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A Bitter Truth

A Bess Crawford Mystery

By Charles Todd

A Bitter Truth
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011,
    352 pages.

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There are currently 31 reader reviews for A Bitter Truth
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Penny P. (Santa barbara, Calif) (08/16/11)

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.
Marie D. (Waretown, NJ) (08/15/11)

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) (08/13/11)

Bess Crawford
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.
Grace S. (Harrison Township, MI) (08/12/11)

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.
Rebecca J. (Knoxville, TN) (08/12/11)

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.
Kathleen D. (New Hampshire) (08/11/11)

Thirs book strengthens Bess Crawford series
This is the third installment in the Bess Crawford mysteries by the writing team of Charles Todd. I very much enjoy the time period so realistically portrayed in this series. The authors successfully transport and immerse us in this engrossing place in history! Bess becomes more endearing with each book. However, I felt they were truly finding their way in the first two books---particularly in "An Impartial Witness", where the plot seemed to go in circles half way through the book.
In "A Bitter Truth", the plotting of the story seems much stronger. I found the story and characters quite interesting and generally enjoyed the book. I feel compelled to mention two weaknesses---the circumstances surrounding a NEW major suspect is not revealed until p. 306 (a little unfair to the reader); and I had a bit of a let down with the conclusion---I strongly believe there were more interesting (and complex) possibilities available with the story and characters in this novel!
This series should interest fans of Jacqueline Winspear (and perhaps Barbara Cleverly) since these series deal with the fascinating time period of WWI and the years following.
I do feel this is an interesting choice for a book club.
Charlene M. (Murrells Inlet, SC) (08/10/11)

A Bitter Truth
From the first page the mother/son writing team of Charles Todd had me hooked. The opening setting of 1917 London during the war could have been rather dull. The author created a recipe of intrigue, history, a believable muse-heroine, a damsel in distress, two handsome heroes, a not so likeable anti-hero, and a good Mystery. I definitely will read more of the Bess Crawford series and look forward to reading the Ian Rutledge mysteries too. I wait impatiently for the next installment. Rated E for excellent.
Anat S. (Sharon, MA) (08/07/11)

Page turner murder mystery
Set at the time of WWI in Britain with a nursing sister as a hero, this is a fast pace, page turner murder mystery written in the "Agatha Christie" style where everyone has a motive for murder and the end is unexpected. It is well written and entertaining.


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