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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A STELLAR OFFERING IN THIS SERIES
While there are certainly a number of worthy books to be read I try never to miss a Bess Crawford mystery by a redoubtable pseudonymous mother/son writing team. With Bess they've created an admirable character, one with the greatest integrity and also very human. She is a battlefield nurse serving during World War I and also an amateur detective or "sleuth" as she might...
Published 11 months ago by Gail Cooke

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sum Is Less Than Its Parts
"A Question of Honor" is the fifth entry in Charles Todd's newish Bess Crawford British mystery series. The New York Times bestselling "Todd," actually the American 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...
Published 11 months ago by Stephanie De Pue


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sum Is Less Than Its Parts, 30 Aug 2013
By 
Stephanie De Pue (Wilmington, NC USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford Mysteries) (Hardcover)
"A Question of Honor" is the fifth entry in Charles Todd's newish Bess Crawford British mystery series. The New York Times bestselling "Todd," actually the American 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 the crime novels appear to be based in Great Britain; the Crawford series during World War I, the Rutledge series shortly afterward. A QUESTION OF HONOR follows on the heels of A Duty to the Dead, An Impartial Witness, A Bitter Truth , and An Unmarked Grave, all of which I have read and reviewed at Amazon. The books will continue to remind many readers of the popular British television series Downton Abbey - Series 1-3 / Christmas at Downton Abbey , which is set in the same time, and world.

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; she 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. This entry opens at a front line field hospital in France, where Bess is assigned, and much of it will take place at a variety of French field hospitals that are already overwhelmed by war injuries, but now must cope with hundreds of flu patients too.

The death from injuries of a Subedar, an Indian Sergeant who should not have been at the front lines in France, sets Bess to investigate murders that occurred during her childhood in India, where she had tremendously enjoyed life on the Northwest Frontier. But in 1908, Colonel Crawford's regiment had realized that it appeared to harbor a murderer in its ranks, an officer who seemed to have killed five people in India and England. Yet the law had never been able to bring him to trial. In the eyes of many of these soldiers, men who lived by the watchwords of honor and duty, the crimes, and the escape of the accused officer, were stains on the reputations of the regiment and Bess's father, the Colonel Sahib, who had trained the killer.

Ten years later, Bess learns from the dying Indian sergeant that the alleged murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive--and serving at the French front. Bess cannot believe it: according to reliable reports, Wade's body had been seen deep in the Khyber Pass, where he had died trying to reach Afghanistan. So she begins to check around in England and France. She stumbles on some nasty truths, things that even the famous Anglo-Indian writer Rudyard Kipling, whom "Todd" introduces into the story line, had kept secret all his life. And she realizes that her parents' decision to keep her with them in India may have saved her from some very nasty childhood experiences.

The authors have given us some powerful, evocative flashback scenes in India, and some reasonably powerful scenes on the French front, though it's clear they cannot render wartime with the intensity of novelists who specialize in it. "Todd" also does well at giving us the atmosphere of wartime England, the social uproar caused by the war. The author(s) are excellent on England's landscape, wintry weather, cities and towns, residents and police, soldiers home on leave. Dialog and narrative are fine; the plot is complex in a satisfactory way. In fact, the plot is pulled together, organized well, in line with the rules that govern this kind of writing. But somehow, the English scenes are flat, and without power. Finally, when the perpetrator is eventually revealed, it feels as if the criminal might have been chosen by lottery, and killed for motives not known to man. In fact, in the authors' latest novel, the sum seems less than the parts.

The actual Charles Todd has come to speak several times at the local Wilmington, North Carolina's library mystery weekends. He's an attractive youngish man, intelligent and witty, and, while this book is acceptable, I wish him better luck next time out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A STELLAR OFFERING IN THIS SERIES, 29 Aug 2013
By 
Gail Cooke (TX, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford Mysteries) (Hardcover)
While there are certainly a number of worthy books to be read I try never to miss a Bess Crawford mystery by a redoubtable pseudonymous mother/son writing team. With Bess they've created an admirable character, one with the greatest integrity and also very human. She is a battlefield nurse serving during World War I and also an amateur detective or "sleuth" as she might put it. The authors are adept at describing the horrors of war, the terrors of trench warfare and the tolls taken on soldiers. They are equally skilled at noting Bess's thoughts and perceptions which continue to give readers insights into their heroine.

With the fifth in the Bess Crawford series, A Question Of Honor, we see more of Bess's early life in India where she lived with her father, a colonel in the British army. The story begins in 1908 when Bess was fifteen and takes us to England and France in 1918. More often than not at that time officers would send their children home to be educated. Unfortunately for one family stationed in India they receive word that their daughter, Alice, died of typhoid in England. Of course, her mother is overwrought and since her husband cannot get leave she is accompanied to England by an officer who had planned to go there, one Thomas Wade.

After Wade returns to duty he flees from the military police who accuse him not only of murdering a family while he was in England but his own parents in Agra, India. Wade escapes capture until finally a report of his death is received.

Fast forward to wartime on the front where Bess listens to a dying soldier who confides in her - he shares a secret with her, shocking news relating to Thomas Wade. It begins to seem that the past is not buried after all. Knowing Bess she will search for answers and eventually find them.

A Question Of Honor is one more stellar offering in this series. Don't miss it!

- Gail Cooke
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3.0 out of 5 stars Go on like this and you'll lose your readers...., 25 July 2014
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H. Lacroix (France) - See all my reviews
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'A question of honour' is rather disappointing if by no means unpleasant to read. When compared to the other novels featuring Bess Crawford there is a lack of finesse in the telling which is indeed surprising from authors who gave us much better before. The story is clumsily told and there's no mystery at all since we understand right from the start what feelings resurfaced in Wade when he was told of the death of little Alice, a fellow officer's little girl. Bess and Simon's subsequent discoveries seem to come at random when visiting the English village where Wade's own little sister died. It's just not convincing and I wish discoveries had stemmed logically from clues strewn intelligently here and there. The Todd team have to give a much higher standard next time if they don't want to lose some of their readership.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bess Crawford, 9 Jan 2014
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I much prefer the Inspector Rutledge series, but on saying that I did enjoy this book but it did

I much prefer this author's books on the Inspector Rutledge series, I did enjoy this but don't as with the others can't lay it down till I come to the final chapter.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new author to me, 28 Oct 2013
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M. Francis "Michael" (Wiltshire England) - See all my reviews
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Looking forward to reading it as the author is new to me. I have a backlog of titles to read
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A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford Mysteries)
A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford Mysteries) by Charles Todd (Hardcover - 1 Sep 2013)
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