This is an Inspector Rutledge Mystery….he is an inspector from Scotland Yard in the 1920’s, and he apparently has solved multiple mysteries. This is my first experience with him. This mystery takes place in parts of London and the surrounding area….we meet two wealthy families who produce and sell the famous Madeira wine that is sold world-wide. And tragedy has hit these families. The war has ended, and many surviving soldiers have returned and life is not what is once was. Some have lost their lives such as Michael French. He was the older brother and part partner in the Madeira wine business. There are now two remaining partners….Matthew Traynor, a cousin to Michael, and Michael’s younger brother Lewis. Both men go missing, and an unidentified body turns up with Lewis’ pocket watch, but the body is not his.
No one has seen either men….Lewis’ sister and fiancée have not seen or heard from him….no one at the firm knows their whereabouts…..it is a true mystery. And to think this is in a time before cell phones and state of the art technology, so there is no “find my iPhone app” to locate them….no GPS tracker….nothing. In fact, there were only a select few who had telephones in their own homes….shocking, I know.
Enter Inspector Rutledge who has a keen sense for figuring people out. Thank goodness for that since I provided no help for him! Believe me, I tried. I took notes the entire time I was reading the crimes as they unfolded. I had the same clues as Inspector Rutledge, but that did not help. I have pages after pages of my theories and notes as I jotted down suspects, clues, possible motives, etc. It did me no good…..for a while I thought I was on the right path, but unfortunately I was not to be successful. It was probably a good idea that I nixed my 8th grade dream of being a police detective and became a librarian instead. Yet, I do try, and I will try again I am sure. I am a sucker for Agatha Christie and Frank Mackey and Sherlock Holmes and now Ian Rutledge. Good luck to all you mystery lovers, and let me know if you solve this one. Thanks!