The Murder Stone by Charles Todd

The Murder Stone

The Great War is still raging in the autumn of 1916, when Francesca Hatton’s beloved grandfather dies on the family estate in England’s isolated Exe Valley. Grieving for the man who raised her, Francesca is stunned to find an unsigned letter among his effects, cursing the Hattons and their descendants. Now a stranger has shown up on her doorstep, accusing her grandfather of being a murderer.Ex-soldier Richard Leighton blames Francis Hatton fo...

Details The Murder Stone

TitleThe Murder Stone
Release DateNov 4th, 2003
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Historical Mystery, War, World War I

Reviews The Murder Stone

  • Tara
    This was my first Charles Todd book (I'd gone to a local bookstore in search of the first book in either of Todd's two series, but this was all I could find), and I have a bit of a mental split in what I thought of this book.On the one hand, I found it really enjoyable to read -- nicely paced plotting, crisp writing, and pretty gripping as I struggled to figure out the truth behind all the secrets exposed by Frances Hatton's death. I also loved t...
  • LJ
    THE MURDER STONE (Gothic Suspense)- ExCharles Todd – StandaloneBantam, 2003 – HardcoverTheir grandfather, Francis Hatton, raised Francesca Hatton and her four male cousins, all orphaned at an early age. Each of the cousins has been killed in the Great War, and now Francisca is alone to grieve the death of her beloved grandfather, whom she thought she knew. But at the reading of his will, she reads a letter cursing him and his heirs, she inher...
  • Carol
    This book might have been better had it been more focused and less convoluted. There is a lot of authorly 'how many plot devices can I shoehorn into this thing?'The plot(s) of this novel doesn't really hold together into an integrated whole. The book rambled on far too long. Most of the inserts by the cousins were irrelevant; the shooter episodes didn't really further the plot and the entire shooter subplot could have been eliminated without any ...
  • Suzan
    I picked up this book thinking it was next in one of my favorite series, the Ian Rutledge mysteries. I was surprised, but pleased, to find it a very well done stand alone, more a gothic than a mystery, set in Todd’s era of expertise, WWI. As in the mysteries, the time and place, rural England during and immediately after the Great War, is beautifully evoked. Todd’s command of the speech, manners and customs of the period is so pitch perfect, ...
  • Tony
    THE MURDER STONE. (2003). Charles Todd. **.I never got very far into this novel – the first one by this writer that I’ve tried. Boring. It started out with all the wrong – for me – vibes. Before the novel begins, the author provides a list of characters This runs from pages xv to xix; I never stopped to count all of them, but there were a bunch. That kind of thing bodes trouble for me. “War and Peace” didn’t have that many character...
  • Jane
    If you're in the mood for a really really good mystery I recommend this Charles Todd stand alone novel. Known for his Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford series he has not stepped out of that era (WWI) but it is peripheral to the story. Francesca Hatton has been brought up by her grandfather and her five cousins. After her cousins die in the war her grandfather has a stroke and she comes from London to be with him. After he dies a strange and angry (a...
  • Charlene
    I am a big fan of the Charles Todd authored Ian Rutledge series, set in the years immediately after WWI in England. I was disappointed in this stand alone book, which is set during the last years of the war itself. I compulsively finished it but I didn't feel like the mystery was logical, nor did I feel like I understood the characters. I didn't have the feeling "oh, yes, of course, that's how it all must have happened" at the end of the book, wi...
  • Diane
    This is very different from the other Charles Todd books that I have read. The beginning of the book includes a list of the characters, a quaint but useful feature. There are a lot of characters.It is not as well written as Todd's other mysteries. When I finished the book I had not marked any passages that I particularly liked which I usually do in Todd's books.I didn't really understand the attraction between Francesca and Richard. But it seemed...
  • Crossfinn
    I just reread this because I decided to start reading Charles Todd again after several years. I love the time period and the subject matter of the Charles Todd novels, but this one was a disappointment. Most of the text consists of breathless questions such as "Could my grandfather have lied to me about my parents?" "Could this woman actually be Richard's mother?" "Could the body on the murder stone actually have been so-and-so?" without much plo...
  • Pat
