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A Matter of Justice LP: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries) Paperback – Large Print, December 30, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
Book 11 of 15 in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series

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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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries (Book 11)
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: HarperLuxe; Lgr edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061719765
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061719769
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,016,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A London financial advisor named Quarles is respected and admired by his compatriots in the City, but he lives a different life altogether in the small village where he maintains a second home where he can "rusticate" to get away from business. There, he is known as a man who pursues women against their wishes, often married women or very young girls. He is just about universally hated by his neighbors there and so when he turns up dead in rather appalling circumstances, most of them will freely admit that they are glad he is dead and would have been happy to kill him themselves. All of which does not make the work of the police investigating the crime any easier.

The man was very important in the business world and lived as the local squire in the village and so when he is murdered the local constable calls on Scotland Yard for assistance. If it means a trip to the provinces, it's another chance for his superior to get Inspector Ian Rutledge out of his hair and his sight for a while. Rutledge is therefore dispatched to deal with the crime.

There is a bit of a twist in the telling of this story. At the beginning of the book, we meet Quarles and his later business partner Penrith as they are serving in South Africa during the Boer War at the turn of the twentieth century. Something happens at that time which will be the precipitant of later events. We also meet the brother of the lieutenant with whom Quarles and Penrith served. The lieutenant and all the others under his command, except for Quarles and Penrith, had died in a Boer ambush. Knowing all of these facts in advance, we are far ahead of Rutledge and the local police in determining motive for the murder and seeing how it was planned and executed.
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Format: Paperback
This is the 11th in the Ian Rutledge series. Rutledge is a WWI veteran haunted by the memory of men he sent to the their deaths, particularly by Hamish, whom he was forced to execute for refusing an order to go over the top once again. Rutledge is overwhelmed with guilt over the execution, all the more so because Hamish was the best soldier under his command and Rutledge knows Hamish was right to identify the charge as futile and to result in more needless deaths. Hamish is a loud Scots voice in Rutledge's ear, questioning him, tormenting him, but sometimes acting almost as a helpful detective sergeant to Rutledge's Scotland Yard Inspector.

In this title, Rutledge investigates the murder of Harold Quarles, a London financier, at his country house in Somerset. Quarles has been killed by a blow to the head and, bizarrely, put into a winged wicker harness of an angel costume and hoisted high above the floor of a medieval tithe barn on his grounds. Rutledge finds himself with almost too many suspects because Quarles was widely hated in the Somerset village and at least generally disliked in the City. Even his wife was estranged from him.

Charles Todd (pseuonym for a mother and son writing team) sets the scene with a flashback to the Boer War that lets us know the probable murderer, though not all the particulars of how the murder was committed or the reason for mocking Quarles with the angel device. From then on, Todd gives us a fair play police procedural.

I've read almost all the books in this series and found this latest a bit on the lackluster side. There is little, if any, further development in Rutledge's character.
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