30+ Charles Todd Books in Order: Featuring Ian Rutledge & Bess Crawford in Sequence

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  • November 14, 2023
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  • 16 min read

Book Writing

Charles Todd is the pseudonym for a mother-and-son writing duo, Caroline and Charles Todd.

With her wealth of historical knowledge and keen insight into human nature, Caroline Todd enriches the narratives with meticulous research and attention to detail.

On the other hand, Charles Todd, endowed with a vivid imagination and a knack for crafting suspenseful plots, adds layers of depth and complexity to the characters, making them resonate with readers on a profound level.

Summary of Charles Todd Books in Order:

Their writing journey began as a shared dream, a collaborative endeavor rooted in a shared love for historical mysteries.

Ian Rutledge Series:

Caroline and Charles, driven by their passion for storytelling, embarked on a literary adventure that would eventually give birth to iconic characters like Inspector Ian Rutledge and Nurse Bess Crawford. Their ability to seamlessly blend historical accuracy with compelling narratives has set a high standard in the genre.

Here is some best book collection suggested by Ghostwriting Founder:

A Test of Wills

After years of fighting in the First World War, Ian Rutledge returned to work at Scotland Yard. His coworkers don’t know this, but he is still dealing with gun shock and feels bad about killing a young man on the battlefield for refusing to fight.

Unfortunately, Rutledge’s secret has been leaked to a jealous coworker, who then has Rutledge work on a tough case that could end badly for him no matter what happens.

A former police officer has been killed, and Rutledge, who is sick and in a lot of pain, goes to look into it. But as he learns more about the peasants’ lives, the person who bothers him the most is a war-torn ex-soldier. Rutledge feels scared when he thinks that he could become like this man.

Wings of Fire

Quickly, Inspector Ian Rutledge is sent to look into the sudden deaths of three members of the same famous Cornwall family. But the hero of World War I quickly learns that this case is unlike any other.

One of the dead, a reclusive woman who was known as O.A. Manning, was identified. In the lines of France, Rutledge found that her war poems helped him stay sane. Rutledge is driven to find the troubling truths of murder and crazy that have their roots in a family crypt by the voice of Hamish, the Scot he killed without wanting to.


Search the Dark

In this Charles Todd contemporary fiction book, Inspector Rutledge goes to the beautiful Dorset town of Singleton Magna to find a dead woman and two children who have gone missing. The truth is buried with the dead. The main suspect is a harmed soldier whose family died in an enemy bombing. But Rutledge isn’t sure, so he keeps looking for the real killer.

His search for the killer goes into the private lives of peasants and Londoners when another body is found in the rich soil of Dorset. These people have every reason to stop him because of their high positions and personal desires. Someone is looking out for a killer. Two kids are somewhere out there in the dark.

Legacy of the Dead

The worn-out remains found on a Scottish hillside may belong to Eleanor Grey, but Lady Maude Grey, Eleanor’s mother, is very strong and needs to be treated carefully. Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard must be careful on multiple levels.

The case will soon take him to Scotland, where many of Rutledge’s ghosts rest peacefully. But it’s an unplanned meeting that will be the most dangerous.

In Scotland, Rutledge will meet the young mother who is accused of killing Eleanor Grey. She is a woman he owes a great deal to. He has to go through terrible things to find the truth.

These things take him back to his past and hold secrets he can still kill. Reading long books is not easy, but this is worth reading.

Watchers of Time

Ian Rutledge is a brave but fragile former soldier trying to find his place in the world after the war. Now that Rutledge is a detective at Scotland Yard, he has to look into a murder in a small town and finds that it may be linked to one of the worst disasters in history…

In Osterley, a swampy area in the middle of Norfolk, a man is lying dead on a wet fall night. Herbert Baker will probably die soon from natural causes, but his family and friends don’t understand what he wanted to do last.

Baker, a pious Anglican, wants to see the town’s Catholic priest for a last confession for no apparent reason. When the old man dies, he doesn’t know that a few weeks later, the priest who comforted him will be on the other side of the grave, having been killed horribly.

