A Test of Wills: The First Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries #1) (Paperback)

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A Test of Wills: The First Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries #1) By Charles Todd Cover Image
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This is book number 1 in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries series.

Staff Reviews

A Test of Wills by Charles Todd is the first in the Ian Rutledge series set after WWI.  Today PTSD is recognized, not so much in 1919.  Ian comes back from the war a changed man.  He is also accompanied by the ghost of a man he killed, Hamish.  I have got to say, I like Hamish.  One of my favorite characters in the series.  Useful too, as he often alerts Ian to danger as the series progresses.   But Ian is troubled by hearing Hamish, worried that someday he might start seeing him too.  Men suffering from PTSD back then were labeled cowards, no matter their bravery, and ostracized.  Ian does not want it to get around Scotland Yard that he has a few peculiarities. 

Superintendent Bowles doesn’t like Ian, doesn’t like it that Ian went to the right schools, came from the right sort of family, and is exceedingly good at his job.  Bowles didn’t have those advantages and has to work hard to succeed.  He has just been asked to investigate a murder in Warwickshire.  A popular, highly respected Colonel was shot while on his morning ride.  The prime suspect?  A war hero, a fly boy who was famous for bringing down the enemy.  Also, he is a friend of the Prince of Wales.  This is the sort of case that, if it goes wrong, could ruin an investigator’s career.  Superintendent Bowles calls Inspector Rutledge into his office to hand out this assignment, knowing there are aspects to the case that just might doom Rutledge.   

— Deon Stonehouse


“Todd has written a first novel that speaks out, urgently and compassionately, for a long-dead generation….A meticulously wrought puzzle.”
—New York Times Book Review

“An intricately plotted mystery. With this remarkable debut, Charles Todd breaks new ground in the historical crime novel.”
—Peter Lovesey, author of The Circle

“You’re going to love Todd.”
—Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

The first novel to feature war-damaged Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge, A Test of Wills is the book that brought author Charles Todd into the spotlight. This Edgar® and Anthony Award-nominated, New York Times Notable mystery brilliantly evokes post-World War I Great Britain and introduces readers to one of crime fiction’s most compelling series protagonists. Here the shell-shocked Rutledge struggles to retain his fragile grip on sanity while investigating the death of a popular army colonel, murdered, it appears, by a decorated war hero with ties to the Royal Family. A phenomenal writer, a twisting puzzle, a character-rich re-creation of an extraordinary time and place…it all adds up to one exceptional read that will delight fans of Elizabeth George, Martha Grimes, Jacqueline Winspear, Ruth Rendell, and other masters of the British procedural.

About the Author

Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, Caroline passed away in August 2021 and Charles lives in Florida.

Praise For…

“You’re going to love Todd.” — Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062091611
ISBN-10: 0062091611
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 16th, 2011
Pages: 320
Language: English
Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries