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When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in.
Once inside Bess' flat, the woman reveals that a quarrel with her husband erupted into violence, yet she wants to return home - if Bess will go with her to Sussex. Realizing that the woman is suffering from a concussion, Bess gives up a few precious days of leave to travel with her. But she soon discovers that this is a good deed with unforeseeable consequences.
What Bess finds at Vixen Hill is a house of mourning. The woman's family has gathered for a memorial service for the elder son, who died of war wounds. Her husband, home on compassionate leave, is tense, tormented by jealousy and his own guilty conscience.
Then, when a troubled houseguest is found dead, Bess herself becomes a prime suspect in the case. This murder will lead her to a dangerous quest in war-torn France, an unexpected ally, and a startling revelation that puts her in jeopardy before a vicious killer can be exposed.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Jen on 10-30-11
A friend recommended that I try reading Charles Todd and at that time A Duty to the Dead (the first Bess Crawford novel) had just come out. So that's where I started and I got hooked. I like Bess; she's a strong, single woman serving as a nurse during World War I in France. Somehow she manages to get in the middle of murder mysteries and we get to go along with her to the solution.
This third installment is a solid addition. Bess's compassionate heart won't let her ignore a woman huddling in her London doorway and what results is her becoming fully engaged in the woman's family troubles and murder.
All of the Bess Crawford novels are narrated by Rosalyn Landor, whose soothing British may seem too soothing for a good listen, but she reads it very well. Since these novels are in the first person, she is Bess's voice.
I know fans of the Ian Rutledge novels are disappointed with the Bess Crawford novels a bit. But since this is where I started with Todd, I'm a happy reader/listener.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
By "unknown" on 08-15-12
An Old Fashioned "Who dun-it"
I quite enjoyed this book as it did not pretend to be anything other then it was. It is an old fashioned mystery novel, all prim and proper from a time when women knew their place in society but a few were testing their strength and will. It had snippets of the 2nd world war thrown in with an insight of how people coped with leading disjointed lives. I am glad I read it.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful