Charles Todd: The Cliff’s Edge

It’s been several installments of Charles Todd’s Bess Crawford series since Britain has been at war. Bess herself has been kept busy, often far from home, but The Cliff’s Edge brings her all the way back, finding her restless and unsure of what she will do next. She’s left with only the decision of what color she will pick for new curtains when a letter arrives in the mail, asking for her help. Her cousin Melinda begs for Bess to go oversee the surgery of one of her longtime friends, Lady Beatrice. Hesitant at first, Bess realizes she doesn’t have much else to do, and agrees to go. But what started as a simple overnight watch for a routine surgery quickly gets much more complicated. read more

Charles Todd: A Game of Fear

Through now 24 novels, Charles and Caroline Todd have provided their readers with excellence, pure and simple.  The first novel in the Rutledge series, A Test of Wills, is a classic, and the rest of the series, elegiac, carefully plotted, and richly characterized, have all been solid and worthy reads. Sadly, this is the last novel written in collaboration with Caroline Todd, who passed away in 2021. She leaves a huge legacy.

In this novel, set in 1921, Inspector Rutledge has been called in from Scotland Yard to look at a case in Essex.  He goes where he’s sent by his higher ups, but he is puzzled to be looking in a case that seems to involve a ghost.  No-one is better than the Todds at setting up a disturbing premise that sticks in your mind as you read, wondering what’s going on.  Twenty-four books in, I was pretty comfortable waiting to discover the solution. read more

Reviewers & Book Club Faves

Our two regular reviewers, Cathy Akers-Jordan and Vicki Kondelik, have shared their top 10 lists with us, and the book club chimes in on their favorite reads of the year as well.  Lots of good reading here!


Daughter of the Morning Star, Craig Johnson.  The new Longmire book is always the highlight of my mystery-reading year. The rez isn’t part of Walt Longmire’s jurisdiction, but when Tribal Police Chief Lolo Long recruits Walt and Henry to protect her niece, we learn the shocking statistics on the abuse and murder of Indian Women. Walt deals with a teenage basketball star while trying his best to keep her alive. read more