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A Bitter Truth

A Bess Crawford Mystery

by Charles Todd

A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011
    352 pages
    Genre: Noir

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Margo Z. (Monroe, MI)

Great Characters and Good Mystery
This is the third novel in the Bess Crawford series, preceded by A Duty to the Dead, and An Impartial Witness. The main character Bess is kind, caring, and sensible as she carries out her duties as a nursing sister during World War I. All of the characters are well drawn, and the author gives an excellent picture of that time in history. Bess gets better and better in each novel. She is the kind of person you would want as a best friend, and the mystery is intriguing and solved by intelligence and determination.
Wendy R. (Riverside, CA)

Excellent Historical Crime Fiction Novel
New to the series, I was a little concerned at jumping into Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series without having read the previous books. However, my fears were unwarranted. Like with many crime fiction series books, this one stands well on its own. Bess Crawford is a heroine after my own heart. She is intelligent and strong. Set during World War I, the authors (a mother/son team) capture the mood of the times quite well, including the hardship and suffering. In the novel, Bess is unwittingly drawn into the troubles of the Ellis family, and it falls on her to investigate when she becomes the prime suspect in a murder. I thoroughly enjoyed A Bitter Truth and look forward to reading more by these authors.
Charla W. (biloxi, mS)

A Bitter Truth
This is a wonderful mystery that will keep you guessing until the very end. I had no idea who the bad guy was until the end, which is the way a good mystery should be. Although, this was the first Bess Crawford Mystery I have read, I will be on the look out for these books in the future. This book had believable, interesting characters that you could not help loving. This is a stand alone book and you don't have to read the other books to know what is going on.

Bess Crawford is a murder suspect during World War I. While she is trying to find the real murderer, World War I is raging onward. Anyone that loves a good mystery and loves World War I history would love this book.
Jane N. (Little Egg Harbor, New Jersey)

Bitter Truth
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
Lucy B. (Urbana, Ohio)

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)

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.
Kathleen D. (New Hampshire)

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)

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.

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