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A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Bess Crawford Mysteries)

A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Bess Crawford Mysteries) [Kindle Edition]

Charles Todd
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

“Highly recommended—well-rounded, believable characters, a multi-layered plot solidly based on human nature, all authentically set in the England of 1917…an outstanding and riveting read.”
New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens

“Bess Crawford is a strong and likable character.”
Washington Times

Already deservedly lauded for the superb historical crime novels featuring shell-shocked Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge (A Lonely Death, A Pale Horse et al), acclaimed author Charles Todd upped the ante by introducing readers to a wonderful new series protagonist, World War One battlefield nurse Bess Crawford. Featured for a third time in A Bitter Truth, Bess reaches out to help an abused and frightened young woman, only to discover that no good deed ever goes unpunished when the good Samaritan nurse finds herself falsely accused of murder. A terrific follow up to Todd’s A Duty to the Dead and An Impartial Witness, A Bitter Truth is another thrilling and evocative mystery from “one of the most respected writers in the genre” (Denver Post) and a treat for fans of Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, Martha Grimes, and Jacqueline Winspear.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 628 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Reprint edition (30 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004QWZC92
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #130,021 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER
First Sentence: A cold rain had followed me from France to England, and an even colder wind greeted me as we pulled into the railway station in London.

Returning from the battlefields of France to England for Christmas leave, WWI nurse Bess Crawford encounters a desperate woman, rain-drenched and bruised in her building's entry. Offering her shelter, Bess slowly learns the woman, Lydia Ellis, had been struck by her husband during an argument. Lydia begs Bess to return to the family's house in Sussex with her and, fearing Lydia may have a concussion. Bess agrees, entering a home filled with tension and, ultimately, murder with Bess being an initial suspect.

The mother and son team of Charles Todd write some of the most evocative descriptions creating a wonderfully strong sense of time and place. The alternating settings of London, and English country house and the stark reality, cruelty and death of war are deftly handled. Even more, they deal with the front and the wounded in a manner which is strongly impactful, yet not overly graphic.

The dialogue is so well done; it is atmospheric..."The forest is--I don't know--not haunted, but most certainly, it broods." with a well-placed sense of irony and occasional wry humor. The language doesn't work hard at reflecting the period, but the sense of it is still there, particularly with the use of the old collective noun "a crocodile of children."

Bess is a character who has grown on me with each successive book. She is a dedicated nurse, but the authors have restrained her from coming across as prissy. The relationship with Simon, her father's ex-Sergeant Major and now assistant, is one handled with proper decorum and appropriateness to the period, but one rather hopes to see grow as the series progresses.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bess the best! 6 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I love Charles Todds books and this one did not disappoint.
The twists and turns were intriging, I suspected everyone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charles does it again! 21 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Wonderful potrayal of nurse/sleuth
Bess Crawford solving crime in war torn Europe in pursuit of justice and succeeding against all odds.
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Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the third Bess Crawford mystery I've read and it's the one I least enjoyed. But let me qualify what I've just written. It still took me just over 24 hours to read it, I still found it difficult to put it down and compared to other books I have read I would still rank it higher in terms of interest and appeal. It by no means fails I just found it slightly less absorbing than the two others I've read so far. As always the exposition scenes are excellent and capture your interest right away. Maybe following on 'Duty to the Dead' and finding Bess once again among a family in mourning I found it less original than ' an unmarked grave' which was also the first book of the series I came upon. Not taking to the character of Lydia might also explain why I found this one less compelling. Lydia is impeccably drawn but as her character develops and as we realise how selfish, manipulative and uncaring for Bess's wishes she is, it gets more difficult to feel any sort of compassion for her and one is left to wonder why Bess should do so much as it is obvious that she sees through her rather quickly once both the young women find themselves at Vixen Hill. I also found the identity theft story at the end rather contrived and as usual found the ending rushed and implausible. I have found it so in all the books by the Todd team I have read and once again when comparing the quality of the beginnings to the hurried and often rather unsatisfactory endings it is as though each one had either the end or the beginning to write. I doubt that the mother and son team do it this way but however they choose to write it would be good if the same care could be given to the concluding part of the stories as is given to the opening chapters. I do realise that once you have been hooked you won't give up reading twenty pages before reaching the end but I still think that some effort should be made so that the reader ends up fully satisfied and eager for more.
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