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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas
Jules Verne
The Spirit of the Border
Zane Grey
Ramona the Brave (Ramona, #3)
Beverly Cleary
The Underground Man (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)
Ross Macdonald
Delilah of the Snows
Harold Bindloss
Mrs. Miniver
Jan Struther
Betsy-Tacy Treasury (P.S.)
Maud Hart Lovelace
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace

A Test Of Wills

A Test Of Wills  - Charles Todd This is the first of Todd's Inspector Ian Rutledge stories. I had read one three years ago (GoodReads claims I read two of them, but I appear to have reviewed only one of the two) and liked it enough to consider reading more. I decided I should begin at the beginning.

Ian Rutledge was a police inspector who went off to World War I and came back with some rather severe "shell shock", or as we term it these days, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). One of the features of this PTSD is that Rutledge hears voices in his head, notably that of a Scott, named Shamus, whom Rutledge had to have executed for refusing orders on the battle field. It doesn't help that his fiancée dumped him after he returned from the war.

Rutledge thinks that returning to work with Scotland Yard will help his healing process. In theory, the folks at Scotland Yard don't know about his medical issues. But one, his immediate superior does seem to know. Further, said superior doesn't much like Rutledge and would like an excuse to get rid of him. So, Rutledge is sent off to investigate the murder of a war hero, Col. Wood. The most obvious suspect is a local rabble rouser who has had run-ins with the war hero, but Rutledge finds evidence to exonerate him. Then, there's another war hero, Capt. Wilton, who happens to be betrothed, to Col. Wood's niece and ward, Lettice, and who also appears to have been highly decorated by the royal family. So, Rutledge has to sort out all the various relationships in the local village, all the while being abused verbally by the voice of Shamus in his head. Something like that.

It was a pretty good book, and although it was written fairly recently by Americans, most of the background feels reasonably true to post World War I Britain. I'm not sure I liked this book as much as the first one I read (which was the sixth in the series), but I liked it enough I'll likely pick up a few more somewhere along the line.