A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery

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Harper Collins, Aug 30, 2011 - Fiction - 368 pages
4 Reviews

“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.


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A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery

User Review  - Susan O. Moritz - Book Verdict

Truth can be a bitter pill to swallow. In Todd's third Bess Crawford mystery (after An Impartial Witness), Bess finds herself back in London, on leave from her nursing duties on the World War I ... Read full review

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"A Bitter Truth" is an engrossing depiction of the life of a battlefield nurse in WWI and an upper class family in rural England. We observe the interactions of this family as they attempt to deal with a particularly embarrassing situation.
Bess Crawford is a nurse who returns to England on Christmas leave from the battlefields of France. She is surprised to find a well dressed woman huddled in her doorway. When Bess sees that the woman, Lucy Ellis, has a bruise on her face, Bess's compassionate nature takes over. She invites Lucy into her flat and learns that it was Lucy's husband, Roger, who struck her. Lucy is afraid of returning home and Bess offers to accompany her.
At the Ellis home, Bess meets Roger and learns that the argument was because Roger is about to return to his unit at the front. Lucy wants them to try to conceive a child so that if anything happened to Roger in battle, Lucy would have that part of him to remember and love.
Bess is a steady character who is a delight. As a nurse she cares for the physically and mentally injured. After seeing the horrors of war, she doesn't put up with the petty bureaucrats at home. She is also a problem solver and has the ability to analyze a situation and provide useful alternatives.
Charles Todd describes the relationships between family members and their goal of protecting the family name at all costs. There are a number of murders and the reader continues the story, enjoying the logical approach Bess uses to find out who the killer might be.
There is a well placed plot twist that adds to the reader's interest and places the story at the top realm of imaginative story telling.
This story has a plot and character who were made for each other and combine for a wonderful reading experience.

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Chapter Four
Chapter Nine
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Thirteen
Chapter Fourteen
Chapter Sixteen
Chapter Eighteen
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About the author (2011)

Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, they live on the East Coast.

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