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"I was in Paris the day the French Army was mobilized." In 1914, while visiting her friend Madeleine, Lady Elspeth Douglas's life is thrown into chaos when war breaks out and the Germans quickly overrun Belgium, threatening France. Having just agreed to marry Alain, Madeleine's dashing brother, Lady Elspeth watches him leave to join his unit, and then she sets out for England, only to find herself trapped on the French coast. Caught amid a sea of stranded travelers, terrified refugees, and wounded men overflowing the port of Calais, the restless Elspeth--daughter of a Highland aristocrat whose distinguished family can trace its roots back to the court of Mary, Queen of Scots--decides to make herself useful, carrying water to weary soldiers near the Front. It is an act of charity that almost gets her killed when enemy shells begin to explode around her. To her rescue comes Captain Peter Gilchrist, who pulls her away from the battle and leads...
World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford goes to dangerous lengths to investigate a wounded soldier’s background—and uncover his true loyalties—in this thrilling and atmospheric entry in the bestselling “vivid period mystery series” (New York Times Book Review). At the foot of a tree shattered by shelling and gunfire, stretcher-bearers find an exhausted officer, shivering with cold and a loss of blood from several wounds. The soldier is brought to battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s aid station, where she stabilizes him and treats his injuries before he is sent to a rear hospital. The odd thing is, the officer isn’t British—he’s French. But in a moment of anger and stress, he shouts at Bess in German. When Bess reports the incident to Matron, her superior offers a ready explanation. The soldier is from Alsace-Lorraine, a province in the west where the tenuous border between France and Germany has continually shifted through history, most recently in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, won by the Germans. But is the wounded man Alsatian? And if he is, on which side of the war do his sympathies really lie? Of course, Matron could be right, but Bess remains uneasy—and unconvinced. If he was a French soldier, what was he doing so far from his own lines . . . and so close to where the Germans are putting up a fierce, last-ditch fight? When the French officer disappears in Paris, it’s up to Bess—a soldier’s daughter as well as a nurse—to find out why, even at the risk of her own life.
A murder leads World War I nurse Bess Crawford into the clutches of a wily killer.
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.
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.
“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.” —Washington Times 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.
“A wonderful new mystery series that will let us see the horrors of World War I through the eyes of Bess Crawford, battlefield nurse.” —Margaret Maron “Readers who can’t get enough of Jacqueline Winspear’s novels, or Hester Latterly, who saw action in the Crimean War in a series of novels by Anne Perry, are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.” —New York Times Book Review The critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of the Ian Rutledge mystery series, Charles Todd once again spotlights World War I nurse Bess Crawford in An Unmarked Grave. Gripping, powerful, and evocative, this superb mystery masterwork unfolds during the deadly Spanish Influenza pandemic of 1918, as Bess discovers the body of a murdered British officer among the many dead and sets out to unmask a craven killer.
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