A Bitter Truth

A Bitter Truth

Large Print - 2011
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A battlefield nurse during World War I, Bess Crawford, returning to London for a well-earned Christmas leave, finds her holiday fraught with mystery and murder when she agrees to help a bruised and battered woman return to her small village in Sussex.
Publisher: New York, NY : HarperLuxe, c2011.
Edition: 1st Harperluxe ed., large print ed..
ISBN: 9780062088550
Branch Call Number: L.P. Fic Todd
Characteristics: 490 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.


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As with many of the Charles Todd books, the characters are a bit rigid and the plot feels formulaic. I did quite a bit of skimming over annoying filler. It is a fast read but not memorable.

Feb 24, 2019

Bess Crawford #3

Mar 08, 2016

Bess returns home for Christmas leave in a cold storm, to find a shivering woman huddled in her doorway. She invites her in for tea, to at least warm up. The upper class woman has a black eye, and under Bess's gentle questioning, she admits her husband hit her and she ran away. This simple story leads not just to a mystery, but a murder. To resolve the mystery, Bess must do some sleuthing back in France. And the identity of the murderer is even more of a surprise than usual.

CRRL_VirginiaJ Jul 21, 2015

Another in a rewarding series of mysteries set in the Great War and featuring nurse (and lady) Bess Crawford.

May 17, 2013

The Todds are truly in their stride with this one - the clues are there, but extremely well hidden, and the vagueness and irrationality of World War I's military, social and economic conditions drive the plot forward in a satisfying way.

If you're a mystery buff, an Edwardian history junkie or just someone who enjoys seeing a strong woman coping with a 'man's world', you'll like this one.

TrishThompson Oct 28, 2012

A very good book! My mom got me reading these Bess Crawford mysteries and I really enjoy them- the WWI period comes to life with wonderful characters.

Aug 20, 2012

I'm sorry to say that I think this series has grown weaker with this installment. I've been listening to them in order and enjoyed the first two but this one I found lacking. The characters--particularly Bess, our heroine--do things for little apparent reason. Bess is repeatedly imposed upon by others who are clearly manipulating her and this seems entirely out of character. I found it really frustrating--it's just a way of moving her to the next plot-point.

Were I actually reading it, I would surely skim to the end. Cannot do that when listening, but it's a measure of my frustration. (I wrote here as these points are really about the book itself and not the recording.)

Feb 28, 2012

It starts off with a battered woman and then turns into a pleasant enough murder mystery in a lonely mansion with family secrets, but by the end, it's all over the place. The heroine goes off to war-torn France, comes back, and suddenly after a string of unbelievable events, the murderer is revealed to be someone out of left field. Meh.

Jan 30, 2012

It could probably be condensed into a book half the size. Pretty boring in spots and with very plastic characters. The mother and son writing team seem to be stuck in a very formulaic groove.

Much better British series are available (PD James, Reginald Hill, Colin Dexter etc.)

thunderingfox Dec 24, 2011

Not badly written but seems to never get to the point. The heroine is not really very interesting

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Feb 28, 2012

"My dearest girl," he said gently, "your father is right, you are afraid of nothing. And that can be very dangerous, has anyone told you that?"


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