The Red Door (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #12)

( 35 )

Overview

At the end of a terrible war, a woman painted the door to her house red to welcome her husband home from the Front . . . but he never returned. Two years later, in the English summer of 1920, she lies lifeless behind that door, savagely bludgeoned to death.

In London, a man suffering from a mysterious illness goes missing, and his family members offer conflicting accounts of one another's whereabouts at the time of his disappearance. Then, suddenly, he reappears, miraculously ...

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The Red Door (Inspector Ian Rutledge Series #12)

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Overview

At the end of a terrible war, a woman painted the door to her house red to welcome her husband home from the Front . . . but he never returned. Two years later, in the English summer of 1920, she lies lifeless behind that door, savagely bludgeoned to death.

In London, a man suffering from a mysterious illness goes missing, and his family members offer conflicting accounts of one another's whereabouts at the time of his disappearance. Then, suddenly, he reappears, miraculously recovered, offering no clues to the puzzle or to the reason behind his brothers' and sister's silence and rage.

Now Inspector Ian Rutledge, still haunted by the battlefield's horrors, must solve two possibly connected mysteries. He must uncover the family secret that nearly drove one man mad, and bring a ruthless killer to justice.

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Editorial Reviews

Winston-Salem Journal on The Red Door
“Fascinating and compelling.”
Sun-Sentinel (Florida) on The Red Door
“In The Red Door, Charles Todd shows again that this series about Ian Rutledge, a battle-fatigued World War I veteran and Scotland Yard detective, is as fresh and original as when the shell-shocked detective debuted 12 novels ago.”
Globe and Mail (Toronto) on The Red Door
“Superb…haunting tale of love and loss.”
Mystery Scene on The Red Door
“A complex story with lots of unexpected twists and turns….A fun ride to a surprising conclusion.”
World magazine on The Red Door
“The book is more than a whodunit. Todd’s characters are well-wrought, his settings evocative, and the book a pleasure to read.”
Post and Courier (Charleston)
"An intriguing story that’s impossible to put down…reminiscent of Agatha Christie."
San Jose Mercury News on The Red Door
“Compelling.”
Winston-Salem Journal
“Fascinating and compelling.”
Post and Courier (Charleston
“An intriguing story that’s impossible to put down…reminiscent of Agatha Christie.”
Marilyn Stasio
Twelve books into a series of mysteries set in England in the aftermath of World War I, the mother and son who team-write under the name of Charles Todd keep finding new ways to gauge the emotional effects of war on the living and the half-dead.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Set in 1920, bestseller Todd's 12th mystery to feature the shell-shocked WWI veteran and Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge (after 2008's A Matter of Justice) is one of the strongest entries yet in a series that shows no sign of losing steam. Rutledge first looks into the disappearance of missionary Walter Teller, who suddenly fell ill in London and later apparently walked out of the clinic where he was being treated. Rutledge questions members of Teller's immediate family, including his brothers, Peter and Edwin. After the resolution of the case of the missing missionary, Rutledge investigates the bludgeoning death of Florence Teller, apparently the wife of another Peter Teller, in Lancashire. Once again Todd (the pseudonym of a mother-son writing team) perfectly balance incisive portraits of all the characters, not just the complex and original lead, with a tricky puzzle in which the killer is hidden in plain sight for the discerning reader to discover. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Warning: skeletons in the family closet can be deadly. In Todd's 12th Inspector Rutledge mystery (after A Matter of Justice), set in post-World War I London, Rutledge struggles to find inner peace in a disillusioned world. His current assignment starts as a straightforward missing-person case of one Walter Teller but quickly blends into a murder investigation when a woman is killed in Lancashire. Village accounts suggest she was married to army officer Peter Teller, presumed dead. Is it just a coincidence that one of Walter's brothers is named Peter, who happens to be very much alive, living in London, and married to another woman? The Teller family emphatically denies that the dead woman is a relation, but Rutledge must uncover their secret before the killer strikes again. After introducing new sleuth Bess Crawford in A Duty to the Dead, the mother-and-son writing team returns to their popular series sleuth, the tortured but very human Ian Rutledge, with this engaging and atmospheric mystery. VERDICT Recommended for Anglophiles who love cozy, historical mysteries with a detective who is bent but never completely broken. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/09.]—Susan O. Moritz, Montgomery Cty. P.L.s, MD
Kirkus Reviews
Inspector Rutledge confronts a war-weary family in 1920. Where is Walter Teller? An undiagnosed malady has sent him to the Belvedere Clinic. His wife Jenny, his sister Leticia, his brothers Edwin and Peter and their wives Amy and Susannah worry over him, then become alarmed when he disappears. Family members hare off in all directions to find him, reuniting when Scotland Yard sends Inspector Rutledge to help. Nobody seems eager to confide in Rutledge, who, accompanied by the hectoring ghost of Hamish, a soldier he executed during the Great War, wonders if the Tellers of Essex are related to recently murdered Florence Teller, a widow from Hobson. Her husband Peter never returned from the war. Are her Peter and the Essex Peter one and the same? Was she killed to cover up not only bigamy but illegitimacy? And is her death related to Walter's illness? Peter, his leg gimpy from war wounds, falls downstairs and dies. Jenny, distraught at Peter's possible perfidy, succumbs to laudanum poisoning. Walter returns, then vanishes again, only to be waylaid himself. While sorting through the family travails, Rutledge must confront a former suitor of Florence with family woes of his own, as well as a triple murderer who's prowling Westminster Bridge determined to slay Rutledge. Departing from Rutledge's earlier cases (A Matter of Justice, 2008, etc.), the caprices of fatherhood take precedence over the iniquities of war this time, with a subdued Hamish and an emotionally reawakening Rutledge along for the ride. Author tour to Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco
Post and Courier (Charleston))
"An intriguing story that’s impossible to put down…reminiscent of Agatha Christie."
Mystery Scene
“A complex story with lots of unexpected twists and turns….A fun ride to a surprising conclusion.”
Sun-Sentinel (Florida)
“In The Red Door, Charles Todd shows again that this series about Ian Rutledge, a battle-fatigued World War I veteran and Scotland Yard detective, is as fresh and original as when the shell-shocked detective debuted 12 novels ago.”
World magazine
“The book is more than a whodunit. Todd’s characters are well-wrought, his settings evocative, and the book a pleasure to read.”
Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Superb…haunting tale of love and loss.”
San Jose Mercury News
“Compelling.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061726170
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/21/2010
  • Series: Inspector Ian Rutledge Series , #12
  • Pages: 350
  • Sales rank: 290,282
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 11.18 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 35 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    Another excellent Ian Rutledge mystery

