I’m a huge fan of historical mystery/suspense/thrillers and A FINE SUMMER’S DAY by New York Times Bestselling author, Charles Todd, featuring the much beloved Scotland Yard Inspector, Ian Rutledge, was right up my alley.

New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd takes readers into Scotland Yard detective Ian Rutledge’s past—to his perplexing final case before the outbreak of World War I.

On a fine summer’s day in June, 1914, Ian Rutledge pays little notice to the assassination of an archduke in Sarajevo. An Inspector at Scotland Yard, he is planning to propose to the woman whom he deeply loves, despite intimations from friends and family that she may not be the wisest choice.

To the north on this warm and gentle day, another man in love—a Scottish Highlander—shows his own dear girl the house he will build for her in September. While back in England, a son awaits the undertaker in the wake of his widowed mother’s death. This death will set off a series of murders across England, seemingly unconnected, that Rutledge will race to solve in the weeks before the fateful declaration in August that will forever transform his world.

As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, all of Britain wonders and waits. With every moment at stake, Rutledge sets out to right a wrong—an odyssey that will eventually force him to choose between the Yard and his country, between love and duty, and between honor and truth.

A FINE SUMMER’S DAY, a prequel to A TEST OF WILLS, the first book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery series, is the first novel I’ve read from this author and was a sensational introduction to the world of Inspector Rutledge and what makes him tick.

Inspector Rutledge becomes engaged to a puerile and superficial socialite—despite concerns from his family—the very day of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, which begins a snowball of events culminating in the Great War, otherwise known as World War I. How’s THAT for a sign…

Inspector Rutledge would love to spend time with his newly minted (and demanding) fiancé, but instead is given a challenging case full of twists, turns and multiple, seemingly unrelated murders, taking him throughout England in his attempt to find the connection and stop a killer. With little support from insecure and mercurial Chief Inspector Bowles, he’s forced to find creative ways to uncover the information he needs to solve the case so he can return to his “neglected” fiancé.

A FINE SUMMER’S DAY kept me spellbound from the first page to the last…

Inspector Rutledge is born to a life of privilege, but has chosen to pursue his love of police work with Scotland Yard. His devotion and passion for crime solving becomes an issue for his vapid fiancé, the daughter of a military man, who doesn’t understand the nature of his work nor why he isn’t rushing to enlist to fight the Hun. She longs for her dramatic goodbye, as many of her friends have experienced — after all, the war will only last weeks, a few months at most.

While Inspector Rutledge supports his country, he feels his place is with the Yard, keeping his homeland safe by putting away criminals, but is torn by the relentless pressure from his fiancé. Those who have read the subsequent books in this series know his final decision, but the writers give us insightful glimpses into the inner struggles Inspector Rutledge faces.

I was surprised to learn the author was actually a mother/son team.  Usually I can tell when a book is written by more than one writer—the flow is generally a little off—but not with Charles and Caroline Todd. Their writing is completely in tune with one another which makes for a flawless novel!

With rich settings, a dark mystery and multi-faceted characters, A FINE SUMMER’S DAY kept me spellbound from the first page to the last and had me rushing to buy the rest of the books in this series. I would absolutely love to see this series adapted for television!

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About the Reviewer

Dayna Linton
Dayna Linton - Dayna is the very busy divorced mother of four "exceptional" children. She spends her time running not only this website but is also the founder and President of Rising Phoenix Charitable Foundation ( - a charitable organization which benefits women and children's causes. Dayna is a firm believer in the worth and value of individuals and hopes to help all embrace who they are, nourish themselves and then "pay it forward" by helping others around them to do the same. In her spare time, Dayna enjoys reading anything she can get her hands on and hopes to someday have the time to write a book herself. Dayna is also an avid lover of film and the process that goes into making them. From an early age, she remembers watching the Academy Awards with her mom and cheering on her favorites. When Dayna was little, she just knew she was going to be a big star someday and she would practice in front of a mirror accepting her Oscar. Dayna took four years of drama, which she loved, but found her true passion was dancing. Even today you can catch Dayna dancing just about everywhere she goes, including beaches in the moonlight ...