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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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Barbara E. (rockville, MD) (08/02/11)

A Bitter Truth
A Bitter Truth is another wonderful entry in the Bess Crawford series by Charles Todd. This mother-son writing team is strong on character development and have given the reader some fantastic characters to watch grow and change throughout this satisfying mystery. Some of the characters begin as sympathetic and then become irritating and childish; some are brave; some are stubborn and arrogant; some are threatening and cruel and become sympathetic over the course of the story. There are enough red herrings and a very satisfying conclusion to the central puzzle to satisfy any mystery lover. The introduction of Sergeant Larimore, who is as resourceful as Bess and totally charming if impulsive, brings hope that this strong heroine may find a worthy love interest. Modern concerns about sexual scandal, the right to die with dignity and the problems of readjustment to civilian life make this book quite topical although it is set during the horror of the First World War.

I highly recommend this book and the others in the series for anyone who enjoys a ripping good yarn, thoughtful characters, moral dilemmas and fine writing.
Mary M. (Beverly Hills, FL) (08/01/11)

Held my attention
This book has an intricate plot, full of twists and turns and kept me reading, even though some of the plot twists are improbable at best. Several of the characters are three-dimensional, though Bess herself is not so much, and why she, and another character interject themselves so thoroughly into the lives of strangers is a question. The book does convey a good sense of wartime Europe, with all its the tragedies and upheavals.
Barbara C. (Riverside, CA) (08/01/11)

Loses steam!
This book was as grabber at the beginning, but it fizzled with too many tendrils of plot and an ending that left me scratching my head. However, that said, I love Bess and want her to have a life. The two first books about Bess were better because she was more relevant to the plot and plot line. Too many coincidences here.
Dorothy M. (Owatonna, MN) (07/31/11)

A Bitter Truth
Once again the authors of the Charles Todd books have a winner. In this third book of the Bess Crawford series, Bess finds herself helping a woman in need. This, however, leads her into a complicated family situation that becomes worse when murder happens. What makes this series so interesting is the WWI setting and how it affects various characters. From England to the battlefields of France the story unfolds. The variety of strongly developed characters and intricate plot makes this novel one of the best in the series of Todd books. How a mother and son who live in different states can keep coming up with such fascinating books is a "mystery" to me.
Portia A. (Mount Laurel, NJ) (07/31/11)

Too coincidental?
Bess Crawford is a British nurse in WW1; Maisie Dobbs is a British nurse in WW1. Bess Crawford has a young man help her; Maisie Dobbs has a young man help her.
Bess Crawford solves mysteries; Maisie Dobbs solves mysteries.
Maisie Dobbs came first and I think Jacqueline Winspear writes better stories.
I found the end of this book to be too contrived, but for a summer read it wasn't too bad.
Virginia W. (Cloverdale, CA) (07/30/11)

Crime during WWI
I really enjoyed this charming mystery story about a WWI nurse who becomes entangled with a woman who has run from her soldier husband and his family after he slapped her. The family of the soldier is complicated by previous and current deaths. It is engaging to read about a simpler time and description of crimes that not a gory as those depicted by authors who write about modern day crimes. I think this would be an excellent book to read on the beach or elsewhere during a vacation.
Deanna W. (Port Jefferson, NY) (07/27/11)

Cozy Whodunit
I am a fan of Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge Series. I also enjoy the Masie Dobbs series by
Jacqueline Winspear. This is the third in the Bess Crawford series. I have also read the first two. I was looking forward to reading this old fashioned mystery. However, this whodunit had a predictable plot with too many coincidences. Also the solution to the
crime seems to come out of the blue.

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