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Further investigations in the Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries. This time Inspector Rutledge finds himself in the last place he would want to be given his background and particular situation. Just after the Great War (1919) of which Rutledge and his, uh err co-inhabiter Hamish, find himself in a murder case that will take him to the heart of the Scotland (Duncarrick) where he meets up with his old friends and those of Hamish. Seems like everyone knows or is related to someone else in this mystery.

Fiona MacDonald, who would have been Hamish's wife, had he survived the war is no on trial for the murder of Eleanor Gray who disappeared several years earlier. Naturally the local police have it all wrapped up as they always do in this series but Rutledge who is sent to cross all the T's and dot all the I's sees more than the locals can fathom. And of course he must contend with his boss that is always looking for a way to get rid of him.

Will he succeed and at what cost?
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on 2 March 2010
I have just finished 'Legacy of the Dead',a truly exceptional experience. This is the third of the Ian Rutledge books and I am working my way through the entire series and I would recommend anyone who enjoys books with a historical setting to do the same.

My current interest is in the postwar years of the 20's with the struggle of soldiers trying to return to their 'normal' lives after four years of the horror of mud and death in the trenches of Northern France.

Rutledge with his struggle to stay sane and functional is a poignant and iconic figure, he struggles and survives. The detection side of the story is very well done with plenty of odd twists and turns.

This was an experience I am happy to have had,not only a good mystery but a truly powerful look at the human condition.
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on 7 September 2001
I have just this minute finished reading Legacy Of The Dead and have not got my breath back yet! This is the best of the Rutledge novels so far.Totally absorbing,poignent,thrilling and taking us further into the past of the central character,Ian Rutledge,than before.Once again,Charles Todd expresses so well the difficulties of re-adjusting to life in post war Britain and of a country still struggling to come to terms wwith its losses.At the same time,it keeps you on the edge of your seat and eager to turn the next page!I wait,impatiently,for the next novel in the series.
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on 8 August 2013
It's not that 'Legacy to the dead' didn't make an interesting read but the story was so flawed from the start and the premise so unconceivable the telling was tainted right from the start. What I couldn't accept was that Fiona McDonald would find herself held in custody, awaiting her trial for murder when there was not an iota of proof that she had murdered anyone. I don't care if it was Scotland and 1919 but I cannot believe that she would be made to endure all this when the only thing certain was that she had lied about being the mother of the child she was bringing up and when the murder charge rested on anonymous letters and nothing else. There were bones found in the region where she had grown up. So what? Anybody could have killed that woman?No one knew who she was anyway and therefore no link could be established between the remains and the prisoner. What's more, it is hard to credit a lone female would be able to drag a woman's body up a mountain to dispose of it. Where would she have found the strength? And why assume that the dead woman must have born a child? There's no earthly proof of the fact! Why assume that because Fiona had been rearing someone else's child she would automatically have killed the mother? Unwanted pregnancy was such a social stigma that if Fiona was willing to take the risks and care for the infant the mother of the illegitimate child would be so grateful there would be no reason to fear her and no reason to kill her. Very unlikely she would change her mind later and ask for the child back! As it is, Fiona's ending up in prison in the book is only due to bigotry, mysoginy, jealousy and general imbecility and I find it too easy a ploy to use and a sad and probably very untrue portrayal of a Scottish village. Very difficult to believe that no one , among the Scots , would have had enough backbone to fight her corner and still more difficult to imagine that the whole village from the vicar to the chief of Police were nothing more than bigots, morons and frustrated matrons all threatened by a stranger's pretty face and willing to make her pay dearly and see her hang.
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on 8 June 2012
I have only recently come across the Inspector Ian Rutledge series and this book like all the others in the series so far is an excellent read. Well written and this one keeps the reader interested and involved from start to finish. You do not need to have read books 1-3 in the series before buying this book.
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on 27 November 2009
It is a wonderful thing that by the internet one can get what one wants at a modest price. Previously specialist book sellers would have charged prices more than I would have been willing to pay.
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