    The mother-and-son writing team of "Charles Todd" has given us anaother complex, affecting, and morally tough mystery for Inspector Ian Rutledge. It's 1920, and Rutledge works to solve two mysteries. The main mystery calls upon Rutledge to find a former missionary who has vanished from a London private clinic, where he was being treated for a neurological condition. Soon drawn into the stories--and lies--of the man's extended family, Rutledge tries to untangle why they are lying and how it connects to the missing man. In his search, he encounters the murder of a widow in an isolated village. The minor mystery (which seems too tidy and coincidental) involves a young man who robs--and, increasingly, kills-- men men walking along the Embankment at night.
    As usual, the convolutions of the plot never overwhelm the moral outrage, the pathos of the murders, and the anger at cowardice and meanness in relationships.
    Curiously, "Hamish" appears far less in this novel (although he is referred to often).

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    excellent

    Charles Todd has long been one of my favorite authors and THE RED DOOR is one of his best. If you are a fan you won't want to miss this one. Well written.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Typical Charles Todd

    As good as ever. Mother and son have done it again. Always love these stories, as they are the best of mysteries.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This whodunit is super

    In 1920, WWI veteran, Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge still struggles with his military time though he successfully is able to investigate crimes (see A Matter of Justice) and conceal his mental issue Hamish even from his astute visiting godfather. Rutledge is assigned the case of the disappearance of missionary Walter Teller, who mentally broke down in London and was taken to a nearby clinic where he apparently left. The inspector questions Walter's family especially focusing on his two brothers, Peter and Edwin.

    Rutledge is next assigned to look into the Lancashire stabbing murder of Florence Teller, wife of an apparent different Peter Teller than Walter's brother; a Peter who failed to return from the Great War. Still he finds the surnames too coincidental to ignore though he cannot fathom the otherwise link beyond The Red Door that Florence painted for her husband who never came home.

    Extremely complicated, the latest Inspector Rutledge historical police procedural is a timely thriller on two fronts. First the hero and Walter suffer from post traumatic stress disorder as do many of our soldiers today; second the Spanish Flu of 1918 still leaves fear in many people as does Swine Flu today. The whodunit is super (though Hamish's voice feels somewhat irritating) and the depth of the era is as always insightful without superseding the mystery as team Todd provides another strong Inspector Rutledge tale.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2014

    Great read! You'll want more!

    This book is as well written as all in the Inspector Rutledge Series. Read one in the series and you will become an obsessed fan, wanting to read them all. Not only do you get a great mystery, but you get a bit of history, and an understanding of the aftermath of WW1 and of the soldiers after the war. It also gives you a better understanding of what shell shock is.
    One of the great things about these books is that while they all link together in progression, Todd writes in small explanations, so that you could read a book out of sequence without being confused.
    I recommend this very highly!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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