"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd

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Summary: A nurse is determined to deliver the message of a man who died in her care.

Bess Crawford is my new favorite character. She's an army nurse for the British in WWI (long before we ever knew there would be a WWII) and she is a tough cookie, having been injured when a nursing boat is damaged and sunk after an encounter with a bomb. While she's recovering, she travels to the family of a man she nursed, one she had begun to care for deeply.

She is coldly received by the family and yet when she delivers the message, she becomes even more concerned. Was Arthur, her wounded soldier, covering up a crime? And is his family covering up a greater one? At every turn, Bess is reminded that she has a duty to the dead, but does Bess also have a duty to the living? This was a surprising mystery and one that perfectly captured the mood and time of the setting as well.

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