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Friday, February 25, 2011

A Lonely Death by Charles Todd

A Lonely Death is another installment of the Ian Rutledge series by the mother-son team.  I've enjoyed most of these novels a great deal, partly because of the protagonist, but partly because of the time period, shortly after WWI.    However, the last couple of novels have lacked the depth of the first ones.

This one was much better than the last one (The Red Door); the Todds have (thankfully) brought Hamish more into the picture once again.  Rutledge suffered shell shock during the war and has been gradually trying to work his way back to a more balanced life.  Hamish, a voice in Rutledges's head, is both a "ghost" and a part of Rutledge.  Rutledge has to watch himself to keep from replying aloud to Hamish's comments.   Every novel has a connection to the war and its effects on British society, in one way or another.

A small Sussex village requests a member of Scotland Yard to help solve the murder of 3 young men, who were rebuilding their lives after the war.  Rutledge must discover what motive drives the murderer and try to prevent more deaths.  Although all but one of the men served together, the link appears to have its roots further in the past.

The characters are better drawn in this one than in the previous one, and the plot more interesting; although still not as good as some of the earliest in the series, it does have more of the earlier flavor.

Fiction.  Mystery/ Historical Fiction.  2011.  343 pages.


  1. That's too bad this series goes downhill... I like the time zone, too

  2. I'm hoping it is climbing back up! This one was much better than the last couple of books!