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In the spring of 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic spreads, killing millions of soldiers and civilians across the globe. Overwhelmed by the constant flow of wounded soldiers coming from the French front, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford must now contend with hundreds of influenza patients as well.
However, war and disease are not the only killers to strike. Bess discovers, concealed among the dead waiting for burial, the body of an officer who has been murdered. Though she is devoted to all her patients, this soldier's death touches her deeply. Not only did the man serve in her father's former regiment, he was also a family friend.
Before she can report the terrible news, Bess falls ill, the latest victim of the flu. By the time she recovers, the murdered officer has been buried, and the only other person who saw the body has hanged himself. Or did he?
Working her father's connections in the military, Bess begins to piece together what little evidence she can find to unmask the elusive killer and see justice served. But she must be as vigilant as she is tenacious. With a determined killer on her heels, each move Bess makes could be her last.
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By Kathleen on 08-27-12
A Nurse Bess Crawford mystery
This mystery is set against the background of WW I 1918. The war has dragged on for several years, losses have been huge for both sides, men are being gassed, and then the pandemic of the 1918 flu is killing people globally. Bess and the other nurses are hard pressed to handle the wounded and now the sick. Soldiers are dying so quickly in France that they are being buried in pits. But one day Bess is called into the room where the bodies are held because an orderly has found a body that did not belong to that unit, with no identifying clothes, and who hadn’t died of the flu. In fact, his neck was broken and he was murdered. Bess knew the man, a family friend who served with her father. She arranged for the orderly to hold back the trucks which took the bodies away, and Bess went off to find the matron to decide what to do. But Bess fell ill with the flu, and was delirious for several days. The nightmare of seeing the murdered man came back to her in a dream. When she finally recovered, she didn’t know if it was a dream or had happened. But then, she learned that the orderly who had also seen the body had, seemingly committed suicide. She instantly believed he was murdered. Bess enlisted the aid of Simon and her father and others to track down this murderer, and her own life was almost taken several times. This was an exciting book, each one in the series has gotten better and better. Landor is a particularly good narrator, especially for no-nonsense nurse Bess Crawford.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
By Kathleen on 08-14-12
Interesting perspective on WWI
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend especially if that friend likes mysteries and has an interest in World War I. The characters and the plot were interesting as well as the details about the time and the people living through WWI.
What other book might you compare An Unmarked Grave to and why?
Any of the other Charles Todd books that deal with the same time period. The other series that comes to mind is the Inspector Foyle programs on PBS. They deal with a changing society during the two World Wars and the changing role for women in that society.
What about Rosalyn Landor’s performance did you like?
She portrayed the characters very well and was extremely easy to listen to.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I loved the end of the book when Bess Crawford was able to give the murdered soldier's family the comfort in knowing that he had not committed suicide and restored his honour.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful