Friday, January 22, 2010

9 - The Red Door; Charles Todd

The Red Door; Charles Todd
In fairness to the author (mother and son team of Carline and Charles Todd - writing as Charles Todd), this was my first book in this series - despite the fact that 11 previous mysteries have been released.

The mystery is set in early 1920. Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge is called to investigate the disappearance of one Walter Teller. Walter was a missionary who disappeared from the Belvedere Clinic after suffering a mental breakdown which resulted from some war time trauma.  At around the same time that Walter returns home on his own after that disappearance, a woman named Florence Teller is found murdered in her home in Lancashire (the home with the "Red Door").  Florence had been waiting for her husband Peter to return from The Great War -- he never did.

To complicate things a bit, Walter Teller, has two brothers: Edwin and a brother named Peter Teller who is married to a different woman. Although it seems likely that the two Teller cases could be connected, the family denies any connection, and while there is more to this mystery, I do not want to give out too much info and risk spoiling the story for other readers.

MY THOUGHTS - The Red Door was a well written historical mystery. I do wish I has read at least a few of the earlier books from this series before diving into #12.  Had I done so I believe I would have had a better understanding of Inspection Rutledge and those he worked with in the past. Despite this, the novel had a interesting cast of characters/suspects, and plenty of twists and turns along the way to hold the reader's interest. The multiple story lines come together well  to make for a satisfying ending.  RATING - 3.5/5


NOTE:  Just a few months ago I read the first in a new Charles Todd series called,  A Duty to the Dead, featuring Bess Crawford. I really enjoyed that book (also a historical mystery).  This writing team is very talented, so my recommendation would be to either start at the beginning of this series, or try A Duty to the Dead first. If interested you can read my review HERE for the other book.

(Review copy was sent to me by Harper Collins - many thanks)

15 comments:

  1. The authors of Charles Todd live right here in Delaware (a big deal for such a small state!). I just recently read a profile of them in the local paper and I wondered what their books were like, so I really appreciated your review. I think I'll have to check one out myself!

    Sue

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  2. I would have to start at the very beginning. I hate reading series out of order...just a weird hang-up I have!

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  3. I probably won't pick this one up since I haven't read any books in the series.

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  4. I have meant to read this series for a long time. I will admit that I am a bit nutty about reading a series in order though. I appreciate your thoughts on The Red Door. I'll also look for the other series with the nurse.

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  5. Charles Todd is a mystery writer (team) new to me, so I appreciate this introduction. I read several mystery series, and like you, prefer to read them starting with the first one in the series.
    I read Martha Grimes, Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin and Elizabeth Peters series, in order, thank you very much :)

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  6. I imagine jumping in at book 12 would be a bit difficult.

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  7. I'm a book lover, so I'm going to keep an on you for new finds. Happy VGNO!

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  8. I like mysterious as well as literary fiction. There are days when we all need to escape.

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  9. I like the sound of this and am trying to think if I have read a historical mystery yet... I dont think I have!

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  10. Diana, I nominated you for an award. Come on over and see.

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  11. Wow, number TWELVE in the series? Won't get to this one for a long, long time!

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  12. I really enjoyed A Duty to the Dead too, and it was the first Charles Todd mystery I've read. I plan to start at the beginning of the Rutledge series, but they also have one stand-alone novel I hope to read soon: The Murder Stone.

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  13. I'm interested in reading A Duty to the Dead. Thanks for the heads-up on this one.

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  14. This one is sitting on my bedside table. I haven't read any of the others in the series either so I really appreciate your review.

    -Amy
    Life by Candlelight

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  15. I don't think I have ever read a historical mystery before, but this book sounds really interesting. I may have to try to pick up the first in this series. Thanks for the great review!

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