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.
If you've never read a list mystery about a nurse (or similar) amateur sleuth solving crimes in the midst of WW1 carnage, this could be interesting. B..Show More »ut the author team of Charles Todd wastes a good series premise and potentially interesting characters in that rich backdrop by producing a pedestrian rehash of other novels. Particularly wasted is the Spanish Flu epidemic material. I've listened to a couple of the Ian Rutledge novels - It's hard to believe the same team writes the Bess Crawford series. Number 1 in the series was better, and each subsequent novel seemed to be more loosely constructed -- just the opposite of what usually happens in a historical mystery series as the characters get a chance to develop. Here Bess still improbably hops around Britain and the French trenches, poking her nose in a minor mystery (compared to the hell all around) before eventually tripping over her villain in a too convenient formula.