A Fearsome Doubt

At a court hearing in 1912, Ian Rutledge saw a man hang for killing two old people. In addition, Rutledge helped gather the proof that put Ben Shaw to death. Rutledge ended the case when the right thing was done, but Shaw was not easily forgotten.

Now, seven years later, Charles Todd emphasizes a horrible trial. Rutledge is back because Nell Shaw, Ben Shaw’s widow, brings him proof that she will prove her husband is innocent. Rutledge’s professional standing and faith in his judgment are at risk because of this view.

But Rutledge doesn’t want to do it for a deeper reason. Because of the murder, he is sent back to Kent, where he sees a face he knew too well a few days before, just beyond the jumping flames of a campfire.

Soon, he has an unexpected meeting that brings back the end of his war, just as the country prepares for a sad celebration of the Armistice anniversary. Fighting the unresolved past simultaneously and the troubling present is a terrible duty.

A Cold Treachery

In the middle of a terrible snowstorm in the English Lake District, Scotland Yard calls out Inspector Ian Rutledge to investigate one of the most brutal killings he has ever seen. Rutledge might have been ready for such horrible violence in the battles of World War I, but not in a farmhouse in Urskdale, which was otherwise quiet.

The Elcott family was killed at their table by someone who didn’t even try to fight. Who killed the family? Did they know and trust the killer? What did the Elcotts do to make their killer so angry? Was it love, anger, greed, or revenge? Or was it a weird mix of all of these?


A Long Shadow

Officer Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard brought the Great War back to his home, and the terrible things that happened there still scare him. On New Year’s Eve 1919, he finds a brass cartridge case on the steps of a friend’s house. It looks a lot like the ones he had seen on the battlefield. Soon, there will be more places where he is sure to find them.

He is pulled out of the blue from London to a small town in Northamptonshire, where he looks into the strange case of a local police officer who was shot with a bow and arrow in a wood that is said to be haunted.

Charles Todd portrays Rutledge as wanting to keep his ghosts away while he is here with the people of the town who are still trying to figure out what happened to a girl who went missing three years ago.

But someone is following him. Now, the police officer who is mentally broken and on the edge of sanity has to find a way to stay balanced long enough to find out who is following him and why.

A False Mirror

Hampton Regis is a small harbor town on England’s southern coast. It is not likely that there will be fighting there. Still, early in the spring of 1920, a man was found on the strand. He has been beaten so badly that he is in and out of awareness.

The most likely suspect? His wife’s ex-lover fought with Rutledge in the final months of the First World War but left the Front in a bad mood. Yes, they were badly hurt, but did someone also hide being scared?



A Pale Horse

Along with a gas mask over his face, the body of a man dressed in a cloak is found in the ruins of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire. A chemistry book that belongs to the schoolmaster, who didn’t want to fight in the Great War, is next to him. Which person is this, and is the investigation into his death being skewed by someone who wants to get even?





A Matter of Justice

This book, Charles Todd, begins when a man named Stephen Mallory is found dead at his home, having been brutally beaten with a cricket bat. The evidence points to a clear-cut case of murder, with Mallory’s nephew, Michael, as the prime suspect. However, Michael’s fiancée, Penelope, is convinced of his innocence and pleads with Rutledge to uncover the truth.




The Red Door

The Red Door” is the twelfth book in the Ian Rutledge series written by Charles Todd. This historical mystery follows the renowned detective Ian Rutledge as he faces a puzzling case set in the aftermath of World War I.

The story begins when Ian Rutledge receives a cryptic message from a woman claiming that she witnessed a murder. However, when Rutledge arrives at the specified location, he finds the door to the house locked and no response from within. Determined to uncover the truth, Rutledge investigates the mysterious circumstances surrounding the red door.

The Confession

In “The Confession,” a dying man walks into Scotland Yard and confesses to a murder he committed five years earlier during the Great War. This confession sets Rutledge on a new investigation as he tries to determine the integrity of the confession and uncover the truth behind the crime. Rutledge’s journey takes him through the aftermath of war, exploring the impact of the conflict on individuals and society.




