No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #18)

No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #18)

4.5 4
by Charles Todd

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In this absorbing new entry in the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge is caught up in a twisted web of vengeance and murder.

On the north coast of Cornwall, an apparent act of mercy is repaid by an arrest for murder. Four young women have been accused of the crime. A shocked father calls in a favor at the Home


In this absorbing new entry in the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge is caught up in a twisted web of vengeance and murder.

On the north coast of Cornwall, an apparent act of mercy is repaid by an arrest for murder. Four young women have been accused of the crime. A shocked father calls in a favor at the Home Office. Scotland Yard is asked to review the case.

However, Inspector Ian Rutledge is not the first Inspector to reach the village. Following in the shoes of a dead man, he is told the case is all but closed. Even as it takes an unexpected personal turn, Rutledge will require all his skill to deal with the incensed families of the accused, the grieving parents of the victim, and local police eager to see these four women sent to the infamous Bodmin Gaol. Then why hasn’t the killing stopped?

With no shred of evidence to clear the accused, Rutledge must plunge deep into the darkest secrets of a wild, beautiful and dangerous place if he is to find a killer who may—or may not—hold the key to their fate.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
It's [the] melancholy tone, the legacy of the trenches, that gives Todd's polite rural mystery such uncommon depth.
Publishers Weekly
Were four young women trying to rescue a drowning man on a Cornish river in 1920—or to kill him? That’s the intriguing puzzle bestseller Todd (the mother-son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd) sets for Rutledge in the inspector’s solid 18th outing (following 2015’s A Fine Summer’s Day). According to the women—one of whom, Kate Gordon, was almost Rutledge’s relative by marriage—they spotted Harry Saunders in a sinking boat and tried to get him to safety. But they weren’t up to the task, and Saunders would have drowned but for the intervention of a farmer, Bradford Trevose, who insists to the police that he saw the women trying to murder Saunders. Evidence of a blow to Saunders’s head, which left him unconscious, supports Trevose’s version of events. As Rutledge strives to reconcile the conflicting testimonies, he must also resolve some clear-cut crimes of violence. Atmospheric scenes of suspense, set in the lonely Cornish countryside, are a plus. Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Library Journal
It's 1920, and Insp. Ian Rutledge (last seen in A Fine Summer's Day) has been sent to the Cornish countryside to investigate a case of attempted murder. Four gently bred young women insist they were trying to save Harry Saunders from drowning, not kill him. However, Harry's in no condition to tell what really happened, and the one witness says otherwise. Cornwall is definitely not Rutledge's favorite place, and he is painfully reminded of his past here. Nevertheless, he is determined to do his duty, especially since he has a personal connection to one of the accused women. VERDICT As always, Todd skillfully explores human emotion and motivations and is a master at creating an evocative setting. Not the strongest entry in the series but still enjoyable for fans of historical mysteries. [See Prepub Alert, 8/10/15.]—Laurel Bliss, San Diego State Univ. Lib.
Kirkus Reviews
A pleasure expedition in Cornwall turns deadly in Inspector Rutledge's 18th case. In the Cornish town of Padstow, Victoria Grenville is entertaining her neighbor Elaine St. Ives and two visitors from London for an autumn weekend. A row on the River Camel seems like a lark until they see Victoria's would-be suitor, Harry Saunders, in trouble in his own boat. What appears to be a well-intentioned rescue attempt, with the four women helped by young farmer Bradford Trevose, goes awry when Harry is hit with the oar, and Trevose accuses the young women of attempted murder. When the first detective on the case dies of heart failure, Grenville, the local magistrate, calls in Scotland Yard, which sends Inspector Ian Rutledge. Rutledge is shocked to learn that one of the accused houseguests is Kate Gordon, his ex-fiancee's cousin. Much as he admires Kate for her sense and courage under pressure, Rutledge has to be impartial, especially with Harry lying in a coma and his parents clamoring for justice. The only motives Rutledge can imagine are class resentment on Harry's side and bitterness about the victim's easy berth during World War I from the Grenville and St. Ives families, who suffered terrible losses. Even Rutledge's invisible familiar—the voice of a fallen wartime comrade—is mostly silent. Then Mrs. Grenville tells Rutledge about a past tragedy that could explain why Trevose blames the young women for Harry's coma and ultimately his death. Without real evidence or the missing notes from the first detective, Rutledge's investigation is as nebulous as the rumors of a local spirit. Then a second assault takes Rutledge in a new direction and into serious danger. The haunted detective is as thorough as usual, though he's dealing with faster-moving events than in some of his previous adventures (A Fine Summer's Day, 2015, etc.). There's no peace for the man and only a teaser of romantic feelings he scarcely admits.
Marilyn Stasio
“It’s that melancholy tone, the legacy of the trenches, that gives Todd’s polite rural mystery such uncommon depth.”
Wilmington Star News on NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE
“Fans already mourning the end of “Downton Abbey” can easily get their English fix by following Rutledge and Hamish on their rounds.”
Suspense Magazine on NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE
“Poirot was one name, Holmes was another, and Rutledge deserves to be in that classic pack of crime solvers.”
Seattle Times Book Review
“NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE is the latest in Charles Todd’s consistently rewarding historical mysteries about British Detective Inspector Ian Rutledge. Over the course of a dozen and a half books, Todd has brilliantly, gradually revealed the many sides of this complex, melancholy man.”
Iron Mountain Daily News on NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE
“The mother and son team, who write as Charles Todd, deftly capture the atmosphere of post World War I England in this complex mystery which will appeal to fans of British mysteries.”

