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The Black Ascot

(Inspector Ian Rutledge #21)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  70 reviews

Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge seeks a killer who has eluded Scotland Yard for years in this next installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.

An astonishing tip from a grateful ex-convict seems implausible—but Inspector Ian Rutledge is intrigued and brings it to his superior at Scotland Yard. Alan Barrington, who has evaded capture for ten years, is the su

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published February 5th 2019 by William Morrow
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4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  309 ratings  ·  70 reviews

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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2019
The Black Ascot by Charles Todd is the 21st book in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. I had an ecopy of this book, but most of the book did I listen to (a very enjoyable workday) and I found the audiobook version pleasurable. Although to be honest, Simon Prebble is not my favorite narrator. He has a voice that I try to get used to, there is a gruffness that I just can't seem to truly enjoy. However, the story is good really good. So after a while, I forgot about the voice and let the story take ...more
Judy Lesley
This is the 21st story in the Inspector Ian Rutledge series and I've been right there for each of them. Even though I liked this story (because I'm inclined to like the work of this writing team and I especially like this main character) there were a lot of times when Rutledge "imagined" that some circumstance might have happened and from there on it became an established piece of evidence. When the plot is a little thin for one of these Rutledge novels that kind of thing seems to happen often. ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
As always with any long-lived series, picking up the next book involves expectation and excitement -- and a bit of a leap of faith. You hope and trust that the author(s) have managed to keep the characters vibrant and alive and are finding fresh ways to keep the overall arcs of their lives and interactions progressing in new and interesting ways, while keeping the main focus on some kind of mystery. The peril to be avoided at all costs is a main character who just re-emerges as precisely the sam ...more
First Sentence: Ascot this year was very different from Ascots of the past.

Inspector Ian Rutledge saves the life of a man who is suffering from shell shock and threatening to commit suicide. In turn, the man gives him a tip that Alan Barrington, a man who was suspected of committing murder during the Black Ascot horse race 10 years previous, is back in England. When Rutledge's own sanity is called into question, after many years of hiding his suffering from shell shock, he realizes he must solve
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lucky me! I received a copy of The Black Ascot in a give-away. I got one of the best in the Rutledge series! I've read them all and love them all. The books always have dual story lines alternating between the mystery to be solved and Rutledge's ongoing struggle with his mental state due to shell shock from the war...and the possibility/ramifications of that being revealed to the world. In The Black Ascot, the two story lines become closely intertwined and lead Rutledge right to the edge of his ...more
This solid, pleasing mystery is the 21st entry in a popular series. It is not necessary to have read the previous titles to enjoy this slow-paced read that indirectly sheds light on the many personal costs of war.

The unique time period and setting is post-World War I in Great Britain. Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard has post-traumatic stress syndrome that emerges dramatically at unexpected times, but also appears in the gentle form of Hamish, the spirit of a young soldier who died in the war but w
The Library Lady
I enjoy these two series (the Bess Crawford books have linked characters, though they still are a few years behind this series), but the plot here was a bit much. Too many convenient Rutledge-just-was-in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time-moments, too many clues popping up conveniently. Rutledge is a great character though, and the Charles Todd duo do an excellent job in both series of portraying how WWI and its aftermath effected both soldiers and civilians. I'm sad this one wasn't up to standar ...more
Lou Mallory
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rutledge returns!

A worthy addition to the Inspector Rutledge mysteries. Still the most compelling character I have encountered in
My years of reading. Still hoping for a romance for Rutledge but I will wait.

