Ian Rutledge is back....solving another murder, and what a murder it is. Rutledge is left with nothing but a body in the middle of the street, questions about how the body got there, and no identification but a gold watch inside a coat pocket...a gold watch that could only belong to a gentleman.
The gold watch did give Rutledge some leads, but he kept finding dead ends with each investigation....the criminal was quite clever. Who could this body be? Without any identification and only a gold watch that lead to the prominent French family, this was going to be a difficult case. Thankfully good old Hamish was there to help.
And, of course, who could have done it? Was it self-staged, was it Lewis French 's jilted fiancée, was it Mr Belford a retired military man who gave his own ideas too perfectly of what he thought happened, or was it Lewis's sister who wasn't too happy with her brother? No answer could be found, and the search continued in London, St. Hilary, and Dedham.
Scotland Yard only had small bits of evidence besides the body and a missing Lewis French and then a missing cousin, Matthew Traynor, along with a handkerchief with pansies, a picture, a piece of cloth that matched the jacket of the dead man, two women close to Lewis, and a family who kept released prisoners as its household staff.
There wasn't enough evidence to convict anyone because there wasn't enough "proof of guilt" for any suspect, but the search and investigation moved on with increasing danger to Rutledge himself.
PROOF OF GUILT is another marvelous mystery that Charles Todd always packs with splendid descriptions of landscapes and characters, appealing characters, and a thorny mystery to solve. Mr. Todd's books are habitually filled with twists and turns that make you ponder, that keep you guessing, and that are always perfectly planned mysteries featuring Mr. Todd's favorite Inspector who makes it all happen. 5/5
This book was given to me free of charge without compensation in exchange for an honest review.