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No Shred of Evidence: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery    by Charles Todd order for
No Shred of Evidence
by Charles Todd
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2016 (2016)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Scotland Yard's Ian Rutledge is back in another tale of intrigue and very possibly murder, bringing with him his constant companion Hamish, the soldier whom Rutledge was forced to execute for desertion during World War I.

Rutledge travels to the north coast of Cornwall to investigate what might be either an act of mercy or murder depending on who is telling the tale of a man's death. Four young women have been accused of what is possibly the crime of murder. A father of one of the girls calls in a favor and Scotland Yard is called to review the case.

Deep, dark and long-kept secrets abound, almost daring Rutledge to ferret them out. Could the accuser have been mistaken at what he thought he saw? Did one of the girls hit the drowning man over the head with the boat's oar to prevent him from climbing into the girls' rowboat after his own sank? Was the man in the girls' boat all along? Could the accuser be acting in revenge for the death of his brother twenty years ago?

The mother and son team of author Charles Todd have done it once again with No Shred of Evidence. This newest in the Inspector Rutledge series portrays England as it was in the 1920s, which is a treat in its own right. I love to luxuriate in the English countryside as depicted by Todd. I picture myself sitting down to a lovely tea served in front of a roaring fire in an English cottage. This is easy to do using the cottage conjured up by the author and the characters created to serve that tea.

The mystery isn't too bad either. Could these four young women deliberately have tried to kill the drowning man? Why would they? He liked to flirt, but that's no reason to kill someone. What is not being brought out into the open by Rutledge? Why do the villagers dislike Rutledge when he is only trying to resolve the incident?

If Ian Rutledge is on your list of favorite fictitious characters, this is definitely the book for you. If not, why not?

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