HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Arrr! (Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day)
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
Loading...

An Unmarked Grave (edition 2012)

by Charles Todd (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2242451,855 (3.67)26
readafew's review
I have to say that An Unmarked Grave is my favorite Charles Todd book I’ve read so far. I read two of the Inspector Rutledge books and now two Bess Crawford mysteries. Both the Bess Crawford mysteries I’ve read take place during WWI and Bess is a nursing sister.

This one takes place when the Spanish flu is ravaging most of the continent. Soldiers on both sides have almost as many casualties from the flu as enemy weapons. Sister Crawford is spending much of her time nursing the sick and dying. After one of her patients die, Private Wilson asks her to accompany him to the shed where the dead are stored, waiting for the burial detail to arrive. She grudgingly complies, since what she really needs is some rest.

What Private Wilson shows her at first doesn’t register, but then the import hits her hard, the body he wanted her to see was not a patient suffering from a wound or the flu. It appeared the only physical problem was a broken neck. The uniform had been removed and a quick job of wrapping the body had been made. It spelled murder, to make matters worse, Bess recognized him as one of her father's officers. While waiting for her superior to awaken from her much needed rest Bess succumbed to the flu, and almost to the final embrace.

After finally recovering back in England, Bess recalls a strange and vivid dream about finding a friend murdered among the dead. At first that is all she thinks it is, but eventually she decides it was otherwise. Then she finds out that Private Wilson has hanged himself, the same night Bess fell ill. Bess can’t believe it, so she sets out to discover the truth about it all.

As I mentioned before, I thought this was an excellent book and well worth a read for those who like English mysteries. Bess is full of spunk and very calm under stress. She seem to break the hearts of many of her patients too. Each book she seems to add at least one more admirer the list. ( )
  readafew | Jun 19, 2012 |
All member reviews
Showing 24 of 24
A good mystery. Not my favorite ending. A good feeling for the atmosphere of World War I. I prefer the depth of Maisie Dobbs, but Bess Crawford is a good stand in while I wait for the next one. ( )
  njcur | Aug 5, 2014 |
I read the first Bess Crawford mystery and liked it, for the most part. I looked at the next books in the series and it seemed continuity wasn't a big deal, so I went ahead and read #4 since I already had it.

Despite jumping over two books, I had no difficulty in following the story. It follows the chronology of World War I but nothing major had shifted with Bess or her immediate circle; it was really quite self-contained. As a mystery, the pace flows well and it's a fast read. I read 150 pages in one sitting.

One reason I'm reading the books is that I am studying up more on World War I-era medicine. In this regard, I'm still frustrated with the series. This book did show some action at the front, with procedures and the terror of a gas attack, but it didn't dwell much on the medical aspect.

Bess as a character still feels rather empty to me. It's definitely not a character-driven series. I have no idea what she wants. It also seems like her father is too much of a power figure. If anything goes wrong, Colonel Sahib comes to the rescue. He even has her pulled from the front when she comes down with the flu. It makes things awfully convenient far too many times over even as people are out to kill Bess. Through her father's connections she knows almost everyone and can do almost anything.

I already have the second book in the series so I'll go ahead and read that, but overall I find that there are too many bothersome elements here for me to continue beyond that. ( )
  ladycato | Nov 13, 2013 |
Several things have changed since the third tome, A Bitter Truth, of the series. The language is less winsome, flowing, less formidable. I've gone on record saying that I embrace low brow potboilers and dime novels. It's still sad to witness this book and consequently its authors finding it necessary to up the stakes, to add exponential action and to provide parody-like happenstances. Charles Todd was a name I've come to associate with quality and bravery. One can only repel the lure of ease for only so long.

The number of times people survive gun wounds in this story seems greater than the great unwashed's fatal brush with the Spanish Flu. The myriad times of such situations bordered on the farcical. I also didn't like the insinuations that great men by default survived war and that grades in the military was solely based on meritocracy. Charisma cannot substitute for luck and connections in the real world. I wondered if the authors wanted its audience to believe what should be called a deception.

The authors did well to shroud the chilling multi murderer in darkness. Ralph Mitchell was nothing short of a terminator. The mysterious man brought about a smoother climax than any of the previous books. Danger had dogged the heels of the heroine so often that the ending didn't seem forced. While I couldn't keep much concentration in the early chapters, I could keep a hawk like focus on the ever increasing cast of new names that kept adding. I'm a bit hazy about why the killer had embarked on a rampage and the motive escapes me for now. I'm glad I didn't waste my time reading this book - you know what I mean. It was a very good book, and I'm glad I'll remember parts of it forever. ( )
  Jiraiya | Sep 9, 2013 |
A Bess Crawford entry. More action than previous books. But a plot line that went lame at the end. Still this writing duo is a winner. ( )
1 vote librarian1204 | Apr 27, 2013 |
Although I've always been fascinated by World War I, the closest relatives I had who served in it (two great-uncles by marriage)both were prevented by illness from ever going to France. One survived his bout with TB and became a much-loved family member; the other died of influenza at Camp Devens, leaving my great-aunt a widow after a brief marriage. Since she died when I was 4, all I have of that early relationship is Uncle Charles's photo in his Army uniform.

I've enjoyed all Charles Todd's World War I mysteries, both the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford series, but I think I especially liked this one (if "like" is the word for such harrowing reading) because of its setting in the first months of the influenza pandemic.

Nurse Bess Crawford is herself struck down with flu just after she's presented with a mystery, and after her recovery, she tries to follow the cold trail of a ruthless killer. Moving back and forth across the Channel, and with the help of family friend Simon Brandon and a new possible beau who's an American serving in the Canadian forces, she has many adventures before the end.

I actually found the ending a bit deus ex machina for my taste, but I think this is one of those series I read for character and setting more than for plot, so I didn't mind too much. Recommended, if this applies to you as well. ( )
  auntieknickers | Apr 3, 2013 |
not in wiscat, soft cover
  wabenopl | Feb 21, 2013 |
Enjoy the setting and empathetic characters. But nurse Bess Crawford serving on the western front in WWI has adventures that are a little too similar from one book to the next. Would like to see a little more development od the characters and storylines. ( )
  pennykaplan | Nov 28, 2012 |
The latest in the Bess Crawford mystery series, which I enjoy rather much. Bess is a nurse in WWI France, in this book dealing with (and falling temporary victim to) the Spanish flu. The period details seem spot on and the mystery was tight – a much better read than the authors’ previous outing in this series. 3½ stars ( )
  ParadisePorch | Oct 6, 2012 |
While nursing in France during World War I, Bess Crawford learns of an extra body in the place where those killed in battle have been gathered. Although the body bears no identification, Bess recognizes him as an officer from her father's former regiment. He appears to have been murdered by someone who may still be in the area. Before she can alert the matron, she falls ill with influenza. Her memory is vague when she recovers. How much is real and how much did she dream in her illness? When more murder victims turn up, Bess realizes that her own life is in danger. The killer isn't leaving any witnesses alive, and Bess may be the only person left who can identify him.

The premise for the murder is similar to Ellis Peters' One Corpse Too Many. However, it's a plot that works well in a war situation. Bess had a good reason for trying to find the killer since her own life was in danger. Most of the way through the book I felt like it was shaping up to be the best book in the series, but the ending was a little disappointing. It relies too much on coincidence.

I'm curious about where Bess's relationship with Sergeant Major Simon Brandon might be going. It's a bit strange. Bess treats him like part of the family, and he seems like an older brother, or even a third parent at times. This book introduces a new potential suitor for Bess who seems more age appropriate. He is clearly jealous of Simon and thinks of him as a rival for Bess's affection. At the rate things are going in this series, we might not find out where Bess's feelings lie until somewhere around book 10! ( )
  cbl_tn | Sep 23, 2012 |
I recently had a patron ask if I knew of a good historical mystery series for her. She was older, and said she liked stories set in the war years such as Charles Todd's Bess Crawford books. (which she highly recommended) Well, I did indeed have a series for her, but although I was familiar with Charles Todd's Inspector Rutledge series, I had never read one of the Bess Crawford books. Her recommendation resulted in me picking up the latest installment of this series - An Unmarked Grave.

Bess Crawford is a World War I nurse. 1918 finds her at the front lines in France, with war casualties and the Spanish influenza contributing equally to the dead waiting to be buried. But when an orderly points out a body to Bess that isn't wrapped right, she is shocked to find she recognizes the man from her father's regiment. It wasn't the flu or war that killed him - she suspects foul play. But exhausted and physically worn down, she falls prey to the flu herself before she can report what she thinks might be murder. Back in England she does advise her father of her suspicions. But the body is long buried. Did she imagine what she saw? Or is there a murderer in the ranks? Bess is determined to find the answer and wants to return to France.

Todd's writing brought this time period to life. The dialogue, social mores and expectations of the time were wonderfully depicted, creating a strong sense of atmosphere. Bess is such a great character - kind, dutiful, compassionate, strong, determined and intelligent. All of the characters were equally well drawn and just as engaging. I liked the idea of a woman being the sleuth in this time period, when men were the traditional 'leaders'. Bess is more than up to the task.

The plotting is good, slowly unravelling over time. This is a gentler mystery, meant to be savoured and enjoyed.

I choose to listen to A Unmarked Grave. The reader was Audie award winner Rosalyn Landor. She has a wonderfully rich, crisp British accent that perfectly suited the mental image I had of Bess. She portrayed all of the characters just as well. Most of the other characters were male and Landor came up with believable voices for them. Bess's father had a nice, gruff, regimental tone. The 'yank' soldier's voice was spot on as well. Her voice added much to the overall feel of the book, conveying emotion and setting easily.

I really enjoyed this book and will definitely be picking up another in this series. Fans of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs character would enjoy this series. (This was my recommendation to my patron) ( )
1 vote Twink | Aug 2, 2012 |
I'm of a mixed mind about this Bess Crawford mystery. I enjoy the character and the period details, but I just don't think the writers play fair when it comes to the mystery. The solution comes from way out in left field, and there's no hint of it before (save for mention of a character who will later show up in the story). So the solution to the mystery was a let down if you enjoy playing along in trying to figure out who the killer is. ( )
1 vote Denise701 | Jul 18, 2012 |
Thank you to Jen at Book Club Girl for providing me with a copy of this book. Please check out her blog talk interview with authors Charles Todd for further insight into the book. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/book-club-girl/2012/06/28/charles-todd-discusses-th...

I have a weakness for anyone named Bess who solves mysteries ever since my Nancy Drew days. This Bess however is a WWI nurse who can't seem to keep herself out of every bodies business. With a war raging on, people don't have much time to attend to things that don't quite up. Fortunately for them it has become Bess's specialty.

In this outing Bess is in France nursing the wounded. While on duty she is drawn into a shed by an orderly who shows her a body that doesn't seem to be a victim of the Spanish Flu they have been battling. Could it be murder? Before she can investigate Bess is stricken with the flu herself and nearly dies. By the time she recovers the orderly is dead by suicide and Bess can barely make out dreams from reality. Bess being Bess can hardly let the matter rest so the investigation is on taking her between France and England in an effort to learn the truth.

I got into this series because of my love of another WWI female sleuth, Maisie Dobbs. While I do enjoy this series I think Jacqueline Winspear is able to craft a more compelling mystery/ problem in her books. Contrary to popular opinion, I feel that this one of the weaker books in the series. There were not clues to the mystery throughout the book. It seemed that the murderer only chose his victims because they were in the way. I like a little more psychological intrigue in my mysteries. That being said I do like the character of Bess Crawford. I just wish she could move ahead in her personal life as well as professional. In this book she almost dies as well as Simon Brandon and their relationship while hinted at has not progressed at all. If you are going to die you would think that it would give you a new perspective on letting those you love know your true feelings. It's been four books already at least let them have a kiss! I think after all Bess and Simon have been through, they deserve at least that much in the next book. ( )
  arielfl | Jul 13, 2012 |
Bess Crawford is busy fighting the Spanish flu and the masses of wounded soldiers that constantly arrive in the French battlefield. An orderly shows Bess a dead soldier who appears to have been strangled. Before Bess can bring the matter to the attention of the authorities, she falls ill with the flu. Many events delay or cloud the murder. The orderly is found hanging and ruled as a suicide. Bess must enlist the assistance of her father. The story takes many twists and turns in France and England. The story is intriguing with the threats of spies and danger. I felt the writing in this novel is better than prior Bess Crawford novels. ( )
  delphimo | Jul 8, 2012 |
France, Spring, 1918

I stopped just outside the ward and leaned my head against the cool wood of the doorframe. I couldn't remember when last I'd slept, or, for that matter, eaten anything more than a few biscuits now and again with a hasty cup of tea.

The Spanish Influenza had already cut down three of our nursing sisters, and two doctors were not expected to live through the night. The rest of us were struggling to keep men alive in the crowded wards and losing the battle hourly. Depressing to watch the bodies being carried out, one more soldier lost to an enemy we couldn't even see.

It was an insidious killer, this influenza. I'd watched men in the best of healthy in the afternoon gasping for breath by the next morning, tossing with fever, lying too ill to speak, then fighting to draw a next breath. I'd watched nurses and orderlies work with patients for days on end without showing a single sign of illness, only to collapse unexpectedly and join the ranks of the dying. The young were particularly vulnerable. On the other hand, Private Wilson, close to forty, seemed to be spared, even though he handled the dead, gently wrapping them in their soiled sheets and carrying them out to await interment. The shed just beyond the wards was filled with bodies, sometimes tacked like lumber. The burial details couldn't keep up. And those men too were dying. (pg 1-2).

In the latest novel from Charles Todd, An Unmarked Grave takes readers back to the chilling period of time as WW1 was just beginning while the Spanish Influenza was taking lives faster than the war wounded. Some wondered if there would be anyone left to fight the war. As Private Wilson is taking count of the bodies in the shed, separating the war dead from those that the illness had claimed, he noticed one extra body.

Taking care to avoid any extra attention he notifies, Nurse Bess Crawford to follow him to the shed. When he shows her the extra body, she realizes who it is. Major Vincent Carlson, and the wounds on his body are neither from the war or from the illness. He has been murdered.

When she attempts to contact Matron, the head nurse in charge of the facility, Bess herself finds she has succumbed to the Spanish Influenza as well and before she is able to tell anyone, she faints into a fever that may take her very life. Nurse Bess Crawford does recover but she begins to wonder if the body she discovered was a dream or did it really happen. All she knows is she needs to get better as soon as she can and begin to uncover what could be a murder, but how will she find the body of the Major in an unmarked grave?

I received An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd compliments of TLC Book Tours and William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. After reading previous novels by Charles Todd a year ago, I feel in love with his unique ability to draw the reader into his book immediately. This is my third book from him and my second in the Bess Crawford mystery series. I love having a woman character like Bess who represents a vulnerability in her character while matching wits much like Sherlock Holmes. Add to that element a bit of history and you have the blending of a perfect suspense mystery. So it's easy to see why I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. I can't wait to read more from him in the future and once again, this novel has found a forever home in my personal library. ( )
  ReviewsFromTheHeart | Jul 3, 2012 |
I have to say that An Unmarked Grave is my favorite Charles Todd book I’ve read so far. I read two of the Inspector Rutledge books and now two Bess Crawford mysteries. Both the Bess Crawford mysteries I’ve read take place during WWI and Bess is a nursing sister.

This one takes place when the Spanish flu is ravaging most of the continent. Soldiers on both sides have almost as many casualties from the flu as enemy weapons. Sister Crawford is spending much of her time nursing the sick and dying. After one of her patients die, Private Wilson asks her to accompany him to the shed where the dead are stored, waiting for the burial detail to arrive. She grudgingly complies, since what she really needs is some rest.