Proof of Guilt

The story revolves around Ian Rutledge, a Scotland Yard inspector who is investigating a case involving the murder of Alan Barrington, a man accused of embezzling money from his business partners. Despite suspicions pointing to Barrington’s partners, Rutledge discovers that multiple people have potential motives for the murder.

The investigation takes Rutledge to the seaside town of Hampton Regis, where Barrington’s business dealings are further examined. As Rutledge digs deeper into the case, he uncovers evidence that indicates third-party involvement in the murder.

Hunting Shadows

The novel takes readers through the complexities of post-war society and the lingering effects of the war on individuals. Rutledge, battling his demons and haunted by memories of the war, must navigate through the tangled web of secrets and motives to bring the killer to justice.

Charles Todd’s writing style captures the atmosphere and nuances of the period, immersing readers in the post-war era. “Hunting Shadows” has been praised for its intricate plot, well-drawn characters, and the emotional depth of Rutledge’s journey.

A Fine Summer’s Day

The story takes place before the events of the first book in the series and provides insight into the early life and experiences of Ian Rutledge. It explores Rutledge’s time as a young Scotland Yard detective and his participation in the Great War.

In “A Fine Summer’s Day,” Rutledge is sent to investigate a suspicious death in a small village in England. As he delves into the case, he must confront not only the mystery at hand but also his demons. This novel offers readers a deeper understanding of Rutledge’s character, his experiences during the war, and the circumstances that shaped him.

No Shred of Evidence

The story centers around a case involving a devastating fire that destroys a country manor in the small village of Dudlington. The authorities initially believed it to be an unfortunate accident, but rumors and doubts started circulating, prompting the suspicion that the fire may have been intentionally set.

Inspector Ian Rutledge is called to the scene and begins his investigation, striving to uncover the truth behind the fire and any potential foul play involved. As he digs deeper, he unravels a web of secrets and hidden motives among the residents of Dudlington.

Racing the Devil

Racing the Devil” is a historical crime fiction novel by Charles Todd. This is also one of their best fiction writing for sale. The story follows Inspector Ian Rutledge as he embarks on a personal and professional challenge. Though they are not the best horror authors, this book is about surviving the horrors of World War I; Rutledge faces another test of courage by participating in a motorcar race from London to Brighton.

During the race, Rutledge witnesses a shocking incident—a reckless driver veers off the road and crashes, resulting in a fatality. Stricken with guilt, Rutledge begins to doubt if it was an accident. Determined to uncover the truth, he delves into the investigation while still racing against time to reach the finish line.

The Gatekeeper

On a bleak winter night, a man is found murdered with no apparent motive or witnesses. Inspector Ian Rutledge is called to investigate the case and uncover the truth behind this perplexing crime.

He encounters a cast of intriguing and secretive characters who may hold the key to the victim’s death. With each new clue, the detective grows more determined to unravel the complicated motives and uncover the killer’s identity.



A Divided Loyalty

The story centers around Inspector Ian Rutledge, who is assigned to a complex and secretive case.

Rutledge is called to investigate the mysterious death of a man who is found brutally murdered in a secluded and remote area of England. The case becomes even more complicated when he discovers a possible connection to an unsolved crime from the past.




Bess Crawford Series

Apart from the compelling Ian Rutledge series, Charles Todd introduces readers to the resilient and resourceful Bess Crawford in a separate series of novels. Bess Crawford, a World War I nurse, embarks on her adventures, solving mysteries against the backdrop of war-torn Europe.

A Duty to the Dead

The Bess Crawford series commences with “A Duty to the Dead,” where readers are introduced to Bess Crawford’s character. As a dedicated nurse, Bess becomes entangled in a web of secrets, setting the stage for her subsequent adventures.






An Impartial Witness

In “An Impartial Witness,” Bess Crawford’s keen observational skills come to the fore as she becomes a witness to a shocking murder. In this, Charles Todd has talked about women’s challenges in the wartime era while delivering a riveting mystery.






