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An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford #4)

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3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,233 Ratings  ·  448 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
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Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2012)
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Magdalena
The year is 1918 and the Spanish flu epidemic is rampaging, killing both soldiers and civilians. Battlefield nurse Bess Crawford and the rest of the nurses and doctors are swamped with patients. But, then Bess discovers that among the dead bodies are the body of a murdered officer that used to serve in her father's former regiment. However, she falls ill in the terrible flu herself before she can report it...

The Bess Crawford series has quickly become a favorite of mine. One of the reason is tha
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Jennifer
Aug 28, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery
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
LJ
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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Joanne
Jul 02, 2012 Joanne rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Oct 22, 2012 Mary Ronan Drew rated it really liked it
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
Spitz
Oct 28, 2014 Spitz rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries
Well written and rich in historical detail and atmosphere, as always. But the plot was a complete shambles.
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
Kathy Davie
Apr 03, 2016 Kathy Davie rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, history
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
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Maria
Jan 29, 2013 Maria rated it really liked it
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
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Luanne Ollivier
Aug 02, 2012 Luanne Ollivier rated it really liked it
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
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Judy
Jun 24, 2012 Judy rated it liked it
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
Sara
Jul 15, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it
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
Sep 15, 2012 Samantha Glasser rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Larraine
Jun 19, 2012 Larraine rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 28, 2012 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it
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
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Ariel
Jul 13, 2012 Ariel rated it liked it
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. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/book-clu......

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.
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Alicia
Sep 11, 2013 Alicia rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"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
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Charlene
Jul 23, 2012 Charlene rated it liked it
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
Jan 23, 2015 Sharon Michael rated it really liked it
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.
Margaret
Apr 08, 2015 Margaret rated it really liked it
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.
Roberta
Jul 14, 2012 Roberta rated it liked it
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
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Mary
Sep 14, 2013 Mary rated it liked it


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
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Donna
Apr 17, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
number four in a great series about a WWI nurse . the era is not Romanized, but described as it was, bleak with death a frequent occurrence. One death ,however seems highly suspicious
Jo Sorrell
Jan 23, 2016 Jo Sorrell rated it liked it

It isis the spring of 1918 in the height of World War I. Bess Crawford is performing her duties as a loyal and extremely skilled British nurse on the French Front. In addition to battling countless war wounds, she and her medical staff find themselves caught in the middle of an the Spanish flu epidemic. It is a serious and deadly strain that suddenly strikes Bess herself.

Prior to succumbing to the illness, Bess gets herself caught up in some strange events that put her in far more danger than th
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Carol Mello
Dec 12, 2014 Carol Mello rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-this-book
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
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Lisa Johnson
Sep 20, 2014 Lisa Johnson rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Shannon
Feb 23, 2014 Shannon rated it really liked it
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
James
Feb 22, 2014 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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
Lynn
Feb 14, 2016 Lynn rated it liked it
Bess Crawford is a nurse working at the front lines in WWI. It is 1918 and along with the horrors of the battlefield wounds, the Spanish flu is spreading through their makeshift hospital. An orderly finds a body that is unaccounted for. Bess comes to view the body and discovers this man has been murdered. Worse yet, she knows who he is. Before she can share this information with anyone she trusts, she falls ill with the flu. It is a long recovery and she begins to question whether she conjured u ...more
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Simon Brandon 15 95 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 (8 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)
  • The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford, #8)

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