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Inspector Ian Rutledge Series , #18
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

Meet 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, they live on the East Coast.

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No Shred of Evidence (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #18) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Gail-Cooke More than 1 year ago
There’s very little peace for the Todd hero Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge but always a compelling story for readers. Rutledge is perspicacious but troubled by his experiences in the Great War. He suffers from shell shock and guilt due to the killing of a young Scot soldier, Hamish MacLeod, who refused an order. The voice of Hamish is with Rutledge to this day, speaking to him whether invited or not. No Shred Of Evidence takes place in the Cornish countryside, which is beautifully described. During the autumn of 1920 in the town of Padstow Victoria Grenville is entertaining friends - a neighbor Elaine St. Ives and two other young women from London, one of whom is Kate Gordon, known to Rutledge because she is related to his former fiancee. It is a beautiful day and rowing on the River Camel seems like an excellent idea until they see Harry Saunders in a sinking boat. Neither of the women is an accomplished sailor and their attempts to save him would have come to naught had it not been for the help of a farmer, Bradford Trevose, who dove into the water and saved Saunders. Surprisingly Trevose swears to the police that the women were trying to murder Saunders. The village is shocked by this accusation and the father of one of the women calls Scotland Yard to investigate, so an inspector is sent to Padstow. But soon after his arrival he is found dead of an apparent heart attack. Rutledge is dispatched to continue the investigation. He is, of course, surprised to find that one of the young women accused is Kate Gordon and distressed to find that the former inspector’s notes have vanished. Pressure on Rutledge mounts as Saunders lies in a coma and his family demands justice. Yet the women continue to claim their innocence saying they were only trying to save the man. Why would Trevose accuse the women if it were not so? How can Rutledge rectify the conflicting testimonies? And then another violent crime occurs and Rutledge finds himself in grave danger. One more absorbing mystery from the Todd team that also explores the effects of war not only on the men who served but also on the women whose loved ones never returned.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
Of course I enjoy this series set in England, and the characters still provide pleasure. Ian Rutledge must journey to Cornwall to aid in an investigation concerning the assault on a banker's son. Four lovely young women go boating and on returning home discover a young man shouting from his sinking boat. The ladies attempt and struggle to rescue the man until a farmer dives in the water and helps with the rescue. Later, on shore, the farmer accuses the ladies of attempting to kill and drown the man. Anger, confusion, and accusations propel the investigation to Scotland Yard and Ian Rutledge. But Ian finds a personal connection to the case when he learns that one of the ladies is the niece of his former fiancé. Will Ian uncover the person behind the plot before the women are thrown in jail?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always, a well plotted, gripping mystery. You want to read this mystery for the words as well as the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford tales! Having read both I am quite lost as to what to read next.