Charles Todd writes two marvelous historical mystery series. The first features Ian Rutledge of Scotland Yard, a brilliant and intuitive detective haunted by the ghost of World War I. The other features Bess Crawford, a World War I nurse and amateur sleuth. This short story, The Piperfeatures Ian Rutledge’s ghost, Hamish MacLeod, before the war.

On a cold, rainy night, Hamish hears a distant cry down by the loch. He heads out into then night and finds a young piper, attacked and left for dead. He takes him home and does his best to dress his wound and warm him up, but when Hamish wakes in the morning, the young man has left. Hamish is concerned he won’t have the strength to make it to town and looks for him. Sadly, he died on the road, of cold and his wound, and the police are investigation and Hamish is a suspect.


So, first things first, I miss Hamish. As the series has progresses and Rutledge gets farther from the war, Hamish is not as present as he used to be. It was lovely to have a story with Hamish as the hero. Todd is always good at creating a sense of place and you can feel the bitter, chill wind and rain and the looming menace in the shadows outside Hamish’ home.

This is a short story, an e-book you can download for less than a dollar. If you have never read Charles Todd’s work, you will get a taste of it and a preview of his coming new release Racing the DevilI must confess, I did not read the preview because I can’t stand waiting once I read something. I want to read it now! I have read his series from the very first book, I don’t need a preview to know it will be good.

I received an e-galley of The Piper from the publisher through Edelweiss.