The Complete List of Charles Todd Books in Order

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Charles Todd is the pseudonym of the mother and son writing duo Caroline Todd and Charles Todd. Together, they’ve penned numerous bestselling novels, including their hugely popular Inspector Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford historical mystery series.

Caroline Todd sadly passed away in 2021, but the stories she helped to create will leave a lasting impression on readers for many generations to come. So, suppose you enjoy historical mysteries packed with fascinating characters and gripping plot lines. In that case, I recommend you try Charles Todd’s books.

Charles Todd’s Books in Order

Charles Todd has a vast and varied bibliography, but knowing where to begin with so many titles to explore can be hard. So, in this post, I’ll list every book this duo of authors has ever published so that you can start your reading journey immediately.

Sr. No.TitlePublication DatePrint LengthPublisherWhere to Buy
1A Test of WillsAugust 16, 2011320 pagesWilliam Morrow PaperbacksAmazon
2A Fine Summer’s DayJanuary 6, 2015368 pagesWilliam MorrowAmazon
3A Duty to the DeadAugust 25, 2009336 pagesWilliam MorrowAmazon
4The Maharani’s PearlsJuly 1, 201440 pagesWitness ImpulseAmazon
5The Murder StoneNovember 4, 2003368 pagesBantamAmazon
6Mystery Writers of America Presents Death Do Us PartAugust 28, 2006351 pagesLittle, Brown and CompanyAmazon

The Inspector Ian Rutledge Books

Charles Todd’s debut title was the 1994 novel A Test of Wills. It began the long-running and beloved Ian Rutledge historical mystery saga.

Ian Rutledge is a Scotland Yard inspector who has just returned from the front lines of World War I. He’s seen unthinkable death and destruction in the trenches and suffers from PTSD. But the social stigma and societal shame of the times prevent him from seeking help, and instead, he’s forced to hide his trauma from the world and himself.

The Inspector Ian Rutledge Books in Reading and Publication Order

There are two options for reading the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. The first is to read the books in the order they were originally published. The authors recommend this for first-time readers, as it provides the most in-depth character exploration.

However, the series’ chronological order is slightly different, and many avid Charles Todd fans prefer to read the novels in the strict Ian Rutledge timeline the second time around.

Below, I’ll list both options so you can decide which is best for you.

Publication Order

The following books are part of the Ian Rutledge series. I have listed them in the year they were published.

1. A Test of Wills (1994)

A Test of Wills (1994)
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A shell-shocked Ian Rutledge struggles to come to terms with the horrors of war. Still healing from his physical and spiritual injuries, he returns to his former job as a Scotland Yard inspector. But he’s a very different man now, and re-entering his former life isn’t easy.

Yet there’s no time to dwell on his pain, as he has work to undertake. His first task is to investigate the mysterious murder of an army colonel, who was killed by a celebrated war hero with royal connections.

  1. Wings of Fire (1998)
  2. Search the Dark (1999)
  3. Legacy of the Dead (2000)
  4. Watchers of Time (2001)
  5. A Fearsome Doubt (2002)
  6. A Cold Treachery (2005)
  7. A Long Shadow (2006)
  8. A False Mirror (2007)
  9. A Pale Horse (2007)
  10. A Matter of Justice (2008)
  11. The Red Door (2009)
  12. The Kidnapping (2010) (short story)
  13. A Lonely Death (2011)
  14. The Confession (2011)
  15. Proof of Guilt (2013)
  16. Cold Comfort (2013) (short story)
  17. Hunting Shadows (2013)
  18. A Fine Summer’s Day (2015)
  19. No Shred of Evidence (2016)
  20. A Guid Soldier (2016)
  21. Racing the Devil (2017)
  22. The Piper (2017) (short story)
  23. The Gatekeeper (2018)
  24. The Black Ascot (2019)
  25. A Divided Loyalty (2020)
  26. A Fatal Lie (2021)
  27. A Game of Fear (2022)

Chronological Order

I have listed the books that are part of the Ian Rutledge series in chronological order.

1. A Fine Summer’s Day

A Fine Summer’s Day
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It was a beautiful summer day in June 1914, and police inspector Ian Rutledge planned to propose to the woman he loved. But elsewhere in England, a death has occurred which will send ripples of murder across the nation.

At first, the murders will appear to be unconnected. But soon, Inspector Rutledge’s world will be turned upside down by this harrowing case and the declaration of war.

  1. The Piper (short story)
  2. Cold Comfort (short story)
  3. A Guid Soldier (short story)
  4. A Test of Wills
  5. Wings of Fire
  6. Search the Dark
  7. Legacy of the Dead
  8. Watchers of Time
  9. A Fearsome Doubt
  10. A Cold Treachery
  11. A Long Shadow
  12. A False Mirror
  13. A Pale Horse
  14. A Matter of Justice
  15. The Red Door
  16. The Kidnapping (short story)
  17. A Lonely Death
  18. The Confession
  19. Proof of Guilt
  20. Hunting Shadows
  21. No Shred of Evidence
  22. Racing the Devil
  23. The Gatekeeper
  24. The Black Ascot
  25. A Divided Loyalty
  26. A Fatal Lie
  27. A Game of Fear

The Bess Crawford Books

This long-running series takes us on another journey back to the days of the First World War, but this time, we join British nurse Bess Crawford in the trenches.

