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An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford, #4)
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An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford #4)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,798 ratings  ·  420 reviews
World War I nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford matches wits with a devious killer in this exciting and suspenseful adventure from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd

In the spring of 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic spreads, killing millions of soldiers and civilians across the globe. Overwhelmed by the constant flow of wounded soldiers coming from the French f
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2012)
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Having read the previous three in the series, I can definitely say that this one is the weakest in the bunch. I always enjoy the historical details - Todd can definitely deliver on behind-the-scenes action of WII - but the rest of the mystery was barely serviceable. After one too many coincidences (a man she runs into in a barn is just the exact one she's been looking for, out of all of the millions fighting in Europe), I almost gave up. The killer, of course, always stayed one step ahead of Bes ...more
First Sentence: I stopped just outside the ward and leaned my head against the cool wood of the doorframe.

WWI is raging but it is influenza that battlefield nurse, Bess Crawford, and others which is killing off soldiers. In the midst of the dead is a man whose death isn’t from either war or illness; he’s been murdered and Bess recognizes him. Those who’ve seen the body start to die in ways that seem natural. Before Bess can do anything, she also succumbs to the flu and is sent back to England, b
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Val Sanford
I ate this book up right until the climax when Bess uncovers the devilish fiend trying to kill her. The plot tie-in came right out of left field. I'm sorry, but I think it's poor sport to not include ANY clues (that I could find, I realize) to who might be the killer and why they were killing. The obscure references to a 3rd party doing something that might be 'connected' were way to veiled and way-to obscure. Perhaps I should have said: Wait1 this doesn't belong and aha I now know why. But even ...more
Mary Ronan Drew
An Unmarked Grave starts out with a dramatic scene in which Private Wilson, an orderly in the nursing station where Sister Crawford is working, asks her to come to the shed in which dead bodies are kept before burial. He wants to show her a man whose body that is improperly wrapped and who appears to Wilson to have been murdered. His neck has been broken and his body is with those of victims of the Spanish Influenza, not with those who died from war wounds. Bess recognizes him as a family friend ...more
Well written and rich in historical detail and atmosphere, as always. But the plot was a complete shambles.
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. I rated it 4.5 out of 5 Stars.

Set amidst the backdrop of World War I and the Spanish Influenza, a British nurse in France finds herself in danger as she investigates a suspicious death she is sure is in fact a murder. A historical mystery or thriller, An Unmarked Grave, the fourth book in the Bess Crawford Mystery series by Charles Todd, captured my attention from the first page and ne
Luanne Ollivier
I recently had a patron ask if I knew of a good historical mystery series for her. She was older, and said she liked stories set in the war years such as Charles Todd's Bess Crawford books. (which she highly recommended) Well, I did indeed have a series for her, but although I was familiar with Charles Todd's Inspector Rutledge series, I had never read one of the Bess Crawford books. Her recommendation resulted in me picking up the latest installment of this series - An Unmarked Grave.

Bess Crawf
Michelle L
Bess Crawford, battle-field nurse, WWI, and her circle (military/espionage father, his former batman, and her sturdily supportive mother), are the kind of stiff upper lip, upper class Brits who in other fiction would be the unsympathetic, "We just carry on" types. But in this Girl's Own Adventure school of historic female detective (amateur) they are our heroines and heroes. And quite enjoyable, especially with a glass of fizzy lemonade and some light bites close at hand. You could do worse to p ...more
While I enjoy the Ian Rankin series more, I'm becoming a fan of the Bess Crawford series by mother-son writing team of Charles Todd. Set in the Spring of 1918, Sister Bess Crawford is a British nursing sister stationed in France in a forward aid station. Besides dealing with daily battlefield casualties, the Spanish influenza is killing thousands and there seems to be no defense against it. Working almost around the clock, Bess and the other medical staff, are beyond exhaustion when an orderly a ...more
Kathy Davie
Fourth in the Bess Crawford mystery series set in World War I and revolving around Bess Crawford, one of the nursing sisters helping on the front in the spring of 1918.

