Juliet F. (clarendon hills, IL)
a very fun read!
I love this series. The character of Bess Crawford continues to solve mysteries in her typical demure-yet quietly awesome- way. I love how the other characters seem to consistently underestimate her, until they realize how sharp she is. This series also does a great job of painting the era in which it takes place, without feeling dated or stodgy. There a few plot points which are kind of a stretch, but it's well worth it in the end. Great plot, great characters, well paced- I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Penny P. (Santa barbara, Calif)
A Good Read
I read this book in one sitting. I have never read any of the other Kim Crawford books so I have nothing to compare this one to. I do not normally read mystery books but I do think this book was very interesting.
The characters were well developed and the plot was twisty. The time covered in history was something I know little about so that too was sort of fun to learn about. I will recommend it to the members of my book club that enjoy mysteries and may explore the other Kim Crawford mysteries.
Jane N. (Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey)
From the first page readers will be hooked. I enjoyed the historical perspective of the book, WW1 and how Charles Todd wove all of those details into a really good mystery. From page one when Bess finds a desperate woman on her doorstep to the very end, the story holds your interest, and builds as it moves forward. Book clubs should really enjoy this because there is so much to digest and discuss here. A really good read and a fine story
Marie D. (Waretown, NJ)
Oh, what tangled webs we weave!
The book splendidly recreates the period during World War I in England. The coming together of the protagonist, Bess Crawford, and the household of murder suspects – one wonders if it will be determined that the butler did do it - was totally random, yet it all seems to work.
The young nursing sister from a “good” family finds herself center stage in the dysfunctional, wealthy world of the Ellis family at Vixen Hill in the foreboding Ashdown Forest in Sussex. The bleak, twisted landscape and the cold, rainy damp in the house and its environs had me reaching for a cup of hot tea!
The constraining life for women at that time, defined as it was by money, position, and, most certainly, their choice of husbands, played a significant role in the story. The reader may be motivated to slap Lydia Ellis for her behavior at several points in the book. All the characters are delineated fully and all seemed to have a motive for murder!
I thoroughly enjoyed the book!
Lucy B. (Urbana, Ohio)
This is the third book of a Bess Crawford series. I'm sorry to admit that I have not read the first two; but I will.
This book starts with nurse Bess Crawford inviting a young woman she found huddled in her doorway to come into her home and warm herself and then asking her to spend the night since it was late. From there on she is drawn into the girl's and her family's problems. I was intrigued by the story from the beginning and could not put the book down easily. Hopefully, all of us would be as kind as Bess to help someone out, but not become involved in murders as Bess was. This was a great read.
Rebecca J. (Knoxville, TN)
A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
I was interested to read a book in this Todd series about Bess Crawford as I had enjoyed one of his Ian Rutledge books. A Bitter Truth had good historical detail, a likeable main character in Bess and a fun romance. The mystery part was a bit contrived and I think Todd's mysteries are more for historical fiction buffs and readers who like rather tame mysteries.
Grace S. (Harrison Township, MI)
An Engaging Read!
This novel is the third in the series featuring nurse Bess Crawford. Strong characters and an intricate plot combine to produce a multi-layered and engaging mystery in the backdrop of World War I.