Laureen S. (Aurora, IL)
Good "Vacation Read"
I had not read any of the prior books in this series, so that may have affected my view of this book. Even though the historical descriptions of the WWI settings in France and England were very detailed, the characters could have been developed a little more.
This being said, it is still an average historical mystery with a couple of twists and some suspense. So if you are looking for an quick and easy, as I call them, "vacation read" (one that doesn't make me think too hard), An Unmarked Grave would be a good choice.
Beth P. (Chester, VA)
A Wee bit Disappointing
When I received my copy of An Unmarked Grave I was very excited. I had wanted to read both series by Charles Todd, (actually a mother and son team) known for their Ian Rutledge series and then for this series about Bess Crawford, a WWI nurse. The setting is during the Spanish Influenza, a most devastating time in history. Bess is working right in the trenches in England and France, saving lives and overwhelmed with soldiers who have been wounded or have contracted the deadly disease. In the midst of this is a mystery and I believe that while many will enjoy it, I found that I just could not get attached to Bess Crawford, the main character. It may be because I have not read the 3 mysteries that precede this book. It left me rather cold and disappointed. I felt this same way about the Maise Dobbs series, so probably if you are a fan of those you will like this book. I was glad when I finished it and could move on to something else.
Joyce W. (Rochester, MN)
An enjoyable period mystery
The author vividly describes the battlefront aid stations in France during WW I. While nursing soldiers, Bess tries to find a killer, without turning into one of his victims. Bess is a gutsy, moral,caring heroine. Interesting characters fill this book, and will create a strong series following. For those who enjoy English mysteries, this is a good read.
Annette S. (Duluth, GA)
An Unmarked Grave
I had read the first three books in the Bess Crawford series and looked forward to this fourth book. I was not disappointed. The time setting is World War I. The main character is a battle field nurse - Bess Crawford. You will learn of the horrible and sobering conditions that were experienced by the soldiers, officers and auxiliary personnel,and follow this brave nurse as she unmasks the killer while putting her own life in danger several times.
Juliet F. (clarendon hills, IL)
I have read most of Charles Todd's books, and I generally enjoy them. However, I think that this installment of the Bess Crawford series is the last that I'll read. This book is a lot like the others, at least in terms of its plot structure, pace, and themes. However, I was left unplussed. It felt formulaic and dull. I am ready for some more character development, but this stalls out in this story. The historical detail and perspective is nice, but I would not recommend this book. There are too many great books out there to waste time on this.
Grace W. (Corona del Mar, CA)
A War on Many Fronts
Unmarked Grave is the fourth in the Bess Crawford mystery series, yet requires no prior knowledge of the earlier books to make for a thoroughly engaging and entertaining read. Bess Crawford is a plucky and highly capable nursing sister assigned to the field hospital and aid stations in France during World War I. She is no shrinking violet in post-Victorian age of war-torn England. Unmarked Grave takes place in 1918, when the horrors and the deprivations of the war are well felt both on the battlefields and on the home front of England. Charles Todd’s depictions of war, notably the chemical gassing and field hospitals triage, are highly effective and appropriately set the stage for the mystery. The storyline is quite suspenseful and makes for a very fast-paced read.
Lori (Wayland, MA)
An Unmarked Grave-another great read
I thoroughly enjoyed this 4th book in the Bess Crawford series. I received the book as part of the First Impressions program, reading it immediately after the previous book, A Bitter Truth, which was great too. I raced through both books. Although I like Charles Todd’s Ian Rutledge books as well, this series isn’t as dark and has a faster pace. This book has an interesting murder scenario, great character development and I found it interesting to learn about the flu epidemic during WWI. I would highly recommend this book and the series (which should be read in order) to readers who enjoy Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs books. These books all provide a great sense of what life was like during this time period.