The Murder Stone PDF/EPUB ✓ The Murder ePUB

The Murder Stone The Great War is still raging in the autumn of 1916 when Francesca Hatton’s beloved grandfather dies on the family estate in England’s isolated Exe Valley Grieving for the man who raised her Francesca is stunned to find an unsigned letter among his effects cursing the Hattons and their descendants Now a stranger has shown up on her doorstep accusing her grandfather of being a murderer Ex soldier Richard Leighton blames Francis Hatton for the death of his mother who vanished nearly a uarter of a century earlier Her body was never found only a shawl stained with her blood And Leighton is not the only one with a claim on Francesca’s grandfather On the day of his funeral unexpected visitors arrive with the mourners and Francesca is besieged by charges of Hatton’s vicious dealings Yet there is also a shy young woman who praises his secret generosityAt the center of the intrigue is an unusual white stone that lies hidden in a secluded garden where Francesca once played with her five male cousins all of them dead now on the battlefields of France According to the terms of Hatton’s will the Murder Stone must be dug up and transported to Scotland where it is to be buried forever But before Francesca can begin the journey a series of ominous “accidents” occur culminating in the discovery of a bleeding body on the Murder Stone itselfWas Hatton the loving caring protector his granddaughter always believed him to be Or a vindictive secretive man who cultivated dangerous enemies Francesca sets out in pursuit of the truth—and into the sights of someone determined to exact a revenge long overdue From the Hardcover edition

10 thoughts on “The Murder Stone

  1. Tara Tara says:

    This was my first Charles Todd book I'd gone to a local bookstore in search of the first book in either of Todd's two series but this was all I could find and I have a bit of a mental split in what I thought of this bookOn the one hand I found it really enjoyable to read nicely paced plotting crisp writing and pretty gripping as I struggled to figure out the truth behind all the secrets exposed by Frances Hatton's death I also loved the air of good old fashioned Gothic mysteryromance about it in fact it made me realize that I'm itching to re read some of the classic Gothics I loved so much as a teenAt the same time there was a certain point toward the end where I started to feel like there was a bit too much randomness about this story There are a few scattered chapters from the POV of the heroine's cousins which had a faint connection to the main plot but really only served to throw off the narrative flow There was a strangely extraneous thread involving a mysterious person hiding out in the woods that never really merged into the main plot in a logical or valuable way Even the Murder Stone itself seemed to be shoehorned in as a plot device rather than something fundamental to the storyThe ending was a bit odd too I feel like it COULD have been the kind of ending that you savor like a piece of salted dark chocolate caramels all dark and savory with a serious bite but instead it was just a bit too neat which made it feel contrived than organicAh well it was enough of a positive experience that I'll be even interested in finding the Rutledge or Crawford books now From the reviews here it seems that many feel those two series are superior to this book

  2. LJ LJ says:

    THE MURDER STONE Gothic Suspense ExCharles Todd – StandaloneBantam 2003 – HardcoverTheir grandfather Francis Hatton raised Francesca Hatton and her four male cousins all orphaned at an early age Each of the cousins has been killed in the Great War and now Francisca is alone to grieve the death of her beloved grandfather whom she thought she knew But at the reading of his will she reads a letter cursing him and his heirs she inherits two properties about which she never knew people turn up at the funeral demanding items about which she did not know and Richard Leighton appears on her doorstep blaming Francis for the disappearance of his mother If you’re expecting a book in the same style as Todd’s Inspector Ian Rutledge series you will be disappointed However if you love Gothics as do I having started Victoria Holt and the early books of Mary Stewart you will be delighted There is that underlying air of tension from the first page and twists aplenty along the way to a dramatic conclusion and classic epilogue I am always looking for a new good suspenseful Gothic And this is it

  3. Carol Carol says:

    This book might have been better had it been focused and less convoluted There is a lot of authorly 'how many plot devices can I shoehorn into this thing?'The plots of this novel doesn't really hold together into an integrated whole The book rambled on far too long Most of the inserts by the cousins were irrelevant; the shooter episodes didn't really further the plot and the entire shooter subplot could have been eliminated without any damage to the whole Does it really matter plot wise that one of the cousins now a wee bit mad has returned? In fact many episodes could have been eliminated without any damage to the plot Even the Murder Stone does little to hold the plot together it's not that important to the novel let alone making it the title The last one third of the novel went on and on and the book's ending stretched credulity to the limitMost of the characters were wooden sticks wending their way through the novel Not even the villianess fared any better In the end the book runs out of steam and so do you

