The other series by the Bess Crawford series‘ author, Charles Todd.
Who is Ian Rutledge?
Written by the American authors Caroline and Charles Todd, the Ian Rutledge series is a mystery/historical one, taking us back after the Great war.
Beginning in 1919, the series follows Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge after he returned from the war front. Suffering from what is now called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rutledge lives the voice of the soldier named Hamish inside his head, all while solving murders.
Ian Rutledge Books in Order:
0. Prequel Novellas
Before the series begin, there are prequels in the form of e-original novellas, you can read them later, when you know Ian Rutledge better.
- Cold Comfort (short story) – It’s 1915, and the Great War is barely six months old. Lieutenant Ian Rutledge has left behind his career at Scotland Yard and is now serving in France. In his sector, Rutledge and his men set their charges and get out of the tunnel as fast as possible. But the charges don’t go off. Rutledge suspects that two Welsh miners cut the fuse too long, even though they deny it.
- A Guid Soldier (short story) – It’s World War I, and young Glaswegian Dougal Kerr is a new recruit in the British army. There’s only one thing that gives Ian Rutledge pause: Dougal is very good at killing, and he doesn’t seem to mind it at all–in fact, he seems to relish it.
- The Piper (short story) – Published after “Racing the Devil,” but it’s a standalone story. You can read it when you want. Ian Rutledge returns shell shocked from the trenches of World War I, tormented by the memory of Hamish MacLeod, the young Scots soldier he executed on the battlefield. Before the Great War, Hamish farms in the Highlands where he found a piper dead. Who was the mysterious piper, and who was seeking his death? As Hamish scours the countryside for answers,
I. The main series
- A Test of Wills – Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge returns home suffering from shellshock and the emotional strains of World War I, but he soon goes back to work and must solve a murder case involving the killing of a retired military officer, a crime in which the main suspect is a highly decorated war hero.
- Wings of Fire – Two years after World War I in Cornwall, England, an influential relative of three murdered family members convinces Scotland Yard to send Inspector Rutledge to investigate, unaware that Ian suffers shell shock from his own participation in the war effort.
- Search the Dark – A dead woman and two missing children bring Inspector Rutledge to the lovely Dorset town of Singleton Magna, where the truth lies buried with the dead. A tormented veteran whose family died in an enemy bombing is the chief suspect. Dubious, Rutledge presses on to find the real killer.
- Legacy of the Dead – The weathered remains found on a Scottish mountainside may be those of Eleanor Gray, but the imperious Lady Maude Gray, Eleanor’s mother, will have to be handled delicately. This is not the only ground that Inspector Ian Rutledge must tread carefully, for the case will soon lead him to Scotland.
- Watchers of Time – In a marshy Norfolk backwater, a priest is brutally murdered after giving a dying man last rites. For Ian Rutledge, it looks to be a simple case. Yet the Inspector finds himself uncovering secrets that the local authorities would prefer not to see explored.
- A Fearsome Doubt – In 1912 Ian Rutledge watched as a man was condemned to hang for the murders of elderly women. Now, seven years later, that grim trial returns in the form of Ben Shaw’s widow Nell, bringing Rutledge evidence she is convinced will prove her husband’s innocence.
- A Cold Treachery – Called out by Scotland Yard into the teeth of a violent blizzard, Ian Rutledge finds himself confronted with one of the most savage murders he has ever encountered. Someone has murdered the Elcott family at their table without the least sign of struggle. But one of the Elcotts’ children, a boy named Josh, is missing.
- A Long Shadow – Unexpectedly drawn away from London to a small Northamptonshire village, Ian Rutledge investigates the strange case of a local constable shot with a bow and arrow in an allegedly spirit-infested wood. Here among the taciturn townsfolk, Ian Rutledge hopes to keep his own ghosts at bay.
- A False Mirror – One early spring morning in 1920, a man is found on the strand so severely beaten that he slips in and out of consciousness. The prime suspect? His wife’s jilted lover, who served with Ian Rutledge in the recently ended Great War.
- A Pale Horse – The Great War never relinquished its hold on Ian Rutledge, leaving him haunted and isolated, unable to forget. In the spring of 1920, he’s dispatched to Berkshire to find a missing man whose war work is so secret even Rutledge cannot know its true nature.
- A Matter of Justice – After two London men end their business partnership, one of them is savagely murdered in a medieval tithe barn on his estate in Somerset. Investigating the killing, Ian Rutledge discovers that the victim was universally despised in Cambury-even the victim’s wife and the town’s police inspector are suspect.
- The Red Door – Lancashire, England: June, 1920. Who was the woman who lived and died behind the red door? What did she see before she died? And who was the man who never came home from the Great War? How is the woman’s death linked to his disappearance? And why is Scotland Yard blind to the connection, even when Inspector Ian Rutledge points it out?
- The Kidnapping (short story) – A man and his young daughter were returning home from a dinner party when three men appeared from out of nowhere and grabbed the girl. Ian Rutledge has to act quickly to find the child and bring the surprising culprits to justice.
- A Lonely Death – Three men have been murdered in a Sussex village. It’s a baffling case. The victims are soldiers who survived the horrors of the Great War only to meet a ghastly end in the quiet English countryside two years later. Shortly after Inspector Ian Rutledge arrives, a fourth soldier is found dead.
- The Confession – Declaring he needs to clear his conscience, a dying man walks into Scotland Yard and confesses that he killed his cousin five years earlier. When Inspector Ian Rutledge presses for details, the man evades his questions. With little information and no body to open an official inquiry, Rutledge begins to look into the case on his own.
- Proof of Guilt – London, summer 1920. An unidentified body appears to have been run down by a motorcar and Ian Rutledge is leading the investigation to uncover what happened. While the signs point to murder, vital questions remain: Who is the victim? And where, exactly, was he killed?
- Hunting Shadows – A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a man is murdered. After another body is found, the baffled local constabulary turns to Scotland Yard. Though the second crime had a witness, her description of the killer is so strange it’s unbelievable. Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge has few answers of his own
- A Fine Summer’s Day – Prequel, published at that point in the series. On a fine summer’s day in June, 1914, Ian Rutledge pays little notice to the assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo. An Inspector at Scotland Yard, he is planning to propose to the woman whom he deeply loves, despite intimations from friends and family that she may not be the wisest choice.
- No Shred of Evidence – On the north coast of Cornwall, an apparent act of mercy is repaid by an arrest for murder. Four young women have been accused of the crime. The families are incensed, and a shocked father calls in a favor at the Home Office, asking Scotland Yard to review the case. However, Inspector Ian Rutledge is told the case is all but closed.
- Racing the Devil – On the eve of the Battle of the Somme, a group of English officers make a promise to each other: they will meet in Paris a year after the fighting ends. In November 1919, the officers all meet as planned. In the mountains just north of their destination, two vehicles are nearly run off the road. Back in England one year later, a driver loses control on a twisting road and is killed in the crash. Was it an accident due to the hazardous conditions? Or premeditated murder?
- The Gate Keeper – Hours after his sister’s wedding, a restless Ian Rutledge drives aimlessly, haunted by the past, and narrowly misses a motorcar stopped in the middle of a desolate road. Standing beside the vehicle is a woman with blood on her hands and a dead man at her feet.
- The Black Ascot – An astonishing tip from a grateful ex-convict seems implausible—but Inspector Ian Rutledge is intrigued. Alan Barrington, who has evaded capture for ten years, is the suspect in an appalling murder during Black Ascot, the famous 1910 royal horserace honoring the late King Edward VII. Now it appears that Barrington has returned to England.