Thursday, February 5, 2015

Book Review: A Fine Summer's Day by Charles Todd

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this book, free of charge, from William Morrow Publishing, for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Rounding out our trio of History Corner posts today, I have a mystery set in pre-WWI England!


New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd takes readers into Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge’s past—to his perplexing final case before the outbreak of World War I.

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.

To the north on this warm and gentle day, another man in love—a Scottish Highlander—shows his own dear girl the house he will build for her in September. While back in England, a son awaits the undertaker in the wake of his widowed mother’s death. This death will set off a series of murders across England, seemingly unconnected, that Rutledge will race to solve in the weeks before the fateful declaration in August that will forever transform his world.

As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, all of Britain wonders and waits. With every moment at stake, Rutledge sets out to right a wrong—an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth.


This book is actually a prequel for the Ian Rutledge series, that normally takes place after WWI. The authors take the chance to fill in background material that readers have called for. Add in a great mystery, and you have a book that will any fan of this series happy and content, like a cat on the hearth of a warm fire! The book echoes life as it was in England, prior to the war very well. That sense of innocence, that would be forever taken from so many young men, and their families, upon their return or deaths. The reader gets to see Ian in a 'happy' state, and to see how the war would change his personality and behavior (as in the previous book, that were set after the war). I might actually suggest reading this book first, if you have never read any books in the series, as it really fleshes out the main characters in the series.

If you're looking for a great historical based mystery, reminiscent of Downtown Abbey, give this series a check out.

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.

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.

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