Rated of 5
by Fran T. (San Diego, CA) An Unmarked Grave
I have read all of Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge mysteries and the three previous mysteries featuring Bess Crawford. The Ian Rutledge mysteries are notably more complex both in plot and character development. Since Ian Rutledge is a World War l veteran with major Post Traumatic Stress (as we now call it this is not surprising. It is my impression that when Charles and Caroline Todd began a second series featuring a woman as the protagonist that they decided to make these novels a bit lighter. As a rule, I find the Rutledge novels more to my taste for the reasons referred to above. However, this novel has a somewhat more serious tone than several of its predecessors, because Bess is not only nursing on the front, but also falls victim to the Spanish influenza and becomes gravely ill. After she recovers, she tries to solve the mystery of who murdered an officer and family friend. Her detective efforts and her nursing assignments involve her in numerous trips back and forth between England and France with various English officers and enlisted men giving her assistance along the way. When the identity of the murderer is revealed, it comes rather suddenly, without much lead-in, Nonetheless, all the various elements of the novel are resolved rather neatly and as the story closes, Bess and Simon Brandon (her possible love interest) come together again. In my opinion, this fourth entry in the Bess Crawford series was the strongest yet and I recommend it.
Rated of 5
by Katherine T. (Atlanta, Georgia) Unmarked grave
I had a hard time getting through Charles Todds new mystery series an Unmarked Grave. I always find it tough to be interested in one death in a situation where thousands are dead as Charles Todd asks us to do. One murder victim surrounded by thousands of victims of WWI and the spanish flu. I would have also liked a bit more background of his female sleuth, Bess Crawford. Almost felt as if I was missing the first book in the series. I did enjoy the character of the American Captain Barclay.
Rated of 5
by Kathleen D. (Hooksett, NH) 1918 . . . the French front . . . the Spanish influenza . . . a killer exploiting the cover of war
This 4th book of the Bess Crawford mysteries is, by far, the best entry to date! Beth must nurse wounded soldiers as well as battle the Spanish flu and track an elusive battlefield murderer. Although the story travels back and forth from the French font to the rural towns of England, the authors manage to keep the story line clear and exciting. In developing the story in this fashion, they remind us of the unimaginable sacrifices made on the home front. The fact that many families often lost not only one son but two, three or more is terrifying & truly difficult to comprehend. The reader experiences the rampant anxiety and chaotic confusion in the cities of disembarkation as well as the exhaustion, trepidation and absolute horror of war for those serving on the battlefields. What better place for a murderer to kill with impunity and mask his acts as the consequence of war! This latest book is roughly 100 pages less than the previous novels--a great improvement. I found the story was more direct and developed rapidly. A clever twist in the resolution resulted in a very satisfying read.
Rated of 5
by Carolyn D. (Chico, CA) An unremarkable grave
This book was my first Charles Todd read. The characters are appealing and the setting is well done but it never got off the ground It was a little flat; there was a lot of activity (to France and back) but not much action or forward progress. The resolution of the mystery came out of left field -- if there were clues to assist the reader in solving the puzzle, I missed them. It made for a pleasant afternoon, but I don't think I will go back to the beginning of the series. May give Ian Rutledge a try.
Rated of 5
by Dorothy T. (Victorville, CA) Historical mystery set in WWI
Historical mysteries is not a new genre, but this is the first I have read that is set in France and England during World War I. This is the fourth book in the Bess Crawford Mysteries, and the central character is strong and likeable enough to carry the series, although I am not sure she is really a woman of her time. Bess is quite independent and self reliant in a way that makes her more suitable to a later era. That said, this is a well-written mystery, certainly not one that I was able to figure out before the end, and I did like the setting--sleuthing was definitely more difficult during the days before computers and cell phones.
Rated of 5
by Kristen K. (Atlanta, Georgia) An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
This is a mystery set in World War I. The main character is a English nurse who works in aid stations in France. I enjoyed the book because the heroine is intelligent, independent and interesting. Apparently this book is part of a series but stands well alone. The time period is very interesting since both England and France are in such upheaval politically and culturally. It is an easy read and I think anyone who enjoys a good mystery will enjoy the book. I plan to read other books in this series.
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