A Duty to the Dead

A Duty to the Dead

Large Print - 2009
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The winning first in a new WWI series from the bestselling mother-son Todds (A Matter of Justice and 10 other Inspector Rutledge mysteries) introduces Bess Crawford, a resourceful British army nurse who's injured when her ship is sunk in 1916. While convalescing in England, Bess is tormented because she's put off delivering a message from Arthur Graham, a dying soldier under her care for whom she'd developed strong feelings, to his family. Her own brush with death prompts her to travel to Kent and transmit Arthur's cryptic last words to one of his three brothers. Bess becomes further enmeshed in the family's affairs after she learns the obscure message may relate to Graham's half-brother, Peregrine, who was committed to a local asylum for a girl's murder years before. The more Bess seeks to sate her curiosity, the more she suspects that the truth about the murder was suppressed.
Publisher: New York : HarperLuxe, 2009.
Edition: Large print ed.
ISBN: 9780061883699
Branch Call Number: LP FIC TODD
Characteristics: 448 p. (large print) ; 23 cm.


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Sep 04, 2016

What I liked best about this book was the fully rounder-out development of the protagonist, Bess. Strong minded, clear-eyed in her sense of obligation and determined to carry on against all obstacles to get at the truth and see that justice was done. The story is very engrossing despite a couple of quite serious flaws in the telling of it. The main weakness in a departure from easy credibility once you get past midway. At one point there's also an awkward error in logical sequence of "who knew what" (no spoiler here, I'll let other readers find it for themselves and handle it as they see fit).
The time (WW 1) and place (England, mostly London and Kent) are presented surprisingly well given that the book is newly written and the author can hardly have experienced that setting in person. Apart from its 21st century language style, the book could just as well have been written 60 years ago, when stories and heroines like this were more in vogue.
I'll be quite happy to read more from this writer, assuming that more Bess Crawford stories are coming along.

Nov 30, 2015

Well written first in this new series. Not A Maisy Dobbs winner-out-of-the-starting- gate, but worth reading the second one, as the writers are good. Excellently done characters, in Bess, her father and his batman, along with many of the family to whom Bess takes the posthumous message of one of her dying soldiers. The plot's a bit out of control in places, but I'll definitely read the second one. And check out the Ian Rutledge series on the basis of this one.

Jun 12, 2014

The first book in the Bess Crawford series introduces our capable heroine as she embarks on a series of adventures.

Set during WWI, the story starts in the hospital ship Britannic where our heroine sustains an injury that sends her home to recover. One of her patients has entrusted her with a posthumous message to his family and her dissatisfaction with their response leads her to ask some questions of her own.

Engaging characters and an interesting settings draw the reader along, though the classic who done it tale is sacrificed in exchange for some slightly melodramatic plot devices.
All in all - a good enough book to make me read the next one, though perhaps not with the sense of keen anticipation that other (better) series inspire.

Oct 07, 2013

I read the most recent book first which was "An Unmarked Grave" and I felt "A Duty to the Dead" wasn't as thrilling but a pretty good murder mystery nonetheless.

May 16, 2013

This book sucked it was sooooooo boring that i skipped to the end! which is why i gave this book a half a star.

Feb 03, 2012

My first experience with Charles Todd and I thought it was an interesting story with lots of twists and turns. I listened to it on my mp3 player and it was very well done. Looking forward to listening to the next one in the series.

Aug 02, 2011

A good start to a new series. A good plot and a nice character. I enjoy the "Ian Rutledge" series more.

Jan 18, 2010

This kept me reading but the plot seemed rather unbelievable.

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