Ray Palen
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read my review this Friday at .
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
In the course of now 21 books Charles Todd has really made me care very much about Inspector Ian Rutledge as he solves crimes and deals with his shell-shock. I am also very happy that there are still good traditional mysteries being written in these days when it seems like only thrillers get attention. In the case of The Black Ascot I was not nearly as enthralled with the mystery itself as I was with watching Ian as he doggedly followed from clue to clue. The book got more interesting as he adde ...more Mystery & Thriller
I have been reading and admiring Charles Todd's Inspector Ian Rutledge series since the beginning, which now numbers 21 with the release of THE BLACK ASCOT. You may think you know Ian Rutledge by this point. A brilliant detective who has been compared to the best of them all, Sherlock Holmes, he also represents the masses of soldiers who returned from war suffering from some form of PTSD. Readers will be surprised to find out more about this deeply layered character than any of the prior novels ...more
Feb 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The Black Ascot,” the 21st installment in the story of Inspector Ian Rutledge, shell-shocked veteran of World War I, now an investigator for Scotland Yard, is another page-turner in the series. This time Rutledge is investigating (behind the scenes) an eleven-ear-old murder that took place after the Ascot Races the year King Edward VII died (hence the “black” in which everyone was dressed). The man accused of the murder, Alan Barrington, has been sighted in England, but Scotland Yard doesn’t wa ...more
Lisa Johnson
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Title: The Black Ascot (Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery #21)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 343 (ARC)
Year: 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Inspector Ian Rutledge is handed a cold case that his boss doesn’t expect him to solve. His boss has no love for Ian and tells him he expects him to find the man who has been missing for ten years but allegedly has been recently spotted. The missing man is wanted in connection to a murder ten years ago, but who disappeared before the tria
Jill Meyer
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'd rather gone off the Charles Todd's novels. They have the "Bess Crawford" series and the "Inspector Rutledge" series, and both seemed to lose their ooopth a few books back. It was as if the authors had lost interest in their characters and the books were basically written by rote and published on a yearly basis. However, I decided to read this year's new book, "The Black Ascot: Inspector Ian Rutledge Mysteries Book 21", and I was quite pleased.

The book takes place in a dual time period; 1910
Lynn Horton
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I'm a fan of the Ian Rutledge series. Like any long-running series, some books are stronger than others, and I think The Black Ascot is one of the stronger additions in recent years.

Although the tip that sets off the story is highly coincidental, the rest of the book is beautifully woven and clearly written. I'm fond of many characters in this series, particularly Rutledge's aunt Melinda, and the authors' characterizations deepen with each book. I feel as if I'm in the English countrys
Feb 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was given a free copy of this book through goodreads.
I had never read any books by this author or even heard of the mother/son team. I actually really enjoyed this as a stand alone book. I am a huge fan of Agatha Christie and this book was similar to her style. It is told as first person account of Inspector Ian Rutledge trying to solve a cold case. Ian is a interesting, complicated, flawed character which makes the story interesting. Looking forward to reading more in this series.
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25 Rutledge books never disappoint and this was no exception. A thoroughly interesting case solved by sheer determination, along with miles of driving and walking and little sleep.
Feb 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I love the Rutledge series, but this one has too many coincidences to make it believable.
Kathleen Gray
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's always nice to visit again with Ian Rutledge. It's hard to believe that this is the 21st in the series because it feels as fresh as ever. If you haven't read it, don't worry about that because Todd has skillfully interspersed parts of the back story so that you'll fully appreciate the quirks and relationships. This time out, Rutludge is determined to solve an infamous murder that occurred in 1910. Alan Barrington, who was THE suspect fled England and thus the case was put to the side but no ...more
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love a book series that can make book #21 feel like book #1!
There was j-u-s-t enough backstory gracefully interspersed that I didn't feel late to the Ian Rutledge party, but still understood what was going on. If you're new to Inspector Ian Rutledge books, don't fuss about "catching up"; the only problem you're going to have is in kicking yourself because it took you so long to discover him! (That was me. I can't believe I haven't even accidentally read one of these!!!)

