Strange Company: The Murder of Caroline Luard: a Classic Edwardian Puzzle

Caroline Mary Hartley was born into a wealthy English family in 1850. In 1875 she married a professional soldier named Charles Edward Luard. After a lengthy career, Charles Luard retired in 1887 with the rank of Major-General in the Royal Engineers, and he and his wife settled into the pleasantly situated home of Ightham Knoll, in Kent. During his retirement, Luard served as a Kent County Councilor, a Justice of the Peace, and a Governor of a local school, while both the Luards also kept active with the usual genteel social activities.

During their life together, there were only two known dark spots: The death of the younger of their two sons in 1903, and a curious military scandal in 1879. After British troops were defeated by the Zulu in the Battle of Isandhlwana, blame for the debacle was given mostly to a Colonel Anthony Durnford. Durnford died during the battle, and thus was conveniently unable to defend himself.

However, many in the army believed Durnford was being posthumously slandered, and that the real responsibility for the defeat rested on the heads of more senior officers, most notably…

Source: Strange Company: The Murder of Caroline Luard: a Classic Edwardian Puzzle.

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