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A Matter of Justice: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) Hardcover – December 30, 2008

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4 Stars and Up Feature: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
"Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. A standout." --Library Journal Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In the stellar 11th Insp. Ian Rutledge mystery (after 2007's A Pale Horse), Todd (the pseudonym of a mother-son writing team) seamlessly combines a fair-play whodunit with a nuanced look into the heart of darkness in the human soul. During the Boer War, Pvt. Harold Quarles takes advantage of a Boer attack on a British military train to enrich himself. When two decades later his battered corpse is found grotesquely displayed at his country residence in Somerset, Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge must sift through the plethora of lies, omissions and motives surrounding Quarles, who had become a successful investment adviser in London. Because the victim was almost universally despised in Somerset, Rutledge has no shortage of suspects. The inspector's own inner struggles, stemming from his guilt over his morally questionable actions during WWI, make him a more human and complicated protagonist than most other series sleuths. (Jan.)
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From Bookmarks Magazine

Any good historical novel steeps its reader in the details of a period. But Charles Todd does it with a passion—and through a narrator uniquely qualified to understand human nature—that brings fresh possibilities to the genre. Todd writes with atmospheric charm and a dark psychological edge that makes Rutledge one of crime writing's most compelling recurring characters. Especially intriguing is Rutledge's own coming to terms with his guilt over actions committed in World War I. "Finding a way back had somehow seemed to be a final betrayal," he thinks in A Matter of Justice, as he again questions his own survival. The success of the series hinges on both clever plotting and the nuance with which the authors continue to develop their character.
Copyright 2009 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries (Book 11)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061233595
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061233593
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #879,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

Charles and Caroline have a rich storytelling heritage. Both spent many evenings on the porch listening to their fathers and grandfathers reminisce. And a maternal grandmother told marvelous ghost stories. This tradition allows them to write with passion about events before their own time. And an uncle/great-uncle who served as a flyer in WWI aroused an early interest in the Great War.

Charles learned the rich history of Britain, including the legends of King Arthur, William Wallace, and other heroes, as a child. Books on Nelson and by Winston Churchill were always at hand. Their many trips to England gave them the opportunity to spend time in villages and the countryside, where there'a different viewpoint from that of the large cities. Their travels are at the heart of the series they began ten years ago.

Charles's love of history led him to a study of some of the wars that shape it: the American Civil War, WWI and WWII. He enjoys all things nautical, has an international collection of seashells, and has sailed most of his life. Golf is still a hobby that can be both friend and foe. And sports in general are enthusiasms. Charles had a career as a business consultant. This experience gave him an understanding of going to troubled places where no one was glad to see him arrive. This was excellent training for Rutledge's reception as he tries to find a killer in spite of local resistance.

Caroline has always been a great reader and enjoyed reading aloud, especially poetry that told a story. The Highwayman was one of her early favorites. Her wars are WWI, the Boer War, and the English Civil War, with a sneaking appreciation of the Wars of the Roses as well. When she's not writing, she's traveling the world, gardening, or painting in oils. Her background in international affairs backs up her interest in world events, and she's also a sports fan, an enthusiastic follower of her favorite teams in baseball and pro football. She loves the sea, but is a poor sailor. (Charles inherited his iron stomach from his father.) Still, she has never met a beach she didn't like.

Both Caroline and Charles share a love of animals, and family pets have always been rescues. There was once a lizard named Schnickelfritz. Don't ask.

Writing together is a challenge, and both enjoy giving the other a hard time. The famous quote is that in revenge, Charles crashes Caroline's computer, and Caroline crashes his parties. Will they survive to write more novels together? Stay tuned! Their father/husband is holding the bets.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Melanchthon VINE VOICE on November 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Plays in the interwar years: a Scotland Yard inspector is despatched to an English village to solve the murder of an unpopular man who bought an estate in the area. Everyone in the village hated him, including the local police man, so the solving of the crime turns into a critical sifting of the misleading statements and non-statements made by different witnesses. One gets a nice sense of the dynamics of village life, and the period/historical touches are accurate and lend depth to the story. There is a counterpoint with an earlier incident in the Boer War that is also well-sketched. The inspector is a veteran of WWI trench warfare, and he has a "voice in his ear" from Hamish, one of his (dead) men, that adds an interesting psychological frisson and commentary to the different interviews that the inspector makes. Usually I don't care for paranormal stuff, but this was just enough on the border of the psychological that I enjoyed it very much. However, Hamish's accent was annoying--not very authentic.

