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A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd
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A Pattern of Lies

by Charles Todd

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A visit to a former patient from France turns dark and ominous with noisome objects thrown and an attempted firebombing. Why, have the locals turned against the powder factory owner and his family, two plus years after the horrific explosion and fire. The mill owner, the patient's father is arrested and charged with multiple murders As, the community rallies to support the accusation, Bess must use all her skills and family resources to unravel the truth. A worthy entry in this fine series. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jul 12, 2017 |
I hoped I would like this book, I had no idea how much I would come to love it. It's not always easy to start a series with the latest book instead of with the first, but this one was easy to get into.

Bess Crawford is a nurse during WW1 and she spends a lot of time in France tending to the wounded soldiers and that is how she got to know Mark Ashton. Now, later on, she runs into him again, this time in England where he is visiting his family before getting back to France. She learns that his family is having a troublesome time. Some time before the Ashton Gunpowder Mill in Kent exploded and killed over a hundred men and even though it was judged to be a tragedy are there a lot of rumors in the village that Mark's father Philip is behind the explosion. Someone is feeding the people in the village with wicked rumors and Bess witness herself how the people treat the Ashton. Who is behind the rumors and why is the person hell-bent on ruining the Ashton?

It didn't take me long to get swept into the story in this book. Then again a well written historical fiction is something I always love to read, especially one with a mystery involved. Bess (Not Mary, for some reason I try to write Mary Crawford, but I think that's because she reminds me of Mary Russell from the Laurie R. King series) Crawford is not an amateur sleuth, she is a nurse, home on a leave and soon back to France and that is why she gets involved with Ashton case, partly because she saw how the Ashton was treated and her witness Philip Ashton getting arrested, but also because the only witness is in France fighting and she is the one that can try to get to him to get Philip Ashton free. But nothing is that easy and trusts me sometimes the book is really nerve-racking to read.

One thing I truly enjoyed reading this book was that there was no romance between Mary Bess and any of the male characters. That was refreshing, sometimes I feel that romance takes up a too large role in books and it sometimes gets in the way of the story or it gets too cheesy. But I do admit that even though there is no romance have I started to ship her with Sergeant Lassiter, the wonderful Aussie she turns to in France for help to finding the witness. He is flirtatious and I have completely lost my heart to him (Just think Hugh Jackman in a WW1 uniform) and I hope to God if in the future Bess do find a sweetheart it will be him.

I recommend this book warmly to anyone that wants to read a really good historical fiction; you can read this book without having read any book before.

I received this copy from William Morrow through Edelweiss in return for an honest review! Thank you! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
Mill exploded, family blamed. Lots of driving back and forth from Canterbury. ( )
  picardyrose | Sep 7, 2016 |
Bess Crawford is a very good nurse who always seems to have the devil's own luck in getting assigned to transport wounded men back to England so she can then go haring around the countryside to solve mysteries. Since A Pattern of Lies is one of the best books in this series, I don't mind a bit.

There is a great deal of suspense and lots of suspects in this mystery, but if you follow the tiny, carefully planted clues the writing team known as Charles Todd gives us, you will come to the solution before you're formally told. That didn't bother me much either. Why? Because the authors do a splendid job of showing us how easily people are deceived by lies, and to what lengths they'll go when they're determined to believe those lies. Not that that would have any connotations to the present day.... This entire scenario that Bess innocently wanders into fascinated me, and I was as equally interested in finding out what would be done to the Ashtons next as I was in identifying the person responsible for it all.

If you're in the mood for something similar to Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs mysteries, something with a solid historical background and a strong central character, I suggest that you become acquainted with Bess Crawford. I've enjoyed my journey with Bess, and I think you will, too. In this book, World War I is almost at an end, and I'm very interested in seeing what Sister Crawford does next. ( )
  cathyskye | Aug 29, 2016 |
I really enjoy these Bess Crawford mysteries. I am sometimes amazed at how often she is able to get away from the front to work on these mysteries. I liked the pacing, the twists and turns. Good characters. A nice escape. ( )
  njcur | Jun 3, 2016 |
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I didn't know much about the little town of Cranbourne, on the Swale in northeastern Kent, only that its abbey had been destroyed by a very angry Henry VIII when the abbot of the day refused to take the King's side in certain matters.
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