(Review) A Fine Summer's Day: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd
Publisher: William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers.
Genre: British murder mystery, pre-WWI, WWI, detective story.
Source: Free advanced reader ebook copy from HarperCollins in exchange for a review.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.
A Fine Summer's Day is book 17 in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery books.
Link @ Amazon.
To read a sample:
It's late June 1914. Detective Ian Rutledge is in his early years of detective work for Scotland Yard. His superintendent is Bowles, a man who is often difficult to comprehend, he's moody and sullen. Rutledge is sent on an assignment for a murder case. Meanwhile, Rutledge becomes engaged to the lovely Jean Gordon. Their engagement comes on the day of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. Talk of war begins immediately in Europe. Rutledge hopes the talk will not proceed Great Britain's involvement. Jean's father is a military man and she has vainglorious visions for Rutledge. A Fine Summer's Day is a perfect title for the last of the "fine" days before World War I began.
I've read several books in the Ian Rutledge Mystery series. I'm pleased A Fine Summer's Day shares Rutledge's life prior to World War I. The rest of the series of books are post World War I.
A Fine Summer's Day gave me background information about Rutledge. His family life, romance, pre-World War I personality, parents, and relationship with superintendent Bowles.
Another aspect of the book showed me Rutledge's insecurities in regard to his career choice; further, his struggles of being a detective and balancing a personal life.
A Fine Summer's Day explores the gusto and naivete of people vigorous for war. However, they did not understand war's burdens, most pronounced the maiming of peoples lives, destruction, and death.
Rutledge is a vulnerable character because of his torn feelings. He is a torn character through all of the series, but in A Fine Summer's Day I see where "it" all began.
From the beginning of the story when the labor pangs of war begin, through to the end of the book, there is a crescendo of war building. At first it is talk that seems far away, then Russia becomes involved, and later when Germany over-takes Belgium, the verdict is set. Britain will be at war.
I loved every aspect of this story and feel it is the best in the Ian Rutledge Mystery series!