“Highly recommended—well-rounded, believable characters, a multi-layered plot solidly based on human nature, all authentically set in the England of 1917…an outstanding and riveting read.”
—New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens
“Bess Crawford is a strong and likable character.”
Already deservedly lauded for the superb historical crime novels featuring shell-shocked Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge (A Lonely Death, A Pale Horse et al), acclaimed author Charles Todd upped the ante by introducing readers to a wonderful new series protagonist, World War One battlefield nurse Bess Crawford. Featured for a third time in A Bitter Truth, Bess reaches out to help an abused and frightened young woman, only to discover that no good deed ever goes unpunished when the good Samaritan nurse finds herself falsely accused of murder. A terrific follow up to Todd’s A Duty to the Dead and An Impartial Witness, A Bitter Truth is another thrilling and evocative mystery from “one of the most respected writers in the genre” (Denver Post) and a treat for fans of Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, Martha Grimes, and Jacqueline Winspear.
At the outset of Todd's outstanding third Bess Crawford mystery (after 2010's An Impartial Witness), Bess returns to London in December 1917 on leave from her nursing work in France to find an attractive, well-bred woman of about 25 huddled in the doorway of her lodging house. The tearful woman, who reluctantly gives her name as Lydia, accepts Bess's invitation to come inside. Lydia later reveals that she's fled to London from Sussex after her husband struck her in the face. The tenderhearted Bess agrees to accompany Lydia back home so she can provide moral support. On arrival in Sussex, Bess finds herself in the midst of a family devastated by untimely death and hiding poisonous secrets. When a murder occurs, the local police suspect Bess is involved. The Todds (a mother-son writing team) plausibly insert their heroine yet again into a criminal investigation, besides providing their usual depth of characterization.