Watchers of Time

Written by Charles Todd
Review by Claire Morris Bernard

Watchers of Time is the fifth novel in the Inspector Ian Rutledge mystery series. Set in 1919, it places Rutledge in the Norfolk town of Osterley, where the murder of a priest requires his Scotland Yard expertise. He soon suspects that this murder is no simple robbery gone wrong, as the local police would like to believe. Why was the priest obsessed with the sinking of the Titanic? And what was his connection to the local lord’s daughter-in-law, who disappeared around that time?

Suffering from shell-shock, and haunted by a ghost, Rutledge is a detective to care for. He, and the many characters in this novel, appear very real. Meticulous description of these people and their environment evokes both time and place. But I felt there was too much description; the novel sometimes meandered, as if the author hesitated to act. That said, it held my attention, and the mystery proved impossible to solve until the final pages.