I ALSO love a book (ser
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I was given an advance copy of this book by the publisher, through the Goodreads giveaway program.
I have read and enjoyed most of the Inspector Rutledge series but not for some time so I had a short period of reaquaintance. I admit I stopped reading the series because Hamish (whose favorite word is 'Ware) had become annoying to me. That and he were much less pronounced in this book. However, I felt the book lacked direction or commitment. The case was a *cold* one and Rutledge seemed determined
Jan 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery
(Based on the ARC)

While I enjoyed the mystery of this one - another solid Rutledge entry with connections to the past and enough suspects to keep us all busy - I think this one missed the chance to add to Rutledge's characterization. At one point, his sanity is in question (among others as well as to himself), and the consequences could have resulted in a larger emotional impact, but the result is stunted.

Still, a good read in a great series.
Spencer Birt
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a pleasure reading the latest Inspector Rutledge mystery. Also my first. I marvel at the ability of some authors to create story lines with twists and turns that keep adding to the over all interest in the read. The Todd team has done a great job on this one. With the addition of new information, they qualify and add to the info very successfully. Melding two distinct plots comfortably, I never lost the line of either one. As a bit of an Anglophile I really liked the British words, terms ...more Historical Fiction
I have been reading and admiring Charles Todd's Inspector Ian Rutledge series since the beginning, which now numbers 21 with the release of THE BLACK ASCOT. You may think you know Ian Rutledge by this point. A brilliant detective who has been compared to the best of them all, Sherlock Holmes, he also represents the masses of soldiers who returned from war suffering from some form of PTSD. Readers will be surprised to find out more about this deeply layered character than any of the prior novels ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
I give this a 4.5 instead of a 5, because, although it was a great plot, and had far fewer of the usual elements of a Rutledge novel that drive me screaming up a wall, they are still there. Here’s what’s good—great, in fact. Hamish is still there, but almost more helpful than distracting. And Ian is edging toward dealing with this manifestation of his shell shock. (Please, lord, make that true and not just my seeing what I’m desperate to see.) Also good was the inclusion of some wonderful charac ...more
Printed Vintage
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have very much missed Rutledge and Hamish and would have stayed up all night reading last night if logic and sense had not prevailed. I adore this series. I like the way intricate webs that come with Rutledge mysteries. This is the point where I'm going to say possible spoilers ahead. I wouldn't call anything I'm about to say a spoiler but I suppose I could understand if someone did. Anyone who routinely reads mysteries shouldn't have a problem, but you've been forewarned.

In this, Rutledge is
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book through a giveaway but the words of this review are my own.

Honestly this book doesn't deserve a 5 star rating...but it also doesn't deserve a mere 4 star rating! This mother-son writing duo has two series that I love to read: The Inspector Ian Rutledge series as well as the Bess Crawford series. Many authors seem to either get lazy or lose interest in fully developing their characters or their plot lines by the time they get a number of books in the series, and
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Ascot racing meet that occurred right after King Edward VII died in 1910 became known to history as the Black Ascot because all of the first day finery worn by the upper classes that year mourning black. But when an automobile accident on the way home from the races kills a young woman and badly injures her husband, the local inquest quickly brings back a verdict of murder and the search is on for the presumed culprit. He manages to elude the police, however, embarrassing Scotland Yard and l ...more
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the 21st book in the Ian Rutledge series. In this outing, Rutledge receives a tip that a man, Alan Barrington, who was accused of murder, but has successfully evaded capture for ten years, has been seen for the first time since his disappearance. Rutledge shares his information with his superintendent who knows that if Barrington is brought in will have his career made. The superintendent assigns Rutledge with the task of bringing Barrington to justice as quietly and as quickly as possib ...more
Jan Locke
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Race against Scotland Yard

It was great to be on the hunt again with Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge and slip back into his world! Thanks to the wonderful writing of the team of Charles Todd you drive the dark, stormy roads from London to whatever village the clues turn up in and you feel the cold, driving rain, the sleep deprivation and the need for justice. Rutledge does this with a car you must get out to crank, no cell phones or GPS (he's lucky if there's a village phone) and, if no pub
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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 21 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)