Bridget's Reviews > A Bitter Truth

A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
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's review
Sep 04, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-reads
Read in September, 2011

The third installment in the Bess Crawford mysteries is no disappointment. In this book, Bess comes home for holiday leave from the front lines of World War I France, to find a woman hiding out, crying and shivering in the doorway to the boardinghouse where Bess shares a flat with a couple of other women. After she convinces the woman to come inside, she sees that she has a severely bruised eye. The woman reports that her husband, also home on leave, hit her during an argument, and she has run away. Bess notices that the woman - Lydia - is obviously well-to-do, and after a day or so, Lydia convinces Bess to come back with her to her husband's family home, Vixen Hill, which turns out to be an extremely dreary location and not what Bess is expecting at all.

One evening, a family friend makes a comment about a child he has seen in one of the orphanages in France, and how much the little girl resembles the young daughter of the family, who died in childhood. The next morning, the family friend is found dead near the town church. As usual, Bess tries to figure out just what has happened; and at the request of Lydia, looks for the young girl when she returns to France.

I enