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An Unmarked Grave Intl: A Bess Crawford Mystery Paperback – 20 Jun 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Paperback, 20 Jun 2012
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Collins USA (20 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062203606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062203601
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,072,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Even deadlier than the bloody engagements on the battle-scarred fields of France, the Spanish influenza epidemic in the spring of 1918 is bringing hundreds of new patients to World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford. But war and disease are not the only killers to strike with cold and brutal efficiency.

Concealed among the countless dead waiting for burial is the body of an officer whose end was not hastened by a German bullet or an airborne virus. This soldier was murdered, and his death touches Bess deeply, for he was a family friend who once served in her father's regiment.

Falling ill herself before she can report the heinous crime, Bess recovers too late to consult with the only other witness, who, by all official accounts, has since hanged himself. Bess refuses to let a killer escape justice, though her persistence turns an assassin's attention in her direction. Or is she already his next target?

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Charles Todd is the author of the Bess Crawford mysteries, the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, and one stand-alone novel. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.

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4.1 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
"An Unmarked Grave" is the fourth entry in the American mystery author Charles Todd's newish Bess Crawford crime novel series. The New York Times bestselling "Todd", actually a mother/son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd, are resident on the east coast of the United States, in Delaware and North Carolina respectively. Todd is also author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge historical mysteries, and one standalone. All appear to be based in Great Britain, guess you could call them British mysteries. The Crawford series during World War I, the Rutledge series shortly afterward. UNMARKED, following on the heels of A Duty to the Dead, An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford) and AA Bitter Truth (Bess Crawford Mysteries), all of which I have read and reviewed at Amazon, is an exciting and suspenseful book that shows that some series can get better as they go on: lucky us; most,of course, don't.

Todd's protagonist Bess Crawford is a World War I field nurse and an amateur sleuth, daughter of a doughty India fighter, the Colonel Sahib, who has inherited his well-developed sense of duty. It is the spring of 1918; and the "Great War" is finally winding down with the entrance of the Americans, though few at the time realize it. But the Spanish influenza epidemic has struck, killing millions of soldiers and civilians around the globe: eventually it will actually kill more people than that terrible war.

Bess is at a front line field hospital in France.
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By Gail Cooke TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
It's such a pleasure to await the arrival of a new book and know without doubt that you're going to enjoy it. For this reader that's the case with the Bess Crawford series penned by Charles Todd (a mother and son writing team). After Duty to the Dead, An Impartial Witness and Bitter Truth the fourth in this series, An Unmarked Grave, follows the adventures of Bess Crawford, a strong, courageous World War I battlefield nurse who has a penchant for becoming involved in heinous crimes and eventually solving them.

This time out Bess faces her greatest challenge, actually challenges as it is the spring of 1918 on the French front where the Spanish Flu epidemic is killing all in its wake plus there is a consistent disheartening number of wounded soldiers who need attention. Working nearly to sheer exhaustion little does Bess know that a psychopath will soon be threatening not only her life but the life of one very dear to her.

Bone tired and feeling a bit dizzy as there was no time for supper Bess is asked by Private Wilson, head of the burial detail, to accompany him to the shed where the corpses are kept. He has found a body with no wounds save for a broken neck and does not know what to do. Bess immediately recognizes the deceased as Major Vincent Carson, a former member of her father's regiment. Carson was so highly regarded that it was thought he might take her father's place when the time came. Could Carson have been murdered and his body placed among those of the dead soldiers in order to cover up a killing? But before she can confide in her father Bess is stricken with influenza, an attack so severe that she becomes comatose. She's shipped back to Dorset to recover.

Following her recovery she returns to France along with a wounded Yank soldier, Capt.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The year is 1918 and the Spanish flu epidemic is rampaging, killing both soldiers and civilians. Battlefield nurse Bess Crawford and the rest of the nurses and doctors are swamped with patients. But, then Bess discovers that among the dead bodies are the body of a murdered officer that used to serve in her father's former regiment. However she falls ill in the terrible flu herself before she can report it...


The Bess Crawford series has quickly become a favorite of mine. One of the reason is that I find Bess Crawford to be a competent young woman that happens to stumble over problems now and then. Like this time where she must find out who killed an officer that she knew and respected. But, she has also just been terribly ill, the body of the dead man is buried and the only other witness to it has hanged himself. So, there isn't much to go on. But, she won't give up, and luckily she has Simon Brandon and Captain Barclay, a Yankee with a poor knee to help her.

This is the first book in this series that I just couldn't find myself really engrossed with. It could be because of the absence of my favorite Aussie, but I think that most of the problem lies in the fact that the case just doesn't draw me in. I don't say that the book was bad, it was just not memorable. I definitely felt that when I started to write the review and for a moment was at loss to why the man in the beginning was killed. The conclusion of the book was just not that thrilling.

Thankfully, Bess makes this book worth the while, she is still a strong and interesting character despite the rather lackluster storyline. There are those that favor a romantic relationship between her and Simon, but I just don't see it. For me, he is an older brother.
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