles' job and his father's job," they've been reticent about using their last name. Charles was a corporate troubleshooter, who traveled frequently for his job. Even their residences are kept under wraps - other than that they live somewhere along America's mid-Atlantic coastline. Some biographies will show Charles living in Greenville Delaware, but that simply refers to a P.O. box they maintain.

Their decision to write under a single pseudonym came about when writing their first novel; they submitted an unsolicited manuscript to an editor hoping for some feedback and, because most books are published under a single name, they chose to submit the manuscript under the single name Charles Todd. However, instead of getting feedback from the editor they were offered a book deal, and neither they nor the editor saw any need to change the authorship. After a few books they decided to "come out" - a decision delayed because Caroline had been diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat and, until her condition was under control, she couldn't add the pressure and stress of tours.

They both love to travel to research their books and have traveled all over England together on many occasions. Caroline has an undergraduate degree in History and English Literature, and a master's in international relations. Charles is a member of the Men's Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion and AMVETS, focusing on the care of the troops when they return home.

When asked how they obtain their much praised insight into what the ravages of war can do to the human mind, Charles replies that he has spent many wonderful hours listening to service people, their wives and widows, starting in high school when he worked in a retirement home hearing stories about WWI. When traveling he actively seeks out stories from people he meets along the way. Caroline comments that she comes from a long southern tradition of storytelling and that she and Charles spent many evenings on her father's porch listening to his life experiences.

"A writer has to have an interest in people. You never know which part of an overheard conversation is going to be a gem for a book. But most importantly, we write about ordinary people being driven to the brink of control by a stress in their lives that has no other solution than someone's death. Murder lurks in all of us, and we try to draw out of our characters a sense of reality where what they do would have been done in real life, not just on a page at an author's whim." - Caroline "Todd".

In addition they have a library of materials they have collected, using first-hand sources as much as possible and they always walk the ground themselves.

Interesting Links:

  • An interview with the Todds in January magazine, about 5 years old, but still interesting reading, includes photograph.
  • A more recent but less comprehensive Q&A at BookBrowse.
  • An "interview" with Inspector Rutledge at the authors' website.

Filed under

This "beyond the book article" relates to A False Mirror. It originally ran in February 2007 and has been updated for the January 2008 paperback edition. Go to magazine.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    The Lost Ticket
    by Freya Sampson
    Drama on the bus can be Shakespearean. You just want to go downtown, but on the way, you overhear a ...
  • Book Jacket
    The War Librarian
    by Addison Armstrong
    Emmaline Balakin believes in the power of the written word — books have changed her life. When...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of Goose
    The Book of Goose
    by Yiyun Li
    Yiyun Li's The Book of Goose is a story of childhood friendship between narrator Agnès, a one-...
  • Book Jacket: Big Red
    Big Red
    by Jerome Charyn
    Jerome Charyn made his name as an author of detective novels, and over the years he has taken his ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Bell in the Lake
by Lars Mytting
The engrossing epic novel - a #1 bestseller in Norway - of a young woman whose fate plays out against her village's mystical church bells.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Our Missing Hearts
    by Celeste Ng

    From the author of Little Fires Everywhere, the inspiring new novel about a mother’s unbreakable love in a world consumed by fear.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

G R T Bad R

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.