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“You’re going to love Todd.” —Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly The critically acclaimed creator of the Inspector Ian Rutledge and battlefield nurse Bess Crawford mystery series, Charles Todd now offers readers a bittersweet love story and romantic mystery that unfolds at Christmas during the dangerous opening days of World War I. The Walnut Tree is an unforgettable story of a woman who puts herself in the line of fire for the sake of wounded soldiers and falls deeply in love with a man who may be forbidden to her. For anyone who has fallen under the spell of Downton Abbey, and for all the fans of the British-set mysteries of Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, Ruth Rendell, Martha Grimes, and Jacqueline Winspear, The Walnut Tree is essential reading.
Now published together for the first time: Charles Todd's absorbing short stories—"The Kidnapping," "The Girl on the Beach," "Cold Comfort," and "The Maharani's Pearls"—featuring everyone's favorite Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge and intrepid battlefield nurse Bess Crawford. These vibrant tales transport readers from the home front in Great Britain where ominous clouds of war will soon lead to the trenches of France, to the bloody front lines where Lieutenant Rutledge must risk his life to save his men. And finally to the exotic, dangerous India of Bess Crawford's youth. Together they create a fascinating glimpse into the extraordinary backgrounds of two of mystery's most popular characters.
“Another winner....Todd again excels at vivid atmosphere and the effects of war in this specific time and place. Grade: A.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer “Readers who can’t get enough of Maisie Dobbs, the intrepid World War I battlefield nurse in Jacqueline Winspear’s novels…are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.” —New York Times Book Review Charles Todd, author of the resoundingly acclaimed Ian Rutledge crime novels (“One of the best historical series being written today” —Washington Post Book World) debuts an exceptional new protagonist, World War I nurse Bess Crawford, in A Duty to the Dead. A gripping tale of perilous obligations and dark family secrets in the shadows of a nightmarish time of global conflict, A Duty to the Dead is rich in suspense, surprise, and the impeccable period atmosphere that has become a Charles Todd trademark.
Living with her family in India, young Bess Crawford's curiosity about this exotic country sometimes leads her into trouble. One day she slips away from the cantonment to visit the famous seer in a nearby village. Before this woman can finish telling her fortune, Bess is summoned back for an afternoon tea with the Maharani, a close friend of her parents'. The seer's last words are a warning about forthcoming danger that Bess takes as the usual patter. But this visit by the Maharani has ominous overtones that mark it as more than a social call. Her husband has political enemies, and she has come to ask Bess's father, Major Crawford, for help. As the Maharani is leaving, Bess notices that there is something amiss with the royal entourage. Major Crawford must set out after them—but will he be in time? And what will happen to Bess, and the household left behind, when a vicious assassin circles back to take hostages? Here is an extraordinary glimpse into the childhood of the Bess Crawford we know from her service in the Great War.
In Charles Todd's Wings of Fire, Inspector Ian Rutledge is quickly sent to investigate the sudden deaths of three members of the same eminent Cornwall family, but the World War I veteran soon realizes that nothing about this case is routine. Including the identity of one of the dead, a reclusive spinster unmasked as O. A. Manning, whose war poetry helped Rutledge retain his grasp on sanity in the trenches of France. Guided by the voice of Hamish, the Scot he unwillingly executed on the battlefield, Rutledge is driven to uncover the haunting truths of murder and madness rooted in a family crypt...
In the early summer of 1917, Bess Crawford is charged with escorting a convoy of severely wounded soldiers from the trenches of France to England. Among them is a young pilot, burned beyond recognition, who carries a photograph of his wife pinned to his tunic. But later, in a crowded railway station, Bess sees the same woman bidding a heart-wrenching farewell to a departing officer, clearly not her husband. Back on duty in France, Bess is shocked to discover the wife’s photograph in a newspaper accompanying a plea from Scotland Yard for information about her murder, which took place on the very day Bess witnessed that anguished farewell. Granted leave to speak with the authorities, Bess very quickly finds herself entangled in a case of secrets and deadly betrayal in which another life hangs in the balance, and her search for the truth could expose her to far graver dangers than those she faces on the battlefield.
While grooming the Duke's newfound heir, Jack Altringham, for high society, Lady Georgiana Rannoch finds herself investigating murder when the Duke's body is found with Jack's hunting knife in its back.

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