A Bitter Truth

A Bitter Truth sees Bess Crawford returning to England, only to be confronted with a series of mysterious events involving a troubled war veteran. Bess’s determination and courage shine through as she navigates the complexities of post-war society.






An Unmarked Grave

Set against the Spanish flu pandemic backdrop, “An Unmarked Grave” follows Bess Crawford as she uncovers a series of deaths with suspicious circumstances. The novel skillfully intertwines historical events with a gripping narrative, capturing the era’s essence.





A Question of Honor

A Question of Honor delves into themes of loyalty and betrayal as Bess Crawford investigates a puzzling case involving a soldier accused of desertion. The novel explores the moral dilemmas faced by those on the front lines, offering readers a thought-provoking narrative.





An Unwilling Accomplice

In “An Unwilling Accomplice,” Bess Crawford becomes embroiled in a murder investigation that leads her to the heart of a military hospital. The novel expertly captures the challenges medical personnel face during wartime, adding depth to the story.





A Pattern of Lies

“A Pattern of Lies” sees Bess Crawford confronting industrial espionage and murder in a small English village. The novel highlights Charles Todd’s ability to weave intricate plots while providing readers with a vivid portrayal of rural life in post-war England.






The Shattered Tree

Bess Crawford’s journey takes an intriguing turn in “The Shattered Tree,” where she becomes entangled in a French village’s dark secrets. The novel explores wartime allegiances’ complexities and past conflicts’ enduring impact.






A Casualty of War

“A Casualty of War” presents Bess Crawford with a challenging case involving a troubled former soldier. The novel focuses on the psychological scars of war, shedding light on its emotional toll on individuals and communities.





A Forgotten Place

In “A Forgotten Place,” Bess Crawford finds herself in a remote Welsh village, investigating a mysterious death. The novel combines atmospheric storytelling with a well-crafted mystery, drawing readers into the secluded world of the Welsh countryside.






A Cruel Deception

“A Cruel Deception” explores the devastating consequences of wartime deception as Bess Crawford uncovers a series of unsettling truths. The novel pf Charles Todd delves into the intricate web of lies and betrayal, showcasing Bess’s determination to seek justice.






A Hanging at Dawn

The twelfth installment, “A Hanging at Dawn,” delves into espionage and political intrigue. Bess Crawford’s tenacity is tested as she navigates the dangerous landscape of wartime secrets, making this novel a compelling addition to the series.






Main Attributes and Elaborate Information

Aspect Ian Rutledge Series Bess Crawford Series
Authors’ Background Caroline and Charles Todd, a mother-and-son team. Caroline brings historical knowledge and attention to detail, while Charles adds imaginative and suspenseful plots. Same as Ian Rutledge Series
Series Start Began with a shared passion for historical mysteries. Follows Bess Crawford, a WWI nurse, with a separate series of adventures.
Character Depth Inspector Ian Rutledge, a WWI veteran, is portrayed with deep psychological complexity. Bess Crawford is shown as a resilient and resourceful nurse during WWI.
Setting Post-WWI era, focusing on Rutledge’s challenges in adjusting to peacetime life and solving crimes. Primarily set during WWI, highlighting the challenges and mysteries Bess encounters.
Notable Themes Historical accuracy, psychological depth, and the lingering effects of war. The role of women during wartime, medical challenges, and moral dilemmas.
Key Strengths Blending historical context with compelling narratives. Rutledge’s character resonates deeply with readers. Strong portrayal of a female protagonist in a historical setting, with engaging mystery plots.
Series Impact Set a high standard in the historical mystery genre, with a focus on character development and plot complexity. Offers a unique perspective on WWI through the eyes of a nurse, adding diversity to the historical mystery genre.

The Bottom Line:

Through Charles Todd’s novels, readers are transported to the post-World War I era, where they witness the complexities of human emotions and the challenges of a society grappling with the aftermath of a global conflict. The characters of Rutledge and Crawford are brought to life through the Todd duo’s collective imagination.

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