A Bitter Truth : Bess Crawford

  • by Charles Todd
  • Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
  • Series: Bess Crawford
  • 11 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Trying to help a woman in distress, World War I nurse and accidental sleuth Bess Crawford learns that no good deed goes unpunished.
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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Beloved Bess

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.
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- Jen


I love "Charles Todd's" Ian Rutledge series, and get drawn into those novels even though they are darker mysteries than I usually like and --from reading about the main character -- I would NEVER have thought that I'd enjoy the novels -- so Todd's Bess Crawford is a heroine I really want to cheer for and expected to enjoy. The first in the series, "A Duty to the Dead", had promise, though the writing and characters were not on par with the Rutledge series. The two subsequesnt Bess Crawford novels seem even weaker to me -- so I hope for a good fourth from the Charles Todd team. Meanwhile, Audible please get more of the early Ian Rutledge novels!
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- connie "Narrative makes the world go round."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-30-2011
  • Publisher: HarperAudio