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A Cruel Deception: A Bess Crawford Mystery…
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A Cruel Deception: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Bess Crawford Mysteries Book… (edition 2019)

by Charles Todd (Author)

Series: Bess Crawford (11)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15011144,804 (3.5)7
In the aftermath of World War I, nurse Bess Crawford attempts to save a troubled former soldier from a mysterious killer in this eleventh book in the beloved Bess Crawford mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd. The Armistice of November 1918 ended the fighting, but the Great War will not be over until a Peace Treaty is drawn up and signed by all parties. Representatives from the Allies are gathering in Paris, and already ominous signs of disagreement have appeared. Sister Bess Crawford, who has been working with the severely wounded in England in the war's wake, is asked to carry out a personal mission in Paris for a Matron at the London headquarters of The Queen Alexandra's. Bess is facing decisions about her own future, even as she searches for the man she is charged with helping.  When she does locate Lawrence Minton, she finds a bitter and disturbed officer who has walked away from his duties at the Peace Conference and is well on his way toward an addiction to opiates. When she confronts him with the dangers of using laudanum, he tells her that he doesn't care if he lives or dies, as long as he can find oblivion. But what has changed him? What is it that haunts him? He can't confide in Bess--because the truth is so deeply buried in his mind that he can only relive it in nightmares. The officers who had shared a house with him in Paris profess to know nothing--still, Bess is reluctant to trust them even when they offer her their help. But where to begin on her own? What is driving this man to a despair so profound it can only end with death? The war? Something that happened in Paris? To prevent a tragedy, she must get at the truth as quickly as possible--which means putting herself between Lieutenant Minton and whatever is destroying him. Or is it whoever?… (more)
Member:jeff.coatsworth
Title:A Cruel Deception: A Bess Crawford Mystery (Bess Crawford Mysteries Book 11)
Authors:Charles Todd (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2019), 327 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:2021-10 #54

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A Cruel Deception by Charles Todd

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Many readers may have expected Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series to end when World War I ended, but this writing team has continued Bess's adventures in order to create a portrait that illuminates the cost of war on human lives—the lingering pain and horror that no armistice or peace treaty can assuage. Bess has continued her nursing, working with severely wounded soldiers, but in A Cruel Deception, she finds herself thinking about what else she might want to do with her life. She also finds herself thinking about Simon Brandon who seems to be on holiday in Scotland-- and a mysterious woman might be involved. I imagine that I'm not the only fan of this series who's wanted Bess to start thinking more seriously about Simon. Who knows? We may be getting our wish.

Another thing that Charles Todd deals with so well in this series is how Bess has gotten used to living her own life and making her own decisions without deferring to her family. This is something many women in this time period found themselves doing for the first time, and they liked it.

This series often deals with various issues wounded soldiers had to face, and in A Cruel Deception, it's the anguish of mental trauma, that most difficult affliction for most people to understand or to even begin to deal with. Here, what we now call PTSD is treated with sensitivity and understanding as Bess tries to find out why someone is attacking both Minton and herself, as well as learning what happened to Minton that makes him want to destroy himself. It's another tale well told, and I'm looking forward to the next time I meet Bess. ( )
  cathyskye | Mar 21, 2021 |
Have no fear, although the war is over, Bess Crawford is still a member of Queen Alexandra's nursing corps and still solving mysteries. In this entry in the series, she is asked to locate the Matron's missing son in Paris. (Matron is the head of the nursing corps.) She finds that he has undergone a personality change seemingly overnight. Finding the reason for his troubles and the person behind it all takes a lot of detective work, assisted by a doctor friend of the young man's family and culminating in a frightening scene where Bess must use all her skills to save herself and her charge. Recommended.
  auntieknickers | Jul 22, 2020 |
I didn't realize that this was #11 in the series until I was left with only this one book to read! It was good but I had to stretch my imagination a few times - Bess was having revelations out of the blue, but beyond that, it was good (enough). ( )
  nwieme | Mar 19, 2020 |
Most of the time I enjoy reading mysteries by the mother/son team of Charles Todd, but this time, the writing hedged on dreariness. Maybe the prior two mysteries I have read displayed better writing and story-telling that this novel shrunk in comparison. WWI has ended and Bess has been given the duty to find Matron’s son in Paris and relay information concerning him to his mother. Bess finds Lieutenant Lawrence Minton addicted to opiates and suffering from guilt-ridden nightmares. Lawrence escapes from Bess’s care, only to suffer a brutal beating at the hands of a mysterious man. Bess bravely faces many hazards in her quest to find and assist Lawrence and this journey drones on and on for too long. Of course, the reader knows that Bess will prevail in her duties and will seek Simon. ( )
  delphimo | Feb 24, 2020 |
The Todds continue to mine their mother lode of WW1 angst with another good Bess Crawford story. Helping a colleague, Bess goes to France to locate her missing son a surviving officer from The Great War. Part nurse and part detective, she needs both skillsets to sort them out; resulting in an interesting, if violent, ending. ( )
  jamespurcell | Feb 7, 2020 |
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In the aftermath of World War I, nurse Bess Crawford attempts to save a troubled former soldier from a mysterious killer in this eleventh book in the beloved Bess Crawford mystery series from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd. The Armistice of November 1918 ended the fighting, but the Great War will not be over until a Peace Treaty is drawn up and signed by all parties. Representatives from the Allies are gathering in Paris, and already ominous signs of disagreement have appeared. Sister Bess Crawford, who has been working with the severely wounded in England in the war's wake, is asked to carry out a personal mission in Paris for a Matron at the London headquarters of The Queen Alexandra's. Bess is facing decisions about her own future, even as she searches for the man she is charged with helping.  When she does locate Lawrence Minton, she finds a bitter and disturbed officer who has walked away from his duties at the Peace Conference and is well on his way toward an addiction to opiates. When she confronts him with the dangers of using laudanum, he tells her that he doesn't care if he lives or dies, as long as he can find oblivion. But what has changed him? What is it that haunts him? He can't confide in Bess--because the truth is so deeply buried in his mind that he can only relive it in nightmares. The officers who had shared a house with him in Paris profess to know nothing--still, Bess is reluctant to trust them even when they offer her their help. But where to begin on her own? What is driving this man to a despair so profound it can only end with death? The war? Something that happened in Paris? To prevent a tragedy, she must get at the truth as quickly as possible--which means putting herself between Lieutenant Minton and whatever is destroying him. Or is it whoever?

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