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A Bitter Truth

A Bess Crawford Mystery

About the Book

Trying to help a woman in distress, World War I nurse and accidental sleuth Bess Crawford learns that no good deed goes unpunished

When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in.

Once inside Bess’s flat, the woman reveals that a quarrel with her husband erupted into violence, yet she wants to return home—if Bess will go with her to Sussex. Realizing that the woman is suffering from a concussion, Bess gives up a few precious days of leave to travel with her. But she soon discovers that this is a good deed with unforeseeable consequences.

What Bess finds at Vixen Hill is a house of mourning. The woman’s family has gathered for a memorial service for the elder son, who died of war wounds. Her husband, home on compassionate leave, is tense, tormented by jealousy and his own guilty conscience.

Then, when a troubled houseguest is found dead, Bess herself becomes a prime suspect in the case. This murder will lead her to a dangerous quest in war-torn France, an unexpected ally, and a startling revelation that puts her in jeopardy before a vicious killer can be exposed.

Critical Praise

“Makes fine work of the brooding atmosphere.” —

“Outstanding.” —

“Bess is a very strong series lead, the historical setting is as well developed here as it is in the Rutledge books, and the mysteries are just as elegantly constructed. Readers who have yet to sample the Crawford series should be strongly encouraged to do so.” —

“Few writers surpass Todd in depicting the insanity of war.” —

“Todd brings World War I England and France to life with an intriguing plot and an intrepid sleuth.” —

“A thoughtful mystery with an excellent plot, well-drawn characters and wonderful atmosphere.” —

“A well-envisaged plot, a deep sense of time and place and characters drawn with care and compassion.” —

“Charles Todd has developed believable characters that carry along this story with lightning speed from the first page to the last.” —

“The Todds excel at complex characterizations....For lovers of upper-drawer British whodunnits and Anglophiles in general, A Bitter Truth should prove a sweet treat indeed.” —

“A lovely picture of a slower world.” —

“Combines believable characters, gut-wrenching suspense and a sobering commentary on the ravages of war.” —

“Highly recommended—well-rounded, believable characters, a multi-layered plot solidly based on human nature, all authentically set in the England of 1917, make A Bitter Truth an outstanding and riveting read.” —

“Readers will enjoy Todd’s plucky, determined sleuth and a thrilling mystery that proves murders on the home front don’t stop just because there’s a war.” —

“Bess Crawford is a strong and likable character.” —

“A superb whodunit—just when you think you have it figured out, Todd throws a curve—and a moving evocation of a world at war.” —

“A smartly plotted, well-told mystery.” —

“A book rich in atmosphere and dense with plot.” —

“Todd’s excellent second mystery featuring British nurse Bess Crawford smoothly blends realistic characters with an intricate plot.” —

“Find some cures for the post-Downton Abbey blues ... Charles Todd has been producing a series of highly praised detective novels set in the years immediately after World War I.” —

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062092595
  • ISBN 10: 0062092596
  • Imprint: William Morrow
  • On Sale: 30/08/2011
  • Pages: 368
  • List Price: 9.99 AUD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General

A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd

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