History lovers will revel in the period details of this mystery set during WWI. Bess Crawford, a nursing sister in the medical corps, becomes involve..Show More »d more and more deeply in the family of a soldier whom she nursed til his death from sepsis. Failing to keep up her shield of professional detachment, her heart aches as she brings his last request to his family. From life onboard a troop hospital ship to life in the English countryside during wartime, the descriptions ring true both historically and emotionally. Well done indeed. The descriptions of Shell Shocked soldiers foretell our generation's PTSD. Can't wait to read more of Bess.
I liked the first book in the series, but found the protaganist to be annoying in a Nancy Drew kind of way. Her connection to the crime and people sh..Show More »e was "investigating" was so tenuous that everything she did could only constitute meddling. This second book uses exactly the same formula, but the connection between the investigator and crime is even more far fetched. Indeed, she jets (alright -- motorcars or trains) all over England and France to meddle in strangers' affairs based on a chance glimpse of a distraught woman on train platform. I will not bother with another Bess Crawford book unless the author gives her a real reason to be involved in solving the mystery.
A friend recommended that I try reading Charles Todd and at that time A Duty to the Dead (the first Bess Crawford novel) had just come out. So that's ..Show More »where I started and I got hooked. I like Bess; she's a strong, single woman serving as a nurse during World War I in France. Somehow she manages to get in the middle of murder mysteries and we get to go along with her to the solution.
This third installment is a solid addition. Bess's compassionate heart won't let her ignore a woman huddling in her London doorway and what results is her becoming fully engaged in the woman's family troubles and murder.
All of the Bess Crawford novels are narrated by Rosalyn Landor, whose soothing British may seem too soothing for a good listen, but she reads it very well. Since these novels are in the first person, she is Bess's voice.
I know fans of the Ian Rutledge novels are disappointed with the Bess Crawford novels a bit. But since this is where I started with Todd, I'm a happy reader/listener.
This mystery is set against the background of WW I 1918. The war has dragged on for several years, losses have been huge for both sides, men are being..Show More » gassed, and then the pandemic of the 1918 flu is killing people globally. Bess and the other nurses are hard pressed to handle the wounded and now the sick. Soldiers are dying so quickly in France that they are being buried in pits. But one day Bess is called into the room where the bodies are held because an orderly has found a body that did not belong to that unit, with no identifying clothes, and who hadn’t died of the flu. In fact, his neck was broken and he was murdered. Bess knew the man, a family friend who served with her father. She arranged for the orderly to hold back the trucks which took the bodies away, and Bess went off to find the matron to decide what to do. But Bess fell ill with the flu, and was delirious for several days. The nightmare of seeing the murdered man came back to her in a dream. When she finally recovered, she didn’t know if it was a dream or had happened. But then, she learned that the orderly who had also seen the body had, seemingly committed suicide. She instantly believed he was murdered. Bess enlisted the aid of Simon and her father and others to track down this murderer, and her own life was almost taken several times. This was an exciting book, each one in the series has gotten better and better. Landor is a particularly good narrator, especially for no-nonsense nurse Bess Crawford.
I love this series. Bess Crawford, battlefront nurse during WWI is the perfect complement to Charles Todd's other series about Ian Rutledge--a former ..Show More »soldier in the war, who is now trying to find his way in life working in Scotland Yard, despite his wounded body and soul.
This series develops the character of Bess very nicely--and in this particular book, we get to know a bit more of her life with her family while her father served in India. We also get to know Simon Brandon, her father's batman who has stayed very loyal to the family ever since.
I like Bess' character quite a lot--she is intelligent, empathic and clever, but not depicted as doing unlikely things in the way some writers try to turn an early 20th century woman into having the style and thinking of a 21st century woman--which always leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable.
Bess moves back and forth from France to England in this story, as she tries to unravel murders that took place many years ago. We get to see inside views into Bess' family and background more than before.
A thoroughly satisfying listen with very good narration. Highly recommend!