    Very disappointed. I greatly enjoy Todd's Ian Rutledge & Bess Crawford series. Here they were trying to do a romance along with the mystery. The romance fell completely short. Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series has me forever jaded but even without that comparison ... The whole plotting was very weak but it was readable enough that I could easily finish the book.
  • Lisa Johnson
    Title: The Murder StoneAuthor: Charles ToddPages: 377Year: 2003Publisher: Bantam DellThis story is set in 1916 in the English countryside in a remote valley. Francesca Hatton has just buried her grandfather after he suffered a stroke and weeks of being bedridden and unable or unwilling to communicate. She grew up with her grandfather in the role of her father as her own parents were killed when she was just two years old. She had no other relativ...
  • Greg
    With the sixth, "A Fearless Doubt", Ian Rutledge book (one that was an unresolved mess to me), I promised myself I'd try one more. This seventh work by Charles Todd is a stand-alone book in which Ian Rutledge doesn't make an appearance. Sadly, this is the kind of book authors seem to throw out to unsuspecting readers, perhaps because of a looming deadline. This isn't a terrible book, it's just that this genre (gothic romance) has been done and do...
  • Julia
    Unlike other books by Charles Todd This book does not feature Bess Crawford or Inspector Rutledge, and strictly speaking is not a mystery (whodunnit). It is however an excellent gothic also set during WWI and has much of the same feel as his other books.Francesca Hatton is an orphan who was brought up by her grandfather after her parents died in an accident in Canada. She shared her childhood with five male cousins whose parents had also died, an...
    This story was an enjoyable light read, not bad but not fantastic either. At the end of the novel there were still so many unanswered questions which really bothers me. When I get to the end of a book I want all the answers and do not care for things left hanging in the air.
  • Sandi
    A stand-alone historical that is really more gothic suspense than mystery like the authors' other works that I have read. I enjoyed the plotting and found the young heroine appealing. Lots of atmosphere, secrets, and a bit of romance made this well worth reading.
  • Tamora Pierce
    A non-Rutledge, non-Crawford thriller
  • Ivy
    I enjoy historical fiction as much as the next person. Two years later I am still slightly puzzled by everything that went on in this story.
  • Judy
    A stand-alone book - not one of the Ian Rutledge series. Good, but without the depth of the series.
  • Sandie Herron
    Francis Hatton died in 1916 while the Great War raged in Europe, and life changed forever. The old man took ill after the black-rimmed telegram arrived announcing the death of his last grandson. He died a short while later, once his granddaughter had returned from her Red Cross duties in London. In another time he would have had his two sons, their wives, and his six grandchildren and his many servants from River’s End estate to mourn his passi...
  • Elspeth G. Perkin
    " 'What might have been' is always better than what is." In true Todd fashion, The Murder Stone compounds racing emotions with searches for absolution and is set during WWI. The atmosphere along with the descriptions of psychological anguish and war are some of the best you will find in this genre but unfortunately the serious mystery and supposed suspense in this stand alone novel are overwhelmed by a need for an awkwardly presented romance that...
  • Angélique
    I've read all of the Bess Crawford series (until the next one comes out in September) so I thought I'd read the stand-alone Charles Todd book. I read for pleasure & entertainment so I don't overly critique. I thought this was a REALLY interesting read. However, I was quite disappointed in the ending. Was the unidentified soldier (the shooter), the cousin Peter? The book doesn't confirm or deny it. And is Victoria Leighton the mother of both Richa...
  • Jennifer
    I liked this author's Inspector Ian books, so I thought this was one of them. It's not, and it's quite longwinded and overly melodramatic. But the ending is good, if you can wait until then. These days I think it wouldn't have been published in the US at least without some editing. But still -- very good characters.
  • Chip
    certainly an engaging story. Reminded me somewhat of Bess Crawford without quite the fulfilling backstory. An excellent read to the very end.
  • Liz
    didn't realize that this was not an Inspector Rutledge mystery but it was a fun read anyway.
  • Marci
    One of their best!
  • Cherie Bush
  • Nancy Cook-senn
    Lots of intriguing complications, too much pondering, inadequate ending with questions unanswered.
  • Sally Sharamitaro
    Might not be my very favorite of the Charles Todd books, but I did enjoy it.