I read my first Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery just recently and since then have been reading everything I can get by the authors, a mother and son who write under the name Charles Todd, and recommending them to anyone looking for a different style of whodunnit.
The books are set in the 1920s and while the stories may evoke some nostalgia for a gentler time, they have their own brand of grittiness.
In Lancashire, in a house with a red door, a woman has been bludgeoned to death. Meanwhile, in London, a man suffering from a mysterious illness disappears then suddenly reappears. Drawn into both cases, Rutledge has two mysteries to solve : who was the woman who lived and died behind the red door? And who was the man who did not come home from the Great War - and who may not ever have gone?
This book - the 11th in the series - is as gripping as all the others I have read. And Rutledge, scarred by his own wartime experiences, is such a complex character. It's also satisfying to read a crime novel that doesn't rely on over-the-top goriness for effect, or high-tech gadgets. Give these books a go - I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Reviewed by Jan@ Ballarat branch