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An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford, #6)
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An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford #6)

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3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,079 Ratings  ·  360 Reviews
World War I Battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s career is in jeopardy when a murder is committed on her watch, in this absorbing and atmospheric historical mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd.

Home on leave, Bess Crawford is asked to accompany a wounded soldier confined to a wheelchair to Buckingham Palace, where he’s to be decorated by the King. The n
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 5th 2015 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published August 12th 2014)
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Jim Graham
Aug 15, 2014 Jim Graham rated it it was ok
At the beginning, a very interesting situation - when a war hero, honored by the King, deserts and leaves Bess under suspicion of being derelict or worse.
But then we're off into something the reader has no way of getting hold of. And the melodramatic solution is reached simply by happenchance, after driving back and forth and making herself a nuisance.
The weakest book in an otherwise good series.
Lori
Nov 24, 2014 Lori rated it it was ok
This book just made me tired. If Bess and Simon drove back and forth one more time between Upper Dysoe, Middle Dysoe, and Lower Dysoe, I was going to scream. Major back tracking going on here. And explain to me why Bess refused to alert Scotland Yard?? Because her explanations never made sense. And if she left the car one more time when Simon told her to stay put (Sergeant-Major Simon Brandon who has years of stealth military experience under his belt as opposed to Bess tripping around in the da ...more
Leigh
Jun 29, 2015 Leigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I adore Bess Crawford. She's smart, respectable, hard-working, and courageous. What more could a reader want?

This book, however, was not the best in the series. The setting was mundane and I quickly lost interest in the descriptions. I would have also like to have seen more interaction between Bess and her family, but it seemed that the entire book was describing Bess and Simon in a car running back and forth between the same people and places.

The writing was wonderful (I didn't expect less fr
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Miki
Dec 23, 2014 Miki rated it it was ok
A disappointing addition to this series. The plot is convoluted and slow, there are way too many red herrings, and Simon, who does all the dirty work, is constantly pushed to the background while Bess calls the shots. This is in spite of Simon being her father's go-to guy for dangerous missions. (I do wish she would stop referring to her father as "Colonel Sahib". It's both precious and pretentious.) I also have my own doubts about the frequency of Bess' many furloughs in the midst of war. I fin ...more
Raven Haired Girl
Jul 21, 2015 Raven Haired Girl added it
Shelves: 2015
I’m a huge Charles Todd fan, I love the writing the characters and of course, the always stimulating mystery. However, this particular installment was below par.

The writing wasn’t the high calibre Todd produces, the mystery was a big fat bore. Sadly, Bess was more meddlesome than amateur sleuth. Simon failed to add much needed excitement with his presence. All these two did was drive from one English hamlet to the next searching for the intriguing Wilkins. The discovery of a few more ‘misplaced’
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Anne
Sep 03, 2014 Anne rated it it was ok
I really like the Bess Crawford series and was anxious to reading this one. I was disappointed in it, though -- I don't feel that it was as good as the others in the series.

Though the initial plot set-up was interesting and the resolution was action-filled, the chapters in between were less so. The plot revolved around Bess and Simon, with just cameo appearances by other recurring characters, and there was little or no additional character development in those two. The bulk of the book was spent
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Mary
What keeps me coming back to this series is the way Charles Todd writes the main & recurring characters. However...the amount of time Bess spends on leave / in England / driving around with Simon is always distracting enough to pull me out of the story. (view spoiler) ...more
Mary
I found the newest addition to the Bess Crawford series different from the other books. It takes place almost entirely in England. She’s been put on leave while an inquiry occurs to determine her part in the disappearance of Wilkins, the war hero she’d been assigned to accompany to Buckingham Palace to receive a medal from the King.

It doesn’t take long until Bess’s family friend Sergeant-Major Simon Brandon is by her side intent on proving her innocence as well as finding Wilkins. The two travel
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Debbie
Aug 26, 2014 Debbie rated it liked it
All though in fact, Bess is still her old busy body self, the plot this time kind of camouflaged that fact. And, please, what is it with her and Simon? Bess still seems to have the emotional maturity of a 13 year old when it comes to men. And all those damaged war veterans running around in the countryside seemed too coincidental for believability, except that I once had a similar experience with stray cats in the middle of the night at my mom's house in the country, so I guess anything is possi ...more
Michael
The novel opens with battlefield nurse Bess Crawford summoned to the war department in London. She is ordered to escort a wounded soldier to Buckingham Palace to be decorated by King George.

