Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #15)” as Want to Read:
Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #15)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Proof of Guilt

(Inspector Ian Rutledge #15)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  3,535 ratings  ·  445 reviews
An unidentified body appears to have been run down by a motorcar and Ian Rutledge is leading the investigation to uncover what happened. While signs point to murder, vital questions remain. Who is the victim? And where, exactly, was he killed?

One small clue leads the Inspector to a firm built by two families, famous for producing and selling the world's best Madeira wine.
Hardcover, 343 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by William Morrow
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Proof of Guilt, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Carol Krohn
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,535 ratings  ·  445 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #15)
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was ok

In this 15th 'Inspector Ian Rutledge' mystery, the detective investigates several murders. The book can be read as a standalone.


There are no shortage of potential crimes in this Inspector Rutledge mystery.

An unidentified body washes ashore in Sussex.

Another unidentified body is found on a Chelsea street.

Lewis French - a London wine merchant with the company French, French, and Traynor- is missing; and his partner Matthew Traynor - based on the Portuguese island of Madeira - can't be
Jacqueline Elsner
Feb 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
Sadly, I am disappointed in this latest Ian Rutledge mystery. It reads like an outline of a clever plot, not like the unfolding of his story.

Choppy, not succinct, dialogue. Confusing plot revelations. Too little depth to Rutledge's inner drama, or the drama of the confused principals of this mystery. Plot advancement of his sister, Frances, thrown in as a "by the way, try this on for size, Ian."

Basic instruction for good writing: show, don't tell.

This Rutledge book is told, not shown.

Note to
Mar 23, 2013 rated it did not like it
Charles Todd, we are through. While your fictional police detective Ian Rutledge fits my requirements for police detective heroes (troubled, depressed, lonely, borderline psychotic, etc), you haven't given him a good story in a long time. I have given up on a few of your previous novels but persisted with this one because the initial premise was intriguing -- missing persons, unidentifiable corpses, English villages -- but what a mess it turned out to be. Too many characters whose names begin ...more
Gloria Feit
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
The typical Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery is so filled with details, as the Scotland Yard policeman ferrets out clues, that often the reader can become confused or engulfed with too much information or too many characters. This novel is no exception. It is a painstaking investigation begun when the body of a man, apparently a hit-and-run victim, is found lying in a London Street.

A valuable watch is found on the body, linking him to a well-know wine merchant who was reported missing. Has he now
Oct 19, 2013 rated it liked it
This is my third Ian Rutledge book and as usual, now that I am finished the book, I feel exhausted. I had no problem with all the characters and how they all fit together but the ending if the story is indeed ended, left a lot of strings dangling. The authors better be writing a sequel! Very unsatisfying after all the turmoil of following poor Rutledge all over Essex, London and Surrey in his motor car.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm a longtime fan of Ian Rutledge, the soulful Scotland Yard inspector dealing with PTSD after serving as an officer in France during WWI. Rather than creating a partner for Rutledge to work with on his cases, the talented mother/son team writing under the nom de plume of "Charles Todd" have employed a clever device that works even better: Rutledge persistently and maddeningly hears the voice of Hamish, the young Scottish soldier he had to have shot for failing to obey a direct order during the ...more
Kathy Davie
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, history
Fifteenth in the Inspector Ian Rutledge historical mystery series revolving around a Scotland Yard inspector battling his own demons from World War I.

My Take
For the most part, I was dissatisfied with this story's events. The clues that Rutledge pulled together seemed bogus, as if invented to fit the story. And part of me wonders if I'm feeling this way simply because I can't stand the new character's, Markham's, approach. Otherwise, I enjoyed Todd's usual descriptive expertise in setting the
Oct 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
This one was better than the last. I almost rounded up half a start, but I felt that the case was sort of needlessly convoluted, and poorly explained. Still confused about what happened to one of the victims. Presumed dead, but no body found? IDK.

I did like the subplot with Frances, although am vaguely sad that she's (view spoiler)
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the wonderful things about reading Charles Todd is the complexity of the story. Charles Todd, the nom de plume of a mother and son team, writes in the fashion of the old fashioned British murder mystery with a tad more blood and violence, but not much. This is the 15th in the series which features Inspector Rutledge, a WWI veteran, who lives with the voice of one of his men in his head. Despite that he functions well and is outstanding at his job. He has never fully recovered from the ...more
May 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Not my favorite in the Ian Rutledge series and I've read them all.

