I absolutely love Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series, but funnily enough I've only read one or two of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries. And I'm not sure why, as I really enjoyed Hunting Shadows, the 16th entry in this series.
Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard is called in by the local constabulary when they are stymied by not one, but two murders - both perpetrated by a sniper. The two victims are completely disparate and it's up to Rutledge to find the common denominator - and the killer.
Todd writes wonderful historical mysteries - the times, the social customs and mores, the language and more are just lovely to immerse yourself in. It's a gentler time, but it's also coloured by the aftermath of World War 1. (Hunting Shadows is set in 1920) Shell shock (what we now call PTSD) plays a part in both the plot and with our main character. Rutledge often converses with Hamish, a dead soldier from Rutledge's past.
I enjoyed and savoured the slow building of the case. Finding clues, conducting interviews, visiting scenes - it's all done in a measured manner that is just a treat to read. Yes, it's a murder mystery, but it's such a rich, atmospheric read on top of that. There's so much detail in Todd's prose, bringing the time period, the settings and the supporting cast to life.
The final whodunit is a satisfying end to some excellent plotting - one a reader will not guess beforehand. Definitely recommended. Read an excerpt of Hunting Shadows.
Those who enjoy British settings and authors will be surprised to discover that Charles Todd is actually an American mother/son writing duo. You can keep up with Charles Todd on Facebook.
See what others on the TLC book tour thought. Full schedule can be found her.