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The Inheritance (Inspector Trave #1)

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  409 ratings  ·  113 reviews
A complex mystery of deception and betrayal that follows the court case of a young man set to hang for the murder of his father

When a famed Oxford historian is found dead in his study one night, all evidence points to his son, Stephen. About to be disinherited from the family fortune, Stephen returns to home after a long estrangement—and it happens to be the night his fath
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Minotaur Books (first published April 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 910)
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When I first began to read The Inheritance, I groaned inwardly because I thought it was going to be another DaVinci Code clone. Admittedly I’d read Dan Brown’s blockbuster and thought it was OK, but wasn’t enamored with it as much as other readers and certainly didn’t want to read another mystery in the same vein.

I was pleasantly surprised. Simon Tolkien’s The Inheritance is a very good read. It held my interest, was NOT a regurgitated DaVinci Code, and I thought, well written. Since I’m a fan o
This is a book that offers a multitude of converging noxious relationships calculated to keep the reader riveted. We have (1) multiple characters engaged in one form of subterfuge or another, (2) a war hero whose actions were anything but heroic, (3) a murder to be solved - was it for monetary gain or revenge, (4) a prosecutor who is out for a conviction - and doesn't want anyone challenging his version of what happened and why (5) a police officer who has more than a passing interest in pursuin ...more
Timothy Stone
Sometimes there is the unpleasant experience of reading a book that you immensely enjoy, and then finding yourself souring on it at the story progresses. This was my experience with *The Inheritance* by Simon Tolkien. Yes, he’s related to the other Tolkien. J. R. R. Tolkien was his grandfather, in fact. This book was very frustrating for me, because it had so many elements that I normally would enjoy in a book, but in the end, these failed to interest me.

The book starts out with a p...moreSometi
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Sheryl Tribble
Had the "who" figured out pretty early on, and some good and ultimately verified guesses at the "why" and "how," but the intricate plot, fast pace, and my growing fondness for certain characters kept me involved to the end.

Tolkien is not likely to become one of my favorite authors, since I doubt I'd ever knowingly re-read this book, but someone I can turn to when I want a quick read that's a little different from my usual.
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Greg Z
There are so many "religious/conspiracy/thrillers" on bookshelves these days that it seems this genre has been done way too many times. However, Simon Tolkien throws into this genre a murder mystery and some good courtroom scenes. Overall, I liked it but I found a few passages that were confusing and perhaps could have been edited for clarification. It's fairly easy to figure out "who-done-it" once a specific character comes into play, but this character comes into play too late for my own taste ...more
Cydni Perkins
It's a pretty good legal thriller. It may even be fantastic, but I just don't really care for courtroom dramas all that much. The author was a successful barrister who knows what he's talking about and he has a good sense of human nature and what sort of person would do what. But when I picked it up I thought it was going to focus more on the policeman's trip to France to investigate the crime rather than the court case. Instead, most of the story happened in the courtroom and the policeman only ...more
Interesting take on the traditional whodunit. Instead of starting with a crime and catching the culprit, we start with a scene of horrible wartime act. Then we start with the trial and follow along as various people come to believe the defendant didn't do it and their efforts to save him. The empathy is all for the defendant and the victim is such a boor that you dont care who killed him except for the sake of the wrongfully accused. Several side avenues are explored in a way that makes perfect ...more
I had just read Final Witness by Simon Tolkien who I'm sure you know is the grandson of J.R.R. Tolkien. It was very good. So different that what his grandfather writes. It is a mystery set in England. This is what Library Journal said about the book: Sir Peter Richardson has it all: a country house, a promising career in government as the British minister for defense, and a young, bright, and very ambitious personal assistant, Greta Grahame. Sir Peter's fatal flaw is that he neglects his wife an ...more
Despite a whole lot of 'meh', I was compelled to keep reading this book, so I suppose I'm ambivalent, although my over-all feeling is of being unimpressed. I've never been much of a fan of straight murder mysteries, and even though a mysterious codex and sacred relic were pivotal to the plot, the history behind them wasn't, and was only briefly discussed in order to merely identify the object. Which, for me, made this book far less interesting than I thought it would be. The narrative unfolds in ...more
The Inheritance- by Simon Tolkien

This was another history-mystery book, with the addition of courtroom drama. I have to say, I liked the book, it was faced paced, and well written. I learned about how the English Court system worked in the 1950s during death penalty cases. I actually find that very interesting. I found out what a “barrister” was. It's “English” for lawyer! I was actually quite curious what a “barrister” was when reading the authors bio before starting to read the book, because
Robyn Hawk
Fast paced and at times gruesomely detailed The Inheritance features Stephen Cade, son of the recently murdered war hero Colonel Cade, who finds himself the prime suspect in his father's death.