The first chapter is irrelevant to the rest of the book. The ending is unsatisfactory. Rutledge spends the entire book driving from one part of England to another. Markham is not fleshed out - last book he was better than Bowles, this book, he's almost as bad. Makes me wonder if this mother-son writing team has a bit of a tug of war over the characters and plots.

In the end, the bad guy is who you expect. Except for, where,
Marcia Ferguson
Mar 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Normally it's an automatic five stars for any Charles Todd book, but the first half of the book would have warranted 3 stars. Fortunately it gained speed over the last half and I'm happy to give it four stars. The problem? Too many characters, and I was lost. Truly lost. If there had been some minor identifiers along the way, I could have kept characters straight perhaps, but all those last names with no 'identifier' made them all run together. Inspector Rutledge is always aces as a character, ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #15) by Charles Todd.

A overly complicated story. The main character, Inspector Rutledge, I found quite interesting and not following the usual trend of inspectors. Sorry to say the list of suspects is unending and not easy to keep track of throughout. Also the ending left me hanging as one particular loose end was never brought to a conclusion.

So I may try another Inspector Rutledge book, but this one was a bit of a disappointment.
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Ian Rutledge is back....solving another murder, and what a murder it is. Rutledge is left with nothing but a body in the middle of the street, questions about how the body got there, and no identification but a gold watch inside a coat pocket...a gold watch that could only belong to a gentleman.

The gold watch did give Rutledge some leads, but he kept finding dead ends with each investigation....the criminal was quite clever. Who could this body be? Without any identification and only a gold
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
It took me a bit to get into it but when I was a third of the way through I managed to go through it quickly. I was rather disappointed with the ending. This being the only book I've read of the series I'm guessing what the author does is continue the story or the ending to the previous story in the next book but there was nothing conclusive for me to feel satisfied. Someone was still missing and then there was the household he suspected was involved. I guess that could be part of the next book ...more
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I have really enjoyed the previous books in Todd's Ian Rutledge series. This one--not so much. It seemed the author(s) were trying to throw every plot device into the book that they could. The result was an uncomfortable and at times embarrassing jumble that left far too many questions unanswered. The main two being (view spoiler)

I was so looking forward to this, and so disappointed. Sorry to say,
Diane S ☔
Sep 21, 2012 rated it liked it
3.5 One of the most unique and atmospheric series, Rutledge and his ghost from the war Hamish are wonderful characters. Always well written, this story has ties to the past and Madeira wine of all things. Would have given this a higher rating but I feel that Rutledge is a bit stuck in his character development, needs to find a little inner peace and a personal life. Will as always wait for the next in series. ARC from publisher.
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
I love this series so I was disappointed with this latest installment. At some point Ian really has to move on and have a breakthrough with Hamish. The plot points with Portugal were also confusing and I never got a good feel for any of the dead. I hope the next one is more enjoyable.
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what went wrong with this book. It might be an editing issue. But the result was a completely unsatisfactory ending. This isn't a spoiler alert. There's no resolution to a primary part of the plot. Oversight? Copy dropped in production? Hard to guess, but definitely a problem.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: rutledge-2019
So sadly disappointed in this installment. The Rutledge series tends to have abrupt endings, but this one was the worse! It certainly left more than a few strings untied at the end, but there was just a general disconnect throughout the book. Charles Todd has a way of pulling the reader within the story, making it a fair breeze to get through a 350 page book, but this felt like a slog.
The only bright spot was Rutledge's sister, Frances, and her brief appearance. What's funny is that I usually
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the sake of the business

Another pleasing adventure with Inspector Ian Rutledge. A body left in the road, victim of a hit and run and a missing brother lead Rutledge on a merry chase. Throw in a current and an ex fiancé along with an accusing sister, plus an estate habited by ex-cons and a diabolical plan of revenge we end up with Rutledge having to watch his back as his investigation has sorely pissed someone off. Charles Todd always delivers a riveting tale and his Ian Rutledge is simply
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Once you get into a series like this, the fun is puzzling out where the clues will lead and how Ian Rutledge will find the criminal. The plots are always involved, and this one is no exception. Some parts seemed a bit slow, but overall this was a good read.
Dec 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
The story was a little too complex in this one, & the ending wasn't as solid as usual. Certainly didn't put me off the series. I enjoy Ian & his world.
Drennan Spitzer
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
So I'm just going to say it: I really love Charles Todd! Todd is the pseudonym for a mother-son writing duo. Recently, I reviewed the latest book in their Bess Crawford series, a thoughtful, entertaining, compelling work. And now, we have Proof of Guilt, the fifteenth in their Ian Rutledge series. I ask you, where has Charles Todd been hiding all my life?