A day after the ceremony, the soldier, Sgt. Jason Wilkins disappears. Bess is questioned about his disappearance and accused of dereliction of duty in permitting him to go AWOL.

What follows is Bess's efforts along with her friend, Simon Brandon, to search the English countryside and locate the missing soldier
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Marlene
Aug 16, 2014 Marlene rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

One of the things that makes the Bess Crawford series so interesting is the way that Bess manages to get herself into trouble. Naturally, she has to investigate what went wrong in order to get herself out of trouble.

It’s clear that Bess has been doing this pretty much all her life, based on the story The Maharani's Pearls which has Bess at age 9 investigating an attempted assassination. Well more like making sure that her parents and the indefatigable Simon
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Diane Challenor
I enjoy listening to this series because it's a cozy read. Interesting enough to turn the page without requiring too much effort. It's a series I'll continued to follow.
Ariel
Sep 25, 2014 Ariel rated it liked it
I started out with such love for this series, a love that is waning with each successive novel. Nothing every progresses for Bess. She is exactly the same as she was five books ago. Compare this series to a similar one featuring Maisie Dobs. Since the start of the series she has had different love interests, she has changed jobs, she has allowed new people into her circle, and the mysteries are intriguing and thought provoking. I don't always like what Maisie is doing but at least she is doing s ...more
Larraine
Aug 26, 2014 Larraine rated it really liked it
Charles Todd has become one of my "go to authors" which means that I won't miss a book. As most faithful readers know, Charles Todd is actually a pseudonym for a mother/son writing team. One writes in Delaware, the other in N.Carolina. Together they produce two excellent series: their original is Inspector Rutledge, a shell shocked WWI veteran. Bess Crawford is a "Sister" aka a nurse working at the front in France. This book is another episode in that series. It is 1916. The Americans have joine ...more
Carol C
Sep 15, 2014 Carol C rated it it was ok
Yawn. I would go so far as to give this 2.5 stars if I could. It had a promising beginning and the ending wasn't bad. It was all that tedious slogging around in the middle that did me in. Overall, not worth the $1.50 library fines I incurred because I just couldn't get through this before it was due back.
Sharon Chance
Jul 30, 2015 Sharon Chance rated it it was amazing
First of all, I adore the Bess Crawford series from author Charles Todd - I love that Bess is a nurse (kind of like a grown-up version of the Cherry Ames books that I loved as a young girl) and I love the setting of the World War I action in England and France.

However ...

I was a bit disappointed in "An Unwilling Accomplice." The sixth book in the series finds Bess in the midst of a horrible situation that has her suspected of murder, and it's up to her and Simon, the Sergeant-Major who appear
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Terri
Dec 23, 2014 Terri rated it did not like it
This was the worst book of this series and these authors that I have read. Almost the entire book is spent running between Great, Middle, and Lower Dysoe, which are located in a remote part of England and none of the towns (?) villages (?), hamlets (?) seems to have any amenities except maybe a local pub. At least one of these locations does not even have a room for rent, so the two sleuths end up sleeping in the car in a barn...all this and the lady never seems to get a bad reputation. And this ...more
Charlene
Perhaps 3.5 stars, but not up to the standard of the previous 5 books in the Bess Crawford series. I do hope Book #7 gives me cause to hope for an eighth volume....

The first few books in this series were 5-star reads for me, so I do recommend them to mystery lovers who are interested in British nurses in World War I. The atmosphere of the early books was amazingly written, as were the characters.

Luffy
Aug 19, 2014 Luffy rated it it was ok
This book represents a milestone for me. It signifies the conclusion of my reading challenge for 2014. It mirrors the first book that I read on my kindle, which was by the same authors as this one. The similarities between the two books end here. It's not a good thing.

