Charles Todd Books

Charles Todd is the name used by the American writers Caroline and Charles Todd. The duo is mother and son, and both live on the East Coast of United States. Caroline, Charles mother, has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature and History and also has a master’s degree in International Relations. Her son, Charles has a BA in Communication Studies.

Order of Inspector Ian Rutledge Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Test Of Wills 1994 Description / Buy
2 Wings of Fire 1998 Description / Buy
3 Search the Dark 1999 Description / Buy
4 Legacy of the Dead 2000 Description / Buy
5 Watchers of Time 2001 Description / Buy
6 A Fearsome Doubt 2002 Description / Buy
7 A Cold Treachery 2005 Description / Buy
8 A Long Shadow 2006 Description / Buy
9 A False Mirror 2007 Description / Buy
10 A Pale Horse 2007 Description / Buy
11 A Matter of Justice 2008 Description / Buy
12 The Red Door 2009 Description / Buy
13 The Kidnapping 2010 Description / Buy
14 A Lonely Death 2011 Description / Buy
15 The Confession 2011 Description / Buy
16 Proof of Guilt 2013 Description / Buy
17 Cold Comfort (Short Story) 2013 Description / Buy
18 Hunting Shadows 2014 Description / Buy
19 A Fine Summer's Day 2015 Description / Buy
20 No Shred of Evidence 2016 Description / Buy
21 Racing the Devil 2017 Description / Buy
22 The Piper (Short Story) 2017 Description / Buy
23 The Gatekeeper 2018 Description / Buy
24 The Black Ascot 2019 Description / Buy
25 A Divided Loyalty 2020 Description / Buy
26 A Fatal Lie 2021 Description / Buy

Order of Bess Crawford Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 A Duty to the Dead 2009 Description / Buy
2 An Impartial Witness 2010 Description / Buy
3 A Bitter Truth 2011 Description / Buy
4 An Unmarked Grave 2012 Description / Buy
5 A Question of Honor 2013 Description / Buy
6 An Unwilling Accomplice 2014 Description / Buy
7 The Maharani's Pearls 2014 Description / Buy
8 A Pattern of Lies 2015 Description / Buy
9 The Shattered Tree 2016 Description / Buy
10 A Casualty of War 2017 Description / Buy
11 A Forgotten Place 2018 Description / Buy
12 A Cruel Deception 2019 Description / Buy
13 A Hanging at Dawn (Short Story) 2020 Description / Buy
14 An Irish Hostage 2021 Description / Buy

Order of Charles Todd Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Murder Stone 2003 Description / Buy

Order of Charles Todd Short Stories/Novellas

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Walnut Tree 2012 Description / Buy

Order of Charles Todd Short Story Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Tales 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Bibliomysteries Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Book of Ghosts (Short Story) ( By: Reed Farrel Coleman) 2011 Description / Buy
2 An Acceptable Sacrifice ( By: Jeffery Deaver) 2012 Description / Buy
3 Death Leaves a Bookmark (Short Story) ( By: William Link) 2012 Description / Buy
4 What's in a Name? (Short Story) ( By: Thomas H. Cook) 2014 Description / Buy
5 Book Club (Short Story) ( By: Loren D. Estleman) 2014 Description / Buy
6 The Travelling Companion ( By: Ian Rankin) 2016 Description / Buy
7 The Pretty Little Box (Short Story) 2018 Description / Buy

Charles Todd Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Mystery Writers of America Presents Death Do Us Part: New Stories About Love, Lust, and Murder 2006 Description / Buy
2 A Study in Sherlock 2011 Description / Buy
3 Death Knell V 2016 Description / Buy
4 Silent Night, Deadly Night 2016 Description / Buy
5 Odd Partners 2019 Description / Buy
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Caroline is married to the same man for many years while her son is divorced. The duo childhood stories told by their grandparents and uncle and great uncle service in the military during the World War 1 sparked their passion in writing.

The Charles Todd team is best known for its prolific work, A Duty to the Dead. It is a story of a daughter of a distinguished soldier who travels overseas to serve as a nurse during the Great War. However, she is entangled in events which lead her to a great discovery and spawned the Bess Crawford Mystery series.


The 1996 novel A Test of Wills was nominated for the John Creasey Award in the United Kingdom. Other nominations that the same book won are Edgar Award, the Dilys Award and the Barry Award. The novel was named among the top 100 best sellers of the 20th Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

Wings of Fire of 1998 was nominated for the Dilys Award and was later shortlisted for Ellis Peters Mystery Award. The Legacy of the Dead (2000) was nominated for the Anthony Award. An Unmarked Grave (2012) and A Question of Honor (2013) were awarded Agatha Award for being the best historical novel.


A Duty to the Dead. It is a story of a daughter of a distinguished military man. She is determined to follow her father’s footsteps and is willing to work as a nurse during the Great War. She serves to treat the wounded. It is during this time she encounters a dying lieutenant whom she promises to deliver a message to the soldier brother, Jonathan Graham. The dying man tells Bess Crawford to tell his brother that he had lied but for the sake of their mother. Later she returns home after her ship sinks when hit by a mine.

She is determined to fulfill her promise and travels to the village where Graham lives. Upon disclosing the message to the family, none of the family members admit to knowing what the message meant.

Bess later learns that there is indeed another brother imprisoned in a lunatic asylum since the age of 14. He was detained after being accused of killing a housemaid.

Bess instincts tell her that the dying lieutenant message has something to with the imprisoned brother. She decides to investigate on her own because the family seems unwilling to do anything.

A Test of Wills. It is the summer of 1919, and Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard is trying to piece up his old life back after a four-year service in the trenches of the World War 1. He is still recovering from the shell shock. He is later assigned to a case in a small village; he is determined to solve the mystery surrounding the case, a case that could end his career.

He is assigned to investigate the mystery behind the death of Colonel Charles Harris, a soldier, and a land owner. The soldier is killed by a shotgun blast. Ian begins an investigation into the murder and discovers that Harris had no enemies and cannot imagine who had the motives to kill him.

He interrogates Lettice Wood, Wilton, Mavers a troublemaker, and Catherine Tarrant a rejected artist. Lettice was Harris Ward and Wilton’s fiancée. Ian finally gets a breakthrough to the case after interrogating the shell-shocked Hickam.

It appears that Ian Rutledge is haunted by his internal demon named Hamish McLeod, a voice in Ian’s head which comments on every that the detective takes.

Rutledge finds a doll where Harris died which ends ups as the key to the case. The doll belongs to a little girl who constantly has nightmares after seeing the headless body of Captain Harris.

Detective Ian discovers that Lettice Wood and Captain Harris were lovers and that they had informed Wilton, Lettice fiancee that her engagement to him was over.

During Harris’ funeral, Rutledge pieces up the final missing parts of the puzzle.

When Does The Next Charles Todd book come out?

The next book by Charles Todd is A Fatal Lie and will be released on February, 16th 2021. It is the newest book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Series.