The Murder Stone

The Murder Stone

Book - 2004
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Random House, Inc.
“A stunner, exquisitely plotted and characterized, with Todd’s trademark meticulous backdrop of World War I-era England.”—Strand Magazine

The Great War is still raging when Francesca Hatton’s adored grandfather dies on the family estate in England’s isolated Exe Valley. Among his effects, Francesca is stunned to find an unsigned letter cursing the Hattons and their descendants. Then a stranger appears, accusing her grandfather of murder. Was the loving protector Francesca remembers really a vindictive man who cultivated dangerous enemies? At the center of the intrigue is an unusual white stone hidden in a garden where Francesca once played with her five male cousins—all dead now on France’s battlefields. According to Hatton’s will, the Murder Stone must be dug up, transported to Scotland, and buried forever. But before Francesca can begin the journey, a series of ominous “accidents” occur. As Francesca sets out to pursue the truth, she also sets herself in the sights of someone determined to exact a revenge too long overdue. 

Praise for The Murder Stone

“Todd’s mysteries are among the most intelligent and affecting being written these days.”Washington Post Book World

“Seamless . . . a compelling insight into the home front during 1916.”Chicago Tribune

“A gripping novel of family secrets set against the tragedy of World War I.”—Mystery Lovers Bookshop News

“Many twists and turns, angst-ridden characters, and an evocative historical setting. A gripping read.”Library Journal

Baker & Taylor
Grieving over the loss of her grandfather, a young woman is plunged into a morass of family secrets, vengeance, and death as she struggles to uncover the truth about the mysterious so-called "murder stone" in her family's garden, reveal the dark secrets that died with her cousins on the battlefields of France, and cope with her own emotional upheaval. Reprint.

Publisher: New York : Bantam Books, 2004, c2003
Edition: Bantam mass market ed
ISBN: 9780553586602
Branch Call Number: M TODD
Characteristics: xix, 377 p. ; 18 cm


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Jun 30, 2017

A good mystery, although I find it difficult to believe that she would get away with what she got away with at the end of the book - the ending is too neat and tidy! I also find it difficult to believe that she would give up life in London, as a single young person, to live alone in her family's huge home outside a small village in England! But she is English!

CRRL_VirginiaJ Jun 08, 2017

This stand-alone from historical mystery novelist(s) illuminates the deadly secrets of a proud English family.

Aug 29, 2011

Delightfully written mystery. Set in WW1 it both gives a real feel for the period and provides a page-turning story with several unexpected twists. The last sentence of the book provides the last twist. Very good read.

hermlou May 25, 2010

Not an Inspector Rutledge mystery, this book takes place in England in WWI when Francesca Hatton returns home to tend to her dying grandfather. She is the last survivor of her grandfather's two sons and 6 grandchildren, and she inherits the entire estate. The will orders her to take the murder stone to Scotland. Instead she is occupied with strange threats by visitors to the funeral, and she is puzzled by other properties that her grandfather owned. Mystery follows mystery until she wonders just who her grandfather was and who she really is. The atmosphere is suitably gloomy, and I read eagerly to find out what would happen next and who Francesca's friends really were.


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