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The Inheritance

(Inspector Trave #1)

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  625 ratings  ·  143 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 fat

Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 13th 2010 by Minotaur Books
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3.43  · 
Rating details
 ·  625 ratings  ·  143 reviews

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Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent whodunnit, in which a dedicated detective must unravel a mystery which began in France at the end of WW2.
He’s in a race against time to save a young man, who he believes is innocent, from being hanged.
I enjoyed this book, it was fast paced, with some interesting characters, and kept me guessing.
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
Pamela Mclaren
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this story and how quickly I was drawn in. Without a lot of action, bloodshed or other tactics, this story carries its own drama and you are in for some edge of your seat reading.

Because its almost a locked room mystery: a young man stands accused of killing his estranged father. His finger prints are on the murder weapon and on the key to the room. It was known that he had had words with his father; had yelled that his father deserved to die. And sh
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
Feb 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of mysteries and historical fiction
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
Jul 30, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
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
Sheryl Tribble
Mar 12, 2013 rated it liked it
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.
Jenna Amundson
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm so happy I landed upon Simon Tolkien's books! I am also happy to learn he has a few more books in this series. I thoroughly enjoyed it and read it in one sitting. I have this bad habit of staying up late and reading books to the end, but sometimes you go with it. A bit of history, a bit of mystery and a bit of crime, well worth reading.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I think about the inheritances of the major young characters, and the murders and suspicions among them, I decided on 4 stars instead of 3, because this book is much more complex than I realized while reading it.
Elaine Dowling
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
This book is intricately plotted. In fact, it is so intricately plotted that I finished it so I could find out which dull, unlikeable character was lying to or double-crossing which other dull, unlikeable character all for unappealing motives. Save yourself and your weekend. Don't start.
Timothy Darling
I confess, I began this book with a slanted view. It seemed like a person trying to ride the celebrity of his name, and I doubted his ability to hold his own. Even when I started reading the book, the first few chapters seemed a little hackneyed, riddled with phrases worn by too many pens.

However, as I read the book, it came into its own. Tolkien seemed to find his voice, which, from the beginning was different from his grandfather's, a period tale set firmly in our own world with no magic, no t
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Doesn't really warrant a full 2 stars. I read Tolkien's first novel several years back and remember enjoying it. This one was leaden, weirdly paced, derivative (Da Vinci Code-like hunt for a medieval relic), and suspenseless. Set in England 1959, the protagonist is a detective uneasy about his investigation of a murdered professor, whose son now awaits a death penalty trial. The narration changes point of view frequently; it actually took me about half the book (plus noticing the bracketed subti ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this book interesting, the characters differed: in relationships, in behavior, some with wealth and some less then. I did sense that the twist and turns in the story made me reconsider who was on the losing end and who was getting away with.... well, overall I do recommend this book that has thinking. Note: personally, I thought the book stuck to the characters development and the storyline and not a lot on landscape and scenery.
Jennifer Eckel
Apr 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A bit tough to get started but as the trial picked up so did the novel. I had to hold my breath as I waited for the big reveal and the find. I didn't see it coming and was totally surprised. A good story with evil and gullible characters with a setting that highlights the trauma of war nearly 20 years on.
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thrillers
Would've give it 5 stars but for the fact that I guessed the culprit pretty early on. Overall, a good plot, I liked the characters and it's been a good while since I read a good thriller like this. Glad to have finally read it :D
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent “beat the hangman” thriller. Well plotted, with good characterisation and pace. Strongly recommended.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyable, but not amazing. I didn’t not-like it, but I wasn’t blown away either.
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, although it has some similarities to Da Vinci Code and I guessed who had committed the crime. Well written and I especially enjoyed the courtroom scenes.
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very enjoyable
Isolde Oneil
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
The story line was okay but the whole thing was bland. I read it all and kept coming back but there was no real omg what happens next. Overall a good book but not e citing.
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
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
Mar 05, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Adina Helmer
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
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
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 18, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Mary Unger
Apr 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
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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

Other books in the series

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