In Charles Todd’s No Shred of Evidence, Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge tries to prove four women innocent.
It is autumn 1920 in Cornwall. The four women are on a short boat ride when they try to rescue Harry Saunders whose boat is sinking. He dies, and a witness who helped in the attempted rescue accuses the women of murder. He says Saunders was in their boat, and they pushed him out.
Everyone involved (including Rutledge) has a personal connection with the victim or with one or more of the women. Many of them have reasons to lie or murder.
The only clues Rutledge has are the boat itself and some scraps of well-embroidered cloth. He finds the first scrap at the boat’s mooring spot. Then he finds later pieces of cloth at the scene of subsequent attacks and murders.
Rutledge’s dogged pursuit of every lead finally leads him to the murderer, someone completely unexpected. Only his police procedural approach could have solved the crime.
Well-meaning people withholding information, made things worse. And the whole story ends in an imperfect way.
So, I found this to be just the kind of book I like. It is a strong police procedural in which not everything works out.
I ran across this book in our local library as a Kindle edition. As soon as I finished the book, I went back and checked out the first book in the series A Fine Summer’s Day.