The language used in An Unwilling Accomplice is not the best of what the authors are capable of. The way the story has been conceived and organized leaves a lot to be desired. The repetition of a troubled and tragic scapegoat ca
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Nikki
I didn't like this quite as well as the earlier books in this series. As nurse Bess Crawford and Sergeant-Major Simon Brandon search a fairly small portion of the English countryside for a wounded soldier who disappeared while in Bess's care, the story tends to drag a bit. The ending was rather complex and didn't exactly play fair with the reader. And the relationship between Bess and Simon continues to perplex.
As this book begins, the Great War is beginning to draw to a close. It will be intere
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Nicole
Mar 27, 2015 Nicole rated it liked it
This was a weak addition to the series. Bess spends the majority of the book going back and forth and back and forth and back and forth between a few places in a small town in the middle of nowhere. It was monotonously paced and the plot line and motive were weak. I didn't care about any of the characters, so I wasn't invested in the outcome. The romantic relationship that never clearly is a romantic relationship between Bess and Simon doesn't noticeably progress. Bess spends almost no time in F ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Since my first Bess Crawford novel from best-selling author Charles Todd, I've been hooked. Taking some of my favorite elements of fiction, World War I, women nurses, and murder mystery and you have to basic ingredients for what makes the Bess Crawford Series a true success. Bess Crawford has been serving as a battlefield nurse, thrust in the middle of taking care of the most challenging of patients. With medical marvels still years from being developed, she is right in the middle of action tryi ...more
Cathy Cole
I've long been a fan of Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series, and this book has a truly intriguing mystery. First of all, how did a man confined to a wheelchair manage to vanish without a trace? Secondly, how could he have committed murder? And why? This plot really had my deductive juices flowing.

Unfortunately An Unwilling Accomplice is probably the weakest book in the series, and it has everything to do with its too-large cast and its very uneven pacing. The story is good for showing readers ju
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bookczuk
This was my first foray into Bess Crawford's world, (though I have read a few Ian Rutledge novels, by the same authors.) Probably, had I realized it was well into a series, I might have not picked it up, but interestingly, two copies of the novel came my way (one from the publisher and one via LibraryThing's early reviewer program.)

The plot has Bess, who is a nurse during the Great War, home on leave, and assigned to accompany a wounded soldier when he goes to Buckingham Palace to receive a meda
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Deborah Wilson
Sep 03, 2014 Deborah Wilson rated it really liked it
Charles Todd writing team is masterful at transporting the reader to WW 1 England and beyond. The beauty of these stories is not the characters or even the twisting plots as much as it is the masterful descriptions of the landscape, the people, language and the customs. While, this was not my favorite Bess Crawford mystery and as previous reviewers have said Simon and Bess used a lot of petrol traveling in England, I sensed an evolution in this series. After all, the war only lasted four years a ...more
Barbara Mitchell
Aug 17, 2014 Barbara Mitchell rated it it was amazing
If you have somehow never read one of Charles Todd's Bess Crawford series, you are missing out on a real treat. Bess is one of those heroines that I just immediately loved and rooted for even though occasionally wanting to scold her for taking risks.

She is a British nurse in World War I and she spends much of her time in France near the front lines. This is a military service in which the women are held to a higher standard of conduct than civilian women. They have a uniform and are subject to o
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Jane Wolfe
Sep 12, 2014 Jane Wolfe rated it really liked it
Bess Crawford is an old friend. Simon played a more active role in this story which is a welcome change from the previous book. Bess and Simon made one too many late night forays into the English Countryside for me. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery. The story contained references to the end of the war so I will be interested to see what happens next to Bess Crawford and Simon. I listened to the audio version. It was well done by the same narrator from other mysteries in this series.
Barbara
Sep 05, 2014 Barbara rated it liked it
I still pick up the latest Bess Crawford book but this last one is just a bit too unreal. Bess and Simon have nothing better to do than try to track down a missing soldier. Bess made too much of her involvement and Simon is getting stranger and stranger with his background, present occupation and his relationship to Bess. But I am faithful to Bess and will read more when they are published but like Maisie Dobbs I'm thinking the World War I nurse is wearing out in these stories!
Deb
Sep 13, 2014 Deb rated it really liked it
Bess Crawford is asked to accompany a wounded soldier to London to receive a medal of valor from the king. When the newly decorated patient disappears, Bess is accused of negligence and put on extended leave. Then the missing man is accused of murder, and Scotland Yard thinks Bess is an accomplice. Eager to clear her name, she and Simon Brandon set off to find the missing soldier. Their investigation leads them into the lives and secrets of several of the inhabitants of the small villages from w ...more
writer...
A new to me series by the authors of previously read, HUNTING SHADOWS, but no less interesting. Set in the WW1 era, this one's lead character, nurse Bess Crawford.
Home from service in France, Bess is called upon to assist a war hero to receive a medal of honour from the King. All is upended when she discovers the serviceman's room empty the next morning.
An active plot with much travel, subterfuge, and surprising conclusion. Very well played.
A series I'll be continuing.
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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)
  • An Unmarked Grave (Bess Crawford, #4)
  • A Question of Honor (Bess Crawford, #5)
  • A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford, #7)
  • The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford, #8)

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