  4. Niki Niki says:

    I am uite enthusiastic concerning this excellent thriller at a rather slow pace where a young woman must deal with people trying to smear the reputation of her beloved grandfather who died shortly after the loss of his five grandsons who all died in the first world war the cousins of francesca hatton like in many families there were many things untold secrets to be revealed and I liked the way that bereft young woman fought to clear her grandfather's name Thanks to him she had a happy childhood with her cousins how could such a nice man have been the devil some people pretend he was ? cesca hatton is set on finding the truth but where to start ?

  5. Amy Amy says:

    What a strange book Set in WWI Francesca Hatton annoyingly called Cesca by her family is responsible for handling her dear grandfather's affairs upon his death from illness Francesca is the last Hatton her grandfather had raised her and her five male cousins after the respective deaths of their parents but all five cousins were killed in the war Francesca adored her grandfather and her happy childhood; however when various family secrets emerge after the reading of her grandfather's will and events at his funeral she begins to uestion whether she really knew him at all Francesca is confronted with two pieces of property that she didn't know existed; a disposition reuiring her to remove the murder stone a large rock she and her cousins used to play on; and the confrontation from a stranger named Richard Leighton that Francis Hatton killed his mother many years ago The book was very difficult to get into the writing was so italicized and melodramatic and there were galore The book was written in third person but freuently would be inside Francesca's tortured head At first I thought it was appalling but once I realized it was intended to be written in a very gothic style I adjusted and began really enjoying the story Francesca is of a Marian Halcombe than a Laura Fairlie she had spunk and constantly reminded herself that SHE WAS A HATTON for crying out loud whenever there were dangerous or emotionally annoying situations to be confronted And Leighton is certainly a brooding hero And of course there are the loyal old servants who go around muttering things like it ain't right whenever some evil person comes to besmirch Francis Hatton's good name So I thought it was pretty okay but there were so many things that I wasam still confused about 1 The family mysteries perhaps I wasn't paying close attention but was it resolved whether Francesca and her cousins were really her grandfather's grandchildren? Was Francis Francesca's father so alliterative? Was Victoria truly Francesca's mother? Where was she in all the intervening years after leaving her family and popping up to ruin Francesca's wedding? Was she the one who sent all the notes?2 Also at one point when talking about his mother's disappearance Leighton expressed that he had thought an old man like Francis could never physically please a woman like his mother but after seeing a picture of the old dawg changed his mind Ew on many levels 3 The cousins This could have easily been about Francesca and maybe one cousin if that but instead there was an unnecessary amount of dead cousins They never distinguished themselves in my mind even though they were constantly referred to by the single personality trait that defined them For example Robin was always referred to as practical You could not read his name without someone also saying well that was Robinalways practical or practical Robin always had a back up plan or even Robin's own narration I have always been practical Even their strange ghostly voice over chapters were indistinguishable from one another 4 The multitude of plotlines I understand we need several suspects to make it an interesting mystery BUT there was so much going on and little follow through Just one example is the shooter Why was there a shooter? Who was he shooting just cows? Was he trying to kill people? WAS IT REALLY PETER? So many mysteries so little time 4 The ending So Victoria emerges and we learn that she is a pretty terrible person She didn't give two figs about her new husband and small Richard and essentially disappeared so that she could embark on a one woman mission to bring Francis down She tells Francesca that she is her mother and that Francis is her father so she cannot marry Leighton because he is her half brother and if Francesca ignores her she will interrupt the wedding and confess all shattering Leighton's image of his angelic martyred mother and rendering Leighton's half sister illegitimate in the process So Francesca frets about what to do and then when Victoria comes again to issue her final warning SHOOTS AND KILLS HER And covers it up with the help from aforementioned servants and gets married and lives happily ever after The End I don't even know what to think about this I guess I'm glad Victoria died because how else were Richard and Francesca going to live happily ever after but she MURDERS her future mother in law possibly own mother in cold blood ON HER WEDDING DAY and was like oh hehoha time to get to the church The mind boggles

