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Customer Review

TOP 500 REVIEWERon 12 March 2010
and make way for Elizabeth Crawford. Charles Todd - a mother/son writing team famous for their wonderful Ian Rutledge novels - have created a new character, Elizabeth (Bess) Crawford, a British nurse in WW1. The time frame of the Crawford novel is slightly earlier than that of the Rutledge novels. The Rutledge stories take place in the years after WW1, with some flashbacks to his time at war. Crawford is shown (at least so far) working during the war.

I'm not going to write a lot about the story, which is excellent, but rather about the writing. I've read most of Todd's Rutledge books and think the writing is absolutely first rate. That continues on to their second series of book. (I'm assuming the A Duty to the Dead is the first in a series and not a stand-alone novel).
There seems not to be a word out of place, a character introduced but not dealt with in the story, or any rambling. It's air-tight writing and editing. What I wonder about is if two writers, writing together, tend to edit each other's writing as they go along in their collaboration?

Todd's Bess Crawford compares favorably with Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs. Both are fully developed characters as defined - and refined - in their writers' words. Dobbs' London is post-WW1, moving into the 1930's. Both are well worth reading, as are Todd's earlier series, Ian Rutledge.

I'm looking forward to many more Bess Crawford novels.
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