How did they solve mysteries before we had the tool kits any good CSI agent had? Without DNA, Google, finger prints and fax machines? When no one was caught on a traffic cam dragging a body behind their car? Well apparently you had super stars like Inspector Ian Rutledge because after his fifteenth case documented in this wonderful mystery and all the evidence pointing in several different directions, including a signed confession, he is still able to catch the bad guy.Identifying one body is difficult enough in early 20th century England. But when it points to another persons disappearance and several other seemingly unrelated deaths? This mystery begins with just one unidentified body and the next thing you know, there is another which seems to be attached to another mystery which spans back generations. Proof of Guilt is a murder mystery set in post WWI England with our veteran Scotland Yard Inspector, Ian Rutledge leading the way and finding out just who really did it!
I adore mystery novels such as these. How I missed this series is beyond me. No. 15, Proof of Guilt, was the first exposure to the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries. This was presented as a stand-alone however I really would have preferred having the experience and background of reading the prior books. Even if you are an avid reader of pre-scientific crime solving, this one takes paying very close attention. I had to start over again, with a notebook.
There were so many twists and turns I was lost several times. I kept thinking I knew who had done it, especially when I am given the obvious and suspicious freshly dug “flower bed” in the rose garden of a particularly cranky sister of a mysteriously missing man, smack in walks another character, clue or turn in the road and I could not have been more wrong. And than we have the very smarmy to smart for his own shirt former military inspector whose house the dead body, which started this crazy carnival ride, was found in front of.. our first person of interest.. wait than there was each of the fiancés, oh and the missing cousin… oh of course the lawyers, we can always count on the lawyers to be guilty of something right? Did I expect who it was to be who it was? Did I expect any of this? Oh god no I was so confused even with my scratched out list of names, my myriad of charts and arrows and clues .. and chewed on pencils (yes I was doing it old school.) And do not forget the watch, leave it to a bloody high-end time piece to make things go, excuse my stumble into pop-culture, wibbldy-wobbily and than some!
In the end I was un-knotting my fingers and uncrossing my eyes and drooling a bit… in other words I had a blast! I will be making time to read all of the prior 14 before because I believe knowing this inspector is going to be a reason to keep coming back for more.
I recommend this to anyone who likes a big mystery challenge, who thinks they cannot be beat? Oh bring it and try to figure this one out. The clues were there, it is making sure you can “weed” them out to find the answers!