A Fine Summer's Day
I've been reading the Ian Rutledge series for years, but this one is very different because this one functions as a prequel. A Fine Summer's Day takes place before WWI.
On a lovely summer's day, Ian Rutledge is attending a house party at the home of Melissa Crawford (Bess Crawford's aunt) with plans to ask the young woman he loves to marry him. Elsewhere on the same day a man is preparing to bury his mother, a young man in Scotland is proposing to his sweetheart, and in Sarajevo, an anarchist murders the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife.
The seeds of WWI are sown.
On that summer day in June, no one suspected that their lives were about to change. Certainly not Ian Rutledge, engaged and looking forward to marriage. Divided between his social obligations to his fiancee and his job at Scotland Yard, Rutledge spends the summer working on a series of murders that initially appear unrelated.
On the continent, one declaration of war after another increases the fear and suspense, and by August 4, 1914, England had joined the fray. Even after England declares war on Germany, and scores of young men rush to enlist, most feel that all will be settled by Christmas.
Throughout the summer, Rutledge travels from one village to another trying to find a connection between the murdered men, and even after he discovers the connection, he must find evidence to convince his superior.
It is strange to read an Ian Rutledge novel that takes place before the war and before he meets Hamish, but the Todd's have given us an interesting glimpse an England before the upheaval of war, before the loss of a generation of young men.
Historic Mystery. Jan. 2015. 371 pages.