Bess feels a strong sense of duty to her country, so she volunteers to treat soldiers on the front lines in France. But even in wartime, murder mysteries abound, and Bess soon finds herself hunting down killers as an amateur sleuth.

The Bess Crawford Books in Reading and Publication Order

Like the Inspector Ian Rutledge series, you have two options for reading the Bess Crawford books. The first is to read them in the order they were originally published. The authors recommend it for first-time readers of the series, as it provides the most in-depth character exploration.

Charles Todd published two prequel companions later, introducing us to a younger Bess and giving us more information about her backstory. However, the chronological order is slightly different, especially at the beginning of the series. So, many avid fans prefer to read the books in the strict Bess Crawford timeline the second time.

Below, I’ll list both options so you can decide which is best for you.

Publication Order

I have listed the Bess Crawford books in this section in the year they were published.

1. A Duty to the Dead (2009)

A Duty to the Dead (2009)
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The year is 1916, and Bess Crawford is back in England recovering from a near-death experience after her ship sank at sea. But she cannot get her mind off unfinished business.

While Bess was serving her country as a nurse, she became close to a critically wounded soldier named Arthur Graham. She promised to deliver a message to his family in Kent. And so, while she should be resting, she heads out on a mission to track down one of Arthur’s three brothers and deliver his cryptic last words. But soon, she becomes embroiled in a historical murder mystery case that threatens to unravel the secrets of an entire community, including the Graham family.

  1. An Impartial Witness (2010)
  2. A Bitter Truth (2011)
  3. An Unmarked Grave (2012)
  4. A Question of Honor (2013)
  5. An Unwilling Accomplice (2014)
  6. The Maharani’s Pearls (2014) (short story)
  7. A Pattern of Lies (2015)
  8. The Shattered Tree (2016)
  9. A Casualty of War (2017)
  10. A Forgotten Place (2018)
  11. A Cruel Deception (2019)
  12. A Hanging at Dawn (2020) (short story)
  13. An Irish Hostage (2021)
  14. The Cliff’s Edge (2023)

Chronological Order

The following books are part of the Bess Crawford series in chronological order.

1. The Maharani’s Pearls (short story)

The Maharani’s Pearls (short story)
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A young Bess Crawford lives in India with her family, and rumors of a famous seer in the neighboring village pique her curiosity. And so, one day, she sneaks out from the cantonment to visit the mysterious woman and find her fortune.

But the seer has a stark warning for Bess. The danger is afoot, and she must remain vigilant if she wants to escape its path.

  1. A Hanging at Dawn (short story)
  2. A Duty to the Dead
  3. The Girl on the Beach (short story)
  4. An Impartial Witness
  5. A Bitter Truth
  6. An Unmarked Grave
  7. A Question of Honor
  8. An Unwilling Accomplice
  9. A Pattern of Lies
  10. The Shattered Tree
  11. A Casualty of War
  12. A Forgotten Place
  13. A Cruel Deception
  14. An Irish Hostage
  15. The Cliff’s Edge 

Charles Todd’s Standalone Novels

Charles Todd has also written two standalone titles alongside the popular series listed above. Here they are in the order they were published.

1. The Murder Stone (2003)

The Murder Stone (2003)
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The First World War is still raging when Francesca Hatton receives the terrible news that her beloved grandfather has died on their family estate. And so, with most of her male relatives now deceased on the battlefields of France, it falls to Francesca to tend to his affairs.

She finds an anonymous letter cursing her grandfather and his entire family among his possessions. Soon after, a stranger pays her a visit with a shocking claim; her grandfather was a murderer. But was the loving man she remembers an evil killer?

  1. The Walnut Tree (2012) (Novella)

Charles Todd’s Anthologies

The Todds have several short stories to explore, many listed in the two series above. However, some of their quicker reads are unrelated to their established series. These can be found in the anthologies listed below.

1. Mystery Writers of America Presents Death Do Us Part (2006)

Mystery Writers of America Presents Death Do Us Part (2006)
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The Todds join fellow authors Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Laura Lippman, R.L. Stine, and many other big names in this 18-story mystery anthology.

  1. A Study in Sherlock (2011)
  2. Death Knell V (2016)
  3. Silent Night, Deadly Night (2016)
  4. Odd Partners (2019)


If you love murder mysteries that take you on a journey into the past, then you’ll love Charles Todd’s books.

Are you already a fan of this mother-son author duo? If so, I’d love to hear your reviews and recommendations. Please drop me a comment in the box below!

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