What Private Wilson shows her at first doesn’t register, but then the import hits her hard, the body he wanted her to see was not a patient suffering from a wound or the flu. It appeared the only physical problem was a broken neck. The uniform had been removed and a quick job of wrapping the body had been made. It spelled murder, to make matters worse, Bess recognized him as one of her father's officers. While waiting for her superior to awaken from her much needed rest Bess succumbed to the flu, and almost to the final embrace.

After finally recovering back in England, Bess recalls a strange and vivid dream about finding a friend murdered among the dead. At first that is all she thinks it is, but eventually she decides it was otherwise. Then she finds out that Private Wilson has hanged himself, the same night Bess fell ill. Bess can’t believe it, so she sets out to discover the truth about it all.

As I mentioned before, I thought this was an excellent book and well worth a read for those who like English mysteries. Bess is full of spunk and very calm under stress. She seem to break the hearts of many of her patients too. Each book she seems to add at least one more admirer the list. ( )
  readafew | Jun 19, 2012 |
Bess Crawford, daughter of an English Colonel, raised in India, now serving as a nurse in World War I, finds herself facing a dead body in a spot where it's not supposed to be, and on its way to be buried with no identification.  Dead bodies usually work well to start off a mystery, but just when she sees this body, she is stricken with a severe case of Spanish flu, becomes delirious and is shipped home to England.  When she awakens, she doesn't know if the body (she knows who the soldier was) was a dream, or if she really did see him dead.  How did he end up where she saw him?  Was he murdered, or did he really die from a war wound? 

Thus begins the fourth book in this enlightening and engaging mystery series. In each of them, Bess manages to find herself in the midst of mystery.  An Unmarked Grave is perhaps the most straightforward of the mysteries in the series, but it is by no means simplistic.  The author(s) continue to expand Bess's personality, enhance her relationship with Simon Brandon (will this develop into a romance in later books?), devise interesting and many layered plots, and provide us with views into the awfulness of War.  Their descriptions of battlefield casualty stations give us a realistic imagery of the horror of the carnage, while at the same time giving us a tribute to the courage of all those working under these unimaginable circumstances.  In addition, their depiction of the ravages of the Spanish Flu adding to the desolation caused by the war itself, serves to paint a realistic and devastating picture of the beginning of the twentieth century.

Sr. Crawford's snooping does at times require the reader to accept a character who is a bit more nosy than one might believe, who has a knack for finding trouble, and an unbelievable amount of luck in being able to call on her father and his aide-de-camp Simon to bail her out, but these escapades make for a well-written story that keeps us turning pages, and leaves us wanting more.  And that's my criteria for a ripping good read!

I've read all of these (there are now four in the series) and I'm not sure I'd recommend starting here if you haven't read any of the previous ones.  That said, the author has done a credible job of giving enough back-fill that it would probably work on its own.  ( )
1 vote tututhefirst | Jun 17, 2012 |
I received An Unmarked Grave from a free goodreads giveaway. I really enjoyed this book. Nurse Bess Crawford discovers the body of an officer that had been murdered and left in a shed among the bodies of Spanish flu victims and war casualties to be buried. The officer was a member of her father's regiment and a family friend. Before Bess can notify anyone, she collapses from the flu infection. When Bess finally recovers, she learns that the orderly who brought the murdered officer to her attention had committed suicide. The story follows Bess trying to piece together what really happened to the officer, the orderly and others who have crossed path with the murderer. Between the war going on, the flu epidemic and a murderer on the loose, An Umarked Grave is an exciting mystery. ( )
  MonicaSessoms | Jun 13, 2012 |
First Line: I stopped just outside the ward and leaned my head against the cool wood of the doorframe.

It's the spring of 1918. Not only are Bess Crawford and all the other nurses and doctors having to contend with an unending stream of wounded men from the front lines in France, they have to battle another killer: the Spanish Influenza.

A trusted orderly takes Bess to the area in which the dead are kept before they taken out for burial, and he shows her that there is one more dead soldier than there should be. After checking the records and looking at the man's body, it becomes clear to Bess that this man (a friend of the family) has been murdered, but before she can tell the commanding officer of her suspicions, she falls victim to the flu and is taken to England to recuperate.

When she is strong enough to return to duty, she keeps her promise to the orderly and informs her father, the "Colonel Sahib," of what happened, but there's not much that can be done. The soldier's body has been buried, and the only other person who saw the body-- the orderly-- has hanged himself.

Bess knows that something's just not right, that someone believed "one unmarked grave more or less wouldn't be noticed," so she begins to piece together what little information and evidence she can. But when another nurse dies, and someone very nearly succeeds in killing Bess herself, she knows that she somehow has to stay safe from this very determined killer so justice can be done.

This series continues to get stronger-- especially when the books (like this one) have so many scenes in the war zone in France. Battle not only shows Bess at work, it heightens the feeling of danger. The writing duo of Caroline and Charles Todd ratchet up the danger and suspense even further with the killer who seems to see all, know all, and be everywhere at once. Bess isn't safe, and neither is anyone who tries to help her.

I came nowhere close to deducing the killer's identity, and I actually breathed a sigh of relief when the capture was signed, sealed and delivered. The series is also hinting rather strongly at possible romance in Bess's future. Possible, that is, if Bess ever realizes what's right under her nose!

If you have yet to read any of these Bess Crawford mysteries, give this one a try. It stands very well on its own, but don't be surprised if you want to go back and read the others once you've finished An Unmarked Grave. I also highly recommend this series for any readers who are fans of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series or Suzanne Arruda's Jade del Cameron books. ( )
  cathyskye | Jun 12, 2012 |
Bess Crawford is again thrust into mystery and intrigue when an orderly shows her an extra, unauthorized body in with the dead, a man she recognizes. Soon potential witnesses are being murdered, and Bess finds herself in grave danger as she tries to sort out the tangle.

Well written and unsettling. ( )
  readinggeek451 | Jun 9, 2012 |
Intrepid Bess Crawford is just behind the trenches in wartorn France, tending to the wounded, when the Spanish Influenza strikes in the spring of 1918. In the mdist of the chaos, an orderly notices something wrong with one of the many bodies. He didn't die of war wounds or the flu. His neck was broken.

The orderly informs Bess as someone he trusts. She promises to alert the proper people. She promises not only because she trusts the kindly older man who is the orderly and sees for herself that the dead man was murdered, but also because the victim was a family friend who served in her father's regiment.

But before she can get anywhere, the flu strikes her as well. In the near-fairytale atmosphere in which Bess Crawford exists, she is spirited out of France and convalesces back home as strings are pulled. For Bess Crawford has connections, most importantly her father, the Colonel Sahib.

This imposing figure and dearest family friend Simon are full-fledged confidants as she pieces together bits of information and visits various figures connected to the victim. These figures are representative of various strata in Britain's WWI class system, and as such provide a fascinating picture of people carrying on while the Great War goes on and on and on. Although Bess initially isn't quite believed, it's soon evident that the orderly, who died soon after she was taken ill, showed her something important.

Before long, more people connected with the investigation die. Bess knows the killer will target her, but her sense of duty demands that she continue. And if that means she has to take along with her a brash American officer recovering from his war wounds, that's what she will do. Even if he and Simon don't exactly take to each other. The killer gets closer and closer to Bess and her inner circle before the end, which is a classic case of the sleuth figuring it all out in the nick of time.

The world for Bess that the Todds have created is a genuine homage to the World War I era. The violence is off-screen, the characters do not directly express their feelings for each other (really, how thick are Bess and Simon to not have figured that out?) and duty reigns supreme, the plot unfolds in true tricky Agatha Christie style. The series also has other aspects of the historical era it depicts. There is no irony or nod to modern sensibility in Bess calling her father the Colonel Sahib. Women and lower class folk are expected to know their place. In one of the poignant stories told during the unveiling of the plot, a widower father who has lost several sons to the war doesn't understand why the widow of one of them won't come work the farm. Her son would grow up in fresh air but the workload would obviously kill her.