My Take
Dang, it's just not safe anywhere with Bess Crawford around! Fortunately, she's not one to sit back. Between rescuing and protecting and investigating on both sides of the Channel, all the influence that Bess' father and Simon have comes in very handy.

I do enjoy Todd's characters and the homeyness he creates, yes, even on
This is the fourth Bess Crawford mystery by Charles Todd. Bess is working in a hospital in France during the spring of 1918. The Spanish Influenza has begun to eat its way through the soldiers and the medical staff. Bodies are being stored in sheds until the overworked teams of grave diggers can get to them. After one especially long shift an orderly comes to Bess and shows her a body that has no business being in the burial shed. The man did not die of the influenza, nor was he a patient in the ...more
Samantha Glasser
Bess Crawford is working near the front lines to heal the wounded in France. She is trusted by her co-workers, so when the man in charge of burying the bodies pulls her aside and shows her that there is on extra body in the queue with a broken neck, she knows it is her responsibility to make sure the murder is righted, especially because the man is one that she knows. However, the following day she succumbs to the ravages of the Spanish flu and is laid up for a month. When she becomes lucid, Bes ...more
The mother/son team that calls itself Charles Todd continues to surprise and please their readers. This is the fourth in the Bess Crawford series which features a young woman from a privileged army background (her father is a retired major who is still active in special projects with the war office). It is 1918, the Americans seem to have made a difference, but the war still goes on. In addition, the vicious 1918 flu has struck hard. During this period, an extra body shows up where it shouldn't ...more
Cathy Cole
First Line: I stopped just outside the ward and leaned my head against the cool wood of the doorframe.

It's the spring of 1918. Not only are Bess Crawford and all the other nurses and doctors having to contend with an unending stream of wounded men from the front lines in France, they have to battle another killer: the Spanish Influenza.

A trusted orderly takes Bess to the area in which the dead are kept before they taken out for burial, and he shows her that there is one more dead soldier than th
Thank you to Jen at Book Club Girl for providing me with a copy of this book. Please check out her blog talk interview with authors Charles Todd for further insight into the book.

I have a weakness for anyone named Bess who solves mysteries ever since my Nancy Drew days. This Bess however is a WWI nurse who can't seem to keep herself out of every bodies business. With a war raging on, people don't have much time to attend to things that don't quite up.
"An Unmarked Grave" hooked me in with it's sinister title. I turned the book over to read the blurb, which summarized a story about the Spanish influenza during World War One, through the eyes of a nurse, who discovers a body of a family friend. But he doesn't have the lasting signs of the flu, or war caused scars: he was murdered.

This book taught me about another time in history, about what it was like for a nurse in the first world war. I love reading books set in another period of history, b
First, a confession . . . for some reason, I'm fascinated by WWI and its long lasting effects on the world. This is one of the mystery series that is set during WWI action (on both the front lines in France and the homefront back in England). Author, Charles Todd, writes a better series, centering on Ian Rutledge, a Scotland Yard detective, who is scarred by the War. This one, with Bess Crawford/nurse, as the detective is not as good -- perhaps because the author struggles to tie her in to each ...more
Sharon Michael
Another excellent addition to the series. Author manages to give this series a truly authentic feel of the WWI era, the difficulties, the people and the war itself. Interesting mystery plots that are slowly unravelled. Not quite 'cosy' as there is too much realistic, although not graphic, presentation of the war, but a very relaxed presentation.
Really like this Bess Crawford series, even though I have read another World War I era series, this is quite different. This one had lots of twists and turns and moves back and forth from France to England. Add the Spanish flu to the war wounded, and Nurse Crawford is almost too busy to solve the mystery.
A Bess Crawford mystery set in England and the battlefields of WW1 France. Very reminiscent of Maisie Dobbs, except that these stories are set during the war.

I learned about the deadly Spanish flu outbreak, which I knew very little about, and was struck by a line in the book that said the speaker would be surprised if there was anyone over 16 left in England by the end of the war. It certainly laid waste to a generation of young men.