I loved the story, though. I was unfamiliar with this series before, but I am going to be seeking out the earlier titles this afternoon. The book reads a bit like a combination of early Agatha Christie both in the storytelling and the emotional restraint of the narrative with the psychological depth of Pat Barker. I loved it!
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By barry VINE VOICE on December 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First thing, the author here - Charles Todd - is actually a mother and son writing team. It is very impressive to me that two people can join together as one to produce such a highly intelligent, literary and intelligent piece of work. Kudos of the highest order are deserved.

The main story here evolves around the death of a not very well liked London businessman Harold Quarles. His body is discovered in the most unusual of circumstances in Somerset, where he has a summer estate. Called in is Scotland Yard Investigator Ian Rutledge. He certainly has his hands full for all the townspeople in both Somerset and London are not very fond of Mr. Quarles. Almost everyone is a suspect, openly verbalizing their dislike of the man and gratitude that someone finally did away with him.

The story mainly takes place in 1920 England but does take trips back to some major events in South Africa during the Boer War. There are a lot of characters here and they are all three dimensional and very well developed. They are all very believable. Most believable though is the main character, our Inspector, Ian Rutledge. His character does not merely go through the motions. We understand and are told why he thinks what he does and why he takes the actions he chooses. He is a troubled soul and has some mental problems due to some issues that fill him with great guilt from his own actions in WWI. He feels responsible for the death of a particular soldier and this spector haunts him. This man is very real to Ian Rutledge and he hears him talking to him all the time. Inspector Rutledge is a very complex man who is excellent at his job while being so disturbed that he continuously talks out loud to this dead man whose voice he hears. This makes for a very intriguing main character.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Pug lover. VINE VOICE on November 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Inspector Ian Rutledge is in top form in this very complicated mystery. Of course he has the help of Hamish, the voice in his head of a soldier he killed in WW1. This story begins with a horrible event during the Boer War. Twenty years later the consequences come home to roost. The villians are finally punihed for the acts they committed.There is a very realistic depiction of village life where the murder of the village squire in his Tithe barn takes place in a very unique way.I really liked this book and it kept me guessing until the end. I am sure most mystery lovers will find it really will help pass a cold winter day reading in a cozy room.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Linda Bulger VINE VOICE on December 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Readers of Charles Todd's series know Ian Rutledge as a former army man haunted by his experiences in WWI, now an inspector at Scotland Yard. A Matter of Justice: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) is the first I've read in the series and I am eager to go back and read some of the earlier stories.

The book begins with a tried and true technique: first we meet Ronald Evering contemplating revenge in the book's "real time" of 1920, and then we flash back to the wartime crime in which two soldiers caused the death of Evering's brother. From there the book returns to 1920 and moves in a linear fashion. Rutledge is pulled in to investigate the death of one of the former soldiers, and there's a twist to the crime that speaks of real passion.

The crime scene is in Cambury, "a village that's outgrown itself." The victim, Quarles, was a London financial advisor with a country home in Cambury where he'd appointed himself squire, indulged in some bad behavior, and lined up an impressive array of enemies. The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker (figuratively speaking) and Quarles's estranged wife all had issues with him. Rutledge follows up leads, makes a couple of quick trips back to London to question people, and progresses from theory to theory; there are many potential suspects in Cambury, London, and beyond. It's all well plotted and in the end all the loose ends are tied up in a satisfactory fashion. There may not be many "aha! moments" until the end but then that's probably the case in real police work too.

A MATTER OF JUSTICE could have been a five star read for me if there had been more of the back-story revealed.
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