Inspector Ian Rutledge Books In Order

Publication Order of Inspector Ian Rutledge Books

A Test of Wills (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wings of Fire (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Search the Dark (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Legacy of the Dead (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Watchers of Time (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Fearsome Doubt (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Cold Treachery (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Long Shadow (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A False Mirror (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Pale Horse (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Matter of Justice (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Red Door (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Kidnapping (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Lonely Death (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Confession (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Proof of Guilt (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cold Comfort (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hunting Shadows (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Fine Summer's Day (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
No Shred of Evidence (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Inspector Ian Rutledge is the central character in the Inspector Ian Series by Charles Todd. The detective/mystery series is composed of seventeen novels. The series is about the cases and life of Inspector Ian Rutledge, he is a veteran of the First World. He returns to the police force as a detective. However, as he returns he finds himself battling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, effects of the war. Consequently, he is frequently haunted by the memory of a fellow soldier. He hears his voice constantly on his head. Despite this condition, he must hide his distress from those around him so as to avoid social stigma that is associated with the war and other emotional or mental issues in the 20th century. The whole series is set in the early 20th century.

A test of wills

A Test of Wills is the premier book in the mystery series. This thriller is good and exceptional especially because it is based in the early 20th century. The protagonist, faces unique circumstances. The period which the novel is set presents unique scenes that are special to read. In 1919, after the Great War, many soldiers return to their families and homes. Many are injured in body and mind. While those that are injured in mind keep it a secret, there are those that never returned at all.

Suffering from deep shell shock, Inspector Ian is haunted by the taunting, loud, cynical voice of a dead soldier. A malicious, jealous colleague harbors secret suspicions about Ian’s mental health, he decides to test him. He has him assigned to an absolutely no-win case within a small village, he has to solve the murder of a popular military police officer. After investigating the case, he finds that the chief suspect is a war hero and a close friend of the Prince of Wales. Things are not good because the chief witness that is to testify is also a deranged shell-shock victim.

As Inspector Ian goes through his investigations, he makes his way through resentful relatives and friends of the victim. To find out a clear evidence, he has to unfold their painful secrets. In Ian’s precarious state, this could expose him as naïve and unskilled in solving the murder.


What is most interesting about the first novel in this series is that it features complex characters with unique characteristics. The characters are country villagers that construct an absorbing mystery with many surprising situations. The real star of the novel, Inspector Ian finds it hard to go through different personalities when trying to solve the murder. Without seeming overdone, Ian’s reality and strength is simply gripping.

This first novel features in the top 100 mysteries of the 2oth century. Ian’s is exhilarating and will hold you in a good grip at an accelerating pace to the end. It will be especially hard to put down the last several chapter of the book.

Legacy of the dead

After solving several mystery killings in the first novels of the series Inspector Ian Rutledge is in Scotland investigating the death of Eleanor Gray, who was last seen three years ago. The remains of Eleanor are found on a mountain side. Police arrest several suspects for the murder and Fiona MacDonald is among them.

For Ian, he knows that he must carefully conduct his investigations so that he might not insult the victim’s mother. Similarly, Ian feels stifled because the accused declines anyone defending her even it means that she could be executed. With a ghost MacLeod Hamish haunting his steps, he finds it hard focusing on the case. Ian asks questions about anyone that was associated with the woman, especially during the year that Eleanor disappeared. Each step further into the investigation seems to lead him further from the truth, an unknown puppet master manipulates every information behind the scenes.

In the fourth appearance in the series, Ian has become a complete character whom readers can fully understand. Readers are able to read through his mind through his ghost MacLeod. Furthermore, while reading the book, one has a feel of the impact of the World War I war especially on the decade that follows after the war.

Legacy of the Dead can be said to be a strong series as Charles Todd never disappoints his readers with his powerful intelligent writing. The novel offers a dazzling experience with historical police procedurals that send fans searching for the books that follow the novel.

Cold Comfort

Cold Comfort is the latest novel by the bestselling author Charles Todd. In this novel, he takes readers to Scotland where he has to unfold a past case before the breakout of the World War I.

Before the war, in June 1914, Ian Rutledge paid little notice to the murder of archduke within Sarajevo. As an Inspector in Scotland Yard, Ian was planning to propose to the woman that he deeply loves, he does this despite warnings from family and friends that this may not be the wisest choice.

Back in England, a son awaits the undertaker after waking up to his widowed mother’s death. This death sets off a series of murders all over England, they seem unconnected. Rutledge tries to solve these murders in weeks before a fateful declaration in August that is going to transform his world. Clouds of war gather in the horizon and Britain waits in wonder. With every single move, Rutledge sets himself on a wrong direction. His road finally leads him to choose between duty and love, between country and the Yard, between truth and honor.


Any thriller and mystery lover will really enjoy the entire series, its progression and characters. The endings to all these novels are unsatisfying and abrupt. It feels like the author runs out paper and fails to go to the store to get more. There are many loose ends at the end of each novel that continue in the subsequent novel. This series is simply rich with characters and several story lines that engage the reader. The Inspector Ian Rutledge series is among the early century books that feature an intelligent flow which does not disappoint.

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