This is a remembrance I had hoped never to write because Caroline Todd has been one of the most wonderful people that I’ve ever met. She was a pure delight to spend time with.
Caroline is one-half of a writing team (mother and son), who publish under the name of the son, Charles Todd.
They burst onto the scene in 1994 with A TEST OF WILLS, the first of the Inspector Ian Rutledge series (which will number 24 when A GAME OF FEAR comes out in 2022). It won our very first Barry Award for Best First Novel and remains to this day one of my all-time favorite mysteries.
It wasn’t until several years later that it was revealed that “Charles Todd” was really Caroline and Charles Todd writing together. As a reader of their works, it didn’t phase me in the least.
I’ve had a number of occasions over the years when I’ve had an opportunity to spend time with Caroline and Charles, but the one I treasure the most was several years ago when I found out that they were going to do a signing at the local Salt Lake City bookstore called The King’s English. I contacted them and told them I would like to be their guide for the day so I picked them up at their hotel and went to lunch with them. I remember at lunch making a plea to find a lasting love interest for their main protagonist Inspector Rutledge. He seemed lonely to me and it would have been the merciful thing to do. But I got no commitments from them so I guess they had their own timetable mapped out for such a thing. Unfortunately it was a rainy day so my tour of Salt Lake City did not entail getting out of my car, but I did manage to give them an idea of its history and its main sites. Then I took them to their signing to finish off a wonderful day – for me – and I hope for them.
We would meet regularly at Bouchercons and it was always a joyous occasion for us all. Caroline and Charles were long-time subscribers to Deadly Pleasures and as such were a great support to me.
I don’t know how Caroline and Charles shared their writing responsibilities, but their output is nothing short of amazing – 38 novels in approximately 25 years – and novels of such high quality! They were experts in plotting a finely tuned mystery novel and it is hard to imagine the hours of research that have gone into writing each novel.
Caroline has left quite a legacy for the world of mystery fans to read and re-read. She will never be forgotten – especially by those who knew and loved her. May she Rest in Peace.
Here is the post from Charles:
It is with a heavy heart that I along with my sister Linda [Watjen] and Caroline’s sister Martha must tell you we lost Caroline this morning, 8-27-21, at 10 a.m. She passed peacefully and was with Linda at the end. Caroline left the world a better place and was immensely happy to have met and gotten to know so many readers, authors and booksellers. She was to the very end a class act. More information will follow. I am delighted we have completed A Game of Fear featuring Ian Rutledge and the next in the Bess Crawford [series]. Caroline will always be alive in the hearts of all she touched. Everyone’s notes have been greatly appreciated. Charles