An Impartial Witness: Book summary and reviews of An Impartial Witness by Charles Todd

An Impartial Witness

A Bess Crawford Mystery

By Charles Todd

An Impartial Witness
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2010,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

World War I nurse Bess Crawford, introduced in A Duty to the Dead, returns in an exciting new mystery in which a murder draws her inexorably into the sights of a cunning killer ...

It is the early summer of 1917. Bess Crawford has returned to England from the trenches of France with a convoy of severely wounded men. One of her patients is a young pilot who has been burned beyond recognition, and who clings to life and the photo of his wife that is pinned to his tunic.

While passing through a London train station, Bess notices a woman bidding an emotional farewell to an officer, her grief heart-wrenching. And then Bess realizes that she seems familiar. In fact, she's the woman in the pilot's photo, but the man she is seeing off is not her husband.

Back on duty in France, Bess discovers a newspaper with a drawing of the woman's face on the front page. Accompanying the drawing is a plea from Scotland Yard seeking information from anyone who has seen her. For it appears that the woman was murdered on the very day Bess encountered her at the station.

Granted leave to speak with Scotland Yard, Bess becomes entangled in the case. Though an arrest is made, she must delve into the depths of her very soul to decide if the police will hang an innocent man or a vicious killer. Exposing the truth is dangerous—and will put her own life on the line.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. In addition to supplying a challenging puzzle, Todd (a mother-son writing team) does a superb job of capturing the feel of the battlefield and the emotional toll taken on those waiting back home for a loved one's return." - Publishers Weekly

"Readers will enjoy Todd's plucky, determined sleuth and a thrilling mystery that proves murders on the home front don’t stop just because there's a war." - Library Journal

"A smartly plotted, well-told mystery." - Booklist

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Author Information

Charles Todd Author Biography

Charles Todd is the author of nine Ian Rutledge mysteries to date, and one stand-alone novel, The Murder Stone. This USA-based mother-and-son (Charles & Caroline) writing team maintain a strong level of anonymity, even though they appear on many author panels together and Charles is a very active member of the Mystery Writers of America. They live somewhere along America's mid-Atlantic coastline.  Some biographies show Charles living in Greenville Delaware, but that simply refers to a P.O. box they maintain.  

Ian Rutledge Series

  1. A Test of Wills (1996) 
  2. Wings of Fire (1998)
  3. Search the Dark (1999)
  4. Legacy of the Dead (2000)
  5. Watchers of Time (2001)
  6. A Fearsome Doubt (2002)
  7. A Cold Treachery (2005)
  8. A Long Shadow (2006)
  9. A False Mirror (...

... Full Biography
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  • Legacy of The Dead jacket

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