The quibble I have with these mysteries is that the mystery os

Bess Crawford, WWI battle-field nurse, is swamped in Spanish Flu cases, as well as the wounded, when her attention is drawn to a soldier she recognizes as an old family friend from her father's regiment who is dead from a broken neck. Before she can investigate or even tell anyone about it, she comes down with Flu herself and by the time she recovers, the dead soldier has been buried and the orderly who discovered the corpse has hanged himself. Hmmm. With very few clues but a driving passion to
Carol Mello
Not the first book in the series but the first I have finished reading. Starts slow, so slow it almost became a DNF but picks up about one third of the way through.

After being shown the body of someone she knew through her father, a man with a broken neck, a murder victim, in among the Spanish influenza dead at a battlefield aid station, Bess falls sick with influenza before she can report the murder. Her case is severe and she is sent home, expected to die.

At home after recovering, memories of
Lisa Johnson
Title: An Unmarked Grave (A Bess Crawford Mystery #4)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 262
Year: 2012
Publisher: William Morrow
This fourth book in the Bess Crawford mystery series has Bess still serving as a nurse in WWI. It is now the spring of 1918, and the battle between the Germans and the British rages on with the wounded continually pouring in to the aid stations. Bess also faces the Spanish Influenza epidemic that begins killing almost as many as the nearby guns. With so many sick or dying, the pr
I liked this book quite a bit, then I read others in this series and became even more impressed. Our main character, Bess Crawford, is the British turn of the 20th century equivalent of an Army brat, who is an only child, and who chooses to "serve" in the closest to fighting way she can during the First World War - as a nurse. In this story, Bess is working at a post near the Western Front, when she is appraised of an additional body in the morgue that is unaccounted for. Before she can deal wit ...more
It is World War I, and Bess Crawford is serving in the nursing corps. In addition to tending to the wounded, she also has to see to those who contract the Spanish influenza. Many are dying. When the orderly who is responsible for gathering the death requests that she accompany him to the shed where the bodies are gathered, she is a little confused. She is more confused when she finds an extra body, that of an officer and a friend of her family. Before she can investigate, she contracts the flu a ...more
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
I'm willing to give it a 3.5. While Bess finds herself in far more peril and excitement in this installment, the ending and/or the reason for the multiple murders was quite lame. From talk of a German spy, to a plot to kill the Prince of Wales thrown in there somewhere to discovering the identity of the real killer and real reason for murder. Really? All of that because of that? By far my favourite in this series was Bess #3, A Bitter Truth.
Our intrepid heroine, Nursing Sister Bess Crawford, is back.

The reader knows, although the characters do not, that the war is winding to a close. As one nurse remarks, when looking at the young recruits heading towards the battlefields of France, "in a other year we will all be dead, there will be no one left to fight. "

And Spanish Influenza has begun. Bess succumbs to the illness on the very day she and an orderly discover a murdered body in a group of dead soldiers. Unmarked by flu or battle w
This is my first Charles Todd book and I'm sorry I took so long to get to him. I was hooked from the very first page.

(I lied...........I read A Duty to the Dead a year ago and also gave it 5 stars.)

Bess Crawford is a nurse in France during WW I. She tends to her patients and helps the doctors in surgery, keeping very busy with little sleep. The Spanish Flu is killing more soldiers than the war is at this moment in history.

Even though Bess is too busy for anything but her job she becomes embroile
I had a lot of trouble with the plot of this book. Too many coincidences and a murderer that I felt came from nowhere. Also had an issue with how much Bess used her father's rank to her advantage--what's up with that?

I still like the time period and description of the front, but think I need to give this series a rest.
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Simon Brandon 15 79 Jan 02, 2015 07:24AM  
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Charles Todd is the pen name used by a mother-and-son writing team, Caroline Todd and Charles Todd.
More about Charles Todd...

Other Books in the Series

Bess Crawford (7 books)
  • A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1)
  • An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford, #2)
  • A Bitter Truth (Bess Crawford, #3)
  • A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford, #5)
  • An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford, #6)
  • A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford, #7)
A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1) A Test of Wills (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #1) An Impartial Witness (Bess Crawford, #2) Wings of Fire (Inspector Ian Rutledge, #2) A Bitter Truth (Bess Crawford, #3)

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