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This is book number 1 in the Bess Crawford Mysteries series.
“A Duty to the Dead introduces Bess Crawford, a strong-willed young woman in the nursing corps during WWI. To fulfill a promise made to the charismatic dying soldier she fell in love with, Bess will have to uncover family secrets and a web of deception spanning years. Bess Crawford is a character I look forward to spending more time with.”
— Joni Montover, Paragraphs on Padre Boulevard, South Padre Island, TX
The First Bess Crawford Mystery!
“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.
“Another winner....Todd again excels at vivid atmosphere and the effects of war in this specific time and place. Grade: A.”
—Cleveland Plain Dealer
Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, Caroline passed away in August 2021 and Charles lives in Florida.
“Winning....Fans of independent women sleuths like Maisie Dobbs will welcome this new addition to their ranks.” — Publishers Weekly
“Anyone who cares to loll in early-20th century English villages and mores and follow a plucky heroine as she confronts the stupidity of war will find solace in this old-fashioned mystery.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Todd employs all the elements of a satisfying cozy mystery, with an absorbing plot and a charismatic heroine that will leave the reader wanting more.” — Library Journal
“Full of rich historical details, this novel contrasts the beauty of the English countryside with the horrors of a war that devastated families....Absorbing.” — Romantic Times
“Readers who can’t get enough of Maisie Dobbs, the intrepid World War I battlefield nurse in 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 superb start of a new historical series....A welcome old-fashioned mystery and a brilliant start to a character with plenty more to discover in future books.” — New Mystery Reader
“A compelling story, a complex mystery and a revealing look deep into human nature.” — Winston-Salem Journal (NC)
“A tense psychological drama, steeped in the tragedy of the Great War.” — Iron Mountain Daily (Michigan)
“Todd’s novels are known for compelling plotting with a thoughtful whodunit aspect, rich characterization, evocative prose and haunting atmosphere, and A Duty to the Dead excels at each. Another moving entry in a growing and distinguished body of work, it is neither easily put down nor easily forgotten.” — Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A Duty to the Dead has all the elements of a good mystery—action, suspense, murder, love, a damsel in distress.” — Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)
“Another winner....Todd again excels at vivid atmosphere and the effects of war in this specific time and place. Grade: A.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer
“The Todd books offer an insight into and a grim reminder of the avalanche of broken bodies and minds that came back from France in 1918 as well as a reminder of how little was done to restore them.” — Washington Times on A Duty to the Dead
“An absorbing story that will not disappoint Todd’s fans.” — Contra Costa Times on A Duty to the Dead
“Here is a brave, smart and likable young heroine who will please Todd fans.” — Evansville Courier & Press on A Duty to the Dead
“This is a wonderful new mystery series that will let us see the horrors of World War I through the eyes of Bess Crawford, a battlefield nurse. A Duty to the Dead is a richly realistic depiction of both the era and people who lived through it. — Margaret Maron, Edgar Award–Winning author of Death’s Half Acre