One of my very favorite reads is the murder mystery / period piece hybrid. I'm searching for a term for this very specific sub-genre. It works
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Sometimes in any criminal case it often appears open and shut. Meaning all the clues point to all the right people and it's simply a matter of connecting the proverbial dots to solidify the case. However in some, no matter how simply it looks to solve, but burden of proof may often times prove difficult or in some cases completely misleading. If you love a great mystery with a bit of twist to it and not too easy to solve, than I might suggest Charles Todd's latest novel, Proof of Guilt. This is ...more
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was hooked the moment I started reading "Proof of Guilt," but disappointed at the conclusion, which left me shaking my head at the too-many left-open questions and really what Rutledge's solutions accomplished. But I'd read this book again.

Ian Rutledge is the main character in more than a dozen mysteries by Charles Todd, an author who actually writes his books along with his mother. Rutledge is an inspector for Scotland Yard in the initial years after World War I. Rutledge is a
Lisa Johnson
Mar 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Title: Proof of Guilt (Inspector Ian Rutledge #15)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 343
Year: 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Publishing
On this case, Inspector Ian Rutledge has more bodies and suspects than he knows what to do with! He initially investigates what appears to be a car accident. A body is found in the middle of the road with signs of being dragged beneath a car. There is no identification on the body and no one steps forward, claiming to have accidentally struck someone on the road in the
Feb 24, 2013 rated it liked it
When Ian Rutledge is assigned to head up an investigation involving an unidentified body, Rutledge has a difficult job. First, he must identify the body and that does not prove to be an easy task. Second, he must decide if the victim is a murder victim or if he died accidentally. Then once he has reached the conclusion that the victim was murdered Rutledge must discover where he was murdered. Rutledge feels that the victim met his death at a different location and the body was later moved.

Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I registered this book at!

The first I've read by this author (who happens to be two writers, mother and son).

It's a period mystery, taking place in 1920, and featuring Inspector Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard. Rutledge is given the investigation of the death of a man on a street. He had apparently been hit by a car and dragged some distance, but the murder had not taken place where the man lay. Identifying the victim became one of the
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
lewis french 4 34 Sep 21, 2017 10:38PM  
The Mystery, Crim...: Proof of Guilt Review and Giveaway 1 13 Feb 15, 2013 01:01PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • The American Agent (Maisie Dobbs, #15)
  • The Fleet Street Murders (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #3)
  • A Better Man (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #15)
  • A Stranger in Mayfair (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #4)
  • A Death in the Small Hours (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #6)
  • Sorrow Without End (Medieval Mystery, #3)
  • When Hell Struck Twelve (Billy Boyle WWII Mysteries #14)
  • The Laws of Murder (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #8)
  • The Long Call (Two Rivers, #1)
  • The September Society (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #2)
  • The Vanishing Man (Charles Lenox Mysteries #0.2)
  • Death in Focus (Elena Standish #1)
  • An East End Murder (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #4.5)
  • A Bitter Feast (Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James, #18)
  • Love and Death Among the Cheetahs (Her Royal Spyness #13)
  • A Burial at Sea (Charles Lenox Mysteries, #5)
  • Murder at Kensington Palace (A Wrexford & Sloane Mystery Book 3)
  • Who Slays the Wicked (Sebastian St. Cyr, #14)
See similar books…
Charles Todd is the pen name used by the mother-and-son writing team, Caroline Todd and Charles Todd. Together they write the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford Series. They have published two standalone mystery novels and many short stories.

Other books in the series

Inspector Ian Rutledge (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #1)
  • Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #2)
  • Search the Dark (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #3)
  • Legacy of the Dead (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #4)
  • Watchers of Time (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #5)
  • A Fearsome Doubt (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #6)
  • A Cold Treachery (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #7)
  • A Long Shadow (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #8)
  • A False Mirror (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #9)
  • A Pale Horse (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #10)