  6. Suzan Suzan says:

    I picked up this book thinking it was next in one of my favorite series the Ian Rutledge mysteries I was surprised but pleased to find it a very well done stand alone a gothic than a mystery set in Todd’s era of expertise WWI As in the mysteries the time and place rural England during and immediately after the Great War is beautifully evoked Todd’s command of the speech manners and customs of the period is so pitch perfect I could believe the book was written in 1923 rather than 2003Young Francesca Hatton returns to her grandfather’s estate for his funeral She is the last of her generation of Hattons her five male cousins having been killed in the war But instead of closure she finds only uestions Who wrote the letter cursing her family now and forever? Who are all the strangers attending the funeral making demands and threats? Why did she never know of her grandfather’s ownership of an orphanage? Why the strange codicil in his will reuesting that she remove the large white stone in the garden and transport it to the northernmost part of Scotland?For me the least satisfying part of this well plotted and fast paced novel was the relationship between Francesca and Richard Leighton the stranger who accuses Francesca’s beloved newly buried grandfather of having murdered Leighton’s mother many years ago He is angry obsessed with the past demanding that Francesca provide him with proof of her grandfather’s supposed crime To have him turn suddenly from antagonist to love interest is of course in the best tradition of gothic romance but I found it difficult to believe here Still the action atmosphere and totally unexpected ending made this a thoroughly enjoyable read

  7. Jane Jane says:

    If you're in the mood for a really really good mystery I recommend this Charles Todd stand alone novel Known for his Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford series he has not stepped out of that era WWI but it is peripheral to the story Francesca Hatton has been brought up by her grandfather and her five cousins After her cousins die in the war her grandfather has a stroke and she comes from London to be with him After he dies a strange and angry although good looking of course man shows up accusing her grandfather of murder At the funeral another very angry man accuses him of stealing his estate and another is looking for a box her grandfather has promised him As the story unfolds Francesca learns that everything she thought she knew about her grandfather could be very very wrong Each angry man has his own story and there are some women that may or may not be who or what they seem And then there is the shooter Combination mystery love story family secrets read it and enjoy

  8. Greg Greg says:

    With the sixth A Fearless Doubt Ian Rutledge book one that was an unresolved mess to me I promised myself I'd try one This seventh work by Charles Todd is a stand alone book in which Ian Rutledge doesn't make an appearance Sadly this is the kind of book authors seem to throw out to unsuspecting readers perhaps because of a looming deadline This isn't a terrible book it's just that this genre gothic romance has been done and done most notably by Phyllis A Whitney and Victoria Holt and they did it dozens of times during the 1960s and 1970s And as I recall as good or better than this effort If you must read a gothic romance go ahead with the KING of the genre Rebecca And if you've read that still skip Murder Stone and go with Legend of the Seventh Virgin by Victoria Holt As for me I do miss Ian Rutledge one of the great sleuths in all of mystery

  9. Charlene Charlene says:

    I am a big fan of the Charles Todd authored Ian Rutledge series set in the years immediately after WWI in England I was disappointed in this stand alone book which is set during the last years of the war itself I compulsively finished it but I didn't feel like the mystery was logical nor did I feel like I understood the characters I didn't have the feeling oh yes of course that's how it all must have happened at the end of the book with the solving of the mystery actually I was never sure if the mystery was solved at all Also this book unlike his Ian Rutledge books didn't have as strong a sense of time and place Too many story lines not enough plausibility with them; recommend sticking with the Ian Rutledge books

  10. Diane Diane says:

    This is very different from the other Charles Todd books that I have read The beginning of the book includes a list of the characters a uaint but useful feature There are a lot of charactersIt is not as well written as Todd's other mysteries When I finished the book I had not marked any passages that I particularly liked which I usually do in Todd's booksI didn't really understand the attraction between Francesca and Richard But it seemed to have worked out for them I was amused at the end of the book to realize that Francesca although a nice decent person had killed two people How bizarre

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