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...
  • Niki
    I am quite enthusiastic concerning this excellent thriller, at a rather slow pace, where a young woman must deal with people trying to smear the reputation of her beloved grandfather who died shortly after the loss of his five grandsons, who all died in the first world war, the cousins of francesca hatton - like in many families there were many things untold, secrets to be revealed and I liked the way that bereft young woman fought to clear her g...
  • 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...
  • Lea Mckenzie
    I wasn’t sure about this one. From the start it was contrived and convoluted. It had far too many plot lines, most glaringly Mrs. Passamore and the shooter. The mystery was enough to keep me reading, but the ending was a sloppy one. I could not say I liked any of the characters either, although the dog was a good sort. Not one of my favorites.
  • 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.
  • Kay
    Best Charles Todd ever!I've read many books in their two mystery series, but this standalone novel of suspense by Charles Todd is a masterpiece. Full of twists and turns and family secrets. Very different from the mysteries...which I do enjoy. But do try this one also.
  • 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...
  • Christine
    I am a big fan of the Bess Crawford series, and I just started the Ian Rutledge series as well. This stand alone was a good read, I will say that the beginning is a bit meandering and I will agree with other readers that this was slightly longer than it needed to be. The ending was fantastic and considering I read this during an evening where I suffered insomnia, it did not help as I wanted to finish this. Few critiques: -I didn't quite believe t...
  • 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...
  • Bryan Higgs
    I've been reading Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge series and Bess Crawford series, and have enjoyed them for their plots, mystery, characterizations, and presentation of the times during and just after WW1.This book is a standalone novel. I suppose you would describe it as a "gothic mystery', although it is set during the First World War, which I think is a bit late for standard Gothic. I actually have never, to my knowledge, read a true Gothic Novel...
  • Sydney
    Not an Ian Rutledge or Bess Crawford and still I loved it. I like the rhythm of these Todd novels, the way they move through the countryside (slowly) — from church to church. Finally it is making an impact on my consciousness the changes wrought to the British society by the first World War. If you don't want to get sucked into the two series, try this one. (But why would you not want to get acquainted with Ian and Bess?!)
  • Mary Baker
    I like Charles Todd, a mother-son writing team. I have read all of the Ian Rutledge books in that series which they have written. The Murder Stone is full of surprises and unusual characters, and I did enjoy it. Nevertheless, I felt that the ending was too hurried I'm not sure I was satisfied with it.
  • 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.