Downton Abbey fans would be well served by reading the Bess Crawford novels while waiting for a new season. Fans of Inspector Rutledge, the first series character brought to life by the Todds, will find a lighter version of the tone in that post-war series. ( )
  Perednia | Jun 7, 2012 |
This is the fourth book in the Bess Crawford mystery series but the first of the books that I have read. Often when one picks up in the midst of a run like this the author explains the protagonist's past and relationships so the reader can understand what is going on with the characters. In this the writing team for An Unmarked Grave fell short for me. I felt at times as if I was foundering within the tale trying to sort out who was what to whom. It all eventually mostly made sense but it left me, at times, feeling lost. That being said, I did enjoy the book and would pick up another Bess Crawford mystery - probably the first few to get caught up on who is who and what is what.

In this tale Bess, a nursing sister is in France at the front working endless hours with the wounded. Things are getting decidedly worse as the Spanish influenza epidemic is afflicting the wounded and the doctors and nurses without discretion. Just as Bess learns of the murder of a family friend she comes down with the flu and is thought to be at death's door. She is whisked away home to England though the influence of her father, Colonel Crawford.

Bess slowly recovers but remembers the dead man. When she starts asking questions - did it happen or was it a dream she learns that the private who brought him to her attention is also dead. He committed suicide; or did he?

The books moves along at a slow, steady pace which is rather odd for a suspense book. Bess goes about investigating who might be killing people willy-nilly and why. People move about through the auspices of Colonel Crawford and his mysterious role in the government and Bess seems acquainted with just about everyone in both countries. Despite these contrivances I did find the book enjoyable. It was an easy read and Bess is a likable character. I can't figure out, though if she's a nun or the nurses are just called Sister. She seems to have men quite interested in her and she shows some interest in one man so that has confused me.... ( )
  BrokenTeepee | Jun 5, 2012 |
The story opens with a scene in a military ward in France in 1918. Much of the ward is full with soldiers and medical staff taken ill, many from the Spanish Influenza. The staff was struggling to keep men alive but seemed to be loosing the battle with more and more bodies carried out to await burial.

An orderly asks battlefield nurse Bess Crawford to look at one of the bodies. It is of a Maj. Carson who had been murdered. Bess intends to report this but is struck down with influenza and evacuated.

Upon recovering, she's told that Maj. Carson died after being struck by shrapnel. She returns to France to inquire about the discrepance and finds that the orderly who showed her the body had become depressed and committed suicide.

As Bess searches for answers, both in England and in France, she becomes a target of the killer.

The story is very well written and painstakingly plotted with some surprises and excellent psychological insights into the characters. ( )
  mikedraper | May 21, 2012 |
An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd is the 4th book in the Bess Crawford mystery series. Last year I read and enjoyed the previous book in the series, A Bitter Truth, and I am pleased to say that this book did not disappoint. I enjoyed it just as much.

The book begins with Bess Crawford in France, struggling to help soldiers stricken by the Spanish flu in spring 1918. A soldier approaches Bess because he believes he has found a murdered man's body mixed in among the influenza victims, and he wants to have another witness to the crime. Unfortunately Bess falls ill with the flu herself before she can do anything to help, or even report the crime.

When Bess recovers she remembers what happened and she tries to solve the mystery and catch the murderer, assisted by her father and her friend Simon, and other friends she meets along the way. As usual she has a lot of adventures, which give the book a bit of excitement and faster pace. I did find it a little unrealistic that one battlefield nurse would have so many friends in high places and be involved in this much excitement. But I suspended disbelief and went along with the plot, and very much enjoyed myself. I love all the characters in this series and look forward to reading more adventures of Bess Crawford.

Highly recommended for fans of the series. If this is your first Bess Crawford novel, you could start here if you wish. There is enough background information given for those who haven't read the earlier books.

(I received this book through Amazon's Vine Program.) ( )
  BookAngel_a | May 14, 2012 |
Showing 24 of 24

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
120 wanted1 pay1 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.67)
0.5
1
1.5
2 3
2.5 5
3 17
3.5 12
4 35
4.5 1
5 9

Audible.com

An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,701,942 books! | Top bar: Always visible