I really liked the mixture of genres in this book - at times mystery who-done-it, gritty court room drama and at other moments a great historical story set in World War II, oh and did I mention the quest for the Codex?

Starting with a bang! The story opens with the atrocities of war followed by the murder
I felt like this book was two stories competing with each other within one book. First, you have the murder mystery. And then you have this other mystery of a missing codex and artifact. Tolkien tries, unsuccessfully, to intertwine these two stories, but the end product is a mismash that leaves you feeling cheated out of both stories. What I am trying to say is that I would have much rather have had either a much longer book that developed the codex/artifact chase more deeply or two separate boo ...more
Kylara Jensen
This is a murder mystery/crime drama/historical suspense. The prologue opens the book with a scene set in France during WWII where a family's home is being searched/ransacked for a mysterious historical relic.

The first chapter then jumps right into the trial of Stephen Cade for the murder of his father, who was quite a reprehensible character. The book is set in 1950's England. The story follows the trial giving the readers clues as to whodunnit, for it's pretty obvious Stephen didn't. In betwee
Apr 02, 2010 ♦Jennifer♦ rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: murder mystery lovers
I won this on first reads

The Inheritance was a fantastic murder mystery that constantly had me guessing.

Everything about this was really fun. It very much had an interactive feeling to it because of how everyone was a suspect in the murder of the late Professor Cade. I was constantly guessing as to which person had a hand in it, and every one that could have done it had motive to do so. Sometimes when I read a book like this the murderer comes out of left field, and I won't understand how that
Apr 05, 2010 Zara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries and historical fiction
Shelves: first-reads
Firstly, I would like to thank St. Martin's Publishing Group for putting up an ARC of The Inheritance as a giveaway on the Goodreads site. The book comes out on April 13, 2010, and I would definitely recommend purchasing it. The Inheritance is a combination of historical novel and mystery. Stephen Cade, son of a famous historian, is accused of murdering his father--all the evidence points to him, and he has motive. But as the book goes on, we find out more about the other characters that were in ...more
Mary Unger
It would be very difficult to become a writer with Tolkien as your grandfather. Simon drew on his experience as a barrister to weave his world. Instead of the stereotypical ruggedly handsome investigator, Tolkien introduces a flawed, aging policeman who constantly has to deal with his spiraling private life colliding with his job as a murder investigator.

Clearly, Tolkien brought his experience as a courtroom lawyer into his work. It was clear that he knew what he was talking about.

His writing i
Murder mystery/treasure quest/detective fiction/courtroom drama

I won an Advance Readers' Edition of this book on

Aside from skimming the Goodreads description when I entered the giveaway, I read this book, beginning with the front cover, without a clue as to what it was about or where the story would go. I dislike all "spoilers" and it annoys me to learn details of a story on the back cover. I was happy to find that the author, Simon Tolkien, is not relying on his grandfather's fam
Tolkien's latest thriller moves from a horrific crime perpetrated on a French family by two British soldiers during World War II and then straight into 1959, with the opening of a trial at the Old Bailey. Tolkien provides the kind of caustic portraits of judges and barristers and knowledge of the innermost cells of the Old Bailey that the late John Mortimer, also a barrister, delighted readers with in the Rumpole series. On trial is 22-year-old Stephen Cade, accused of shooting his estranged fa
I have just finished The Inheritance by Simon Tolkien. Overall, this was a great read. I really got pulled into the fight to save Stephen from the gallows. I find it interesting how quickly justice moved in Britain. If the story had happened in America, we would have had all the time in the world to try and find new evidence (what with the bazillion ways to appeal and bring the wheels of justice to a grinding halt). I felt the time slipping away as Trave fought against the clock to try and save ...more
In London in 1959, Stephen Cade faces a murder charge--the murder of his war hero turned professor father, Colonel Cade. The evidence piles so high against Stephen that any verdict other than guilty seems improbable. It's hard to argue with motive, opportunity, and prints on the murder weapon, and as the jury's verdict looms closer Stephen's days seem numbered. Yet, not everyone is convinced of Stephen's guilt. Inspector Trave becomes less and less certain that the right man is on trial, and he ...more
Though it took a few chapters before I really got into Simon Tolkien's The Inheritance, by Part Three, I was desperate to know how it would end. This novel has everything you could want from a historical mystery, including but not limited to murder, conspiracy, revenge and sexual intrigue. Tolkien is economical with his words, meaning there are no flowery and extended descriptive passages, and yet his characters seem fully realized, and their motivations clear. There is the central whodunit in t ...more
Aug 24, 2010 Kristin rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Book clubs
This was a very complex book. Part courtroom drama, part mystery, part historical fiction, part slow-building suspense, part family saga... It was compelling and well-written, for sure.

I found myself thinking about the title when I finished the book, and if you read it with the title in mind, it's interesting to find an interpretation where all of the interweaving plots boil down to a child and what they've inherited from their parent, tangible and intangible, whether it's a manor house or unqua
I really wanted to like this book, but for some reason I had a hard time finishing it. The story seemed interesting, but for some reason I just couldn't wait to get this book over with. Maybe it was the writing style. Maybe it was the pace. I can't really put my finger on it. The story is set in the mid 1950's in a town just outside of London. It centers on the murder of a wealthy scholar who was allegedly killed by his second son because he was about to be disinherited in his father's new will. ...more
I received this from Good Reads for free to evaluate. I'm interested to see what it will be like.

Well, I have waited a week to come up with a better review, but am still at a loss for the words to describe my emotions. I had hoped that it being written by a grandson of Tolkien, would have had a bit more substance than it does. It was a fine book. An enjoyable read, yet not a waiting to turn the page type of book. I enjoyed the story, though it lagged in a place or two. The characters were fairly
Set in one of the places with which I am somewhat obsessed with right now, I found this book to be a good read, not exactly a page turner. But that may have more to do with me than the writing. The author developed the story well enough, I just have a short attention span, especially during the court scenes.

I thought the character development was very good for the sympathetic characters and the "villians."

There were times, though when I had to confront my own arrogance. I found myself wishing th
Mar 22, 2010 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of mysteries and crime thrillers
I was so excited when I won this book from Goodreads, because I had heard good things about the author. I was curious to see if the hype was for the author or his grandfather. Simon Tolkien has earned his good reputation all on his own.

A young man is on trial for the death of his father, a horrible man whose passing was a joy to most everyone who met him. The evidence all points directly at his estranged son and the government is only too happy to prosecute him, but the truth may be that the de
After finishing the book, I can highly recommend it! I found myself slowing down soa as not to end it too quickly. I was also torn about the expected outcome of the protagonist. Excellent novel that reminded me a bit of P.D. James mixed with early Grisham.
This is a First Read Book that was sent to me. So far it is very engaging and difficult to put down. I am filled with angst for the main character; so clearly, the author has captured me with the courtroom drama. The legal system is quite a bi
The Inheritance is an exciting, interesting read with a complex plot that keeps readers gripped until the book’s final page. Readers who enjoy the courtroom aspect of John Grisham and/or Dan Brown’s quests to unravel mysterious historical enigmas will enjoy this book.

The story begins with a disturbing account of the murder of a French family during World War II by British Col. Cade and two of his men. The plot then jumps ahead to 1959 where Col. Cade has been murdered in his Oxford home, and hi
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Simon Tolkien was born in England in 1959 and grew up in a small village outside Oxford. His grandfather was J.R.R. Tolkien, professor of philology and the author of The Lord of the Rings. Simon was educated by Benedictine monks at Downside School, and then went on to Oxford University, where he studied Modern History at Trinity College. Since 1994, he has been a successful barrister in London, sp ...more
More about Simon Tolkien...

Other Books in the Series

Inspector Trave (3 books)
  • The King of Diamonds (Inspector Trave, #2)
  • Orders from Berlin (Inspector Trave, #3)
Final Witness Orders from Berlin (Inspector Trave, #3) The King of Diamonds (Inspector Trave, #2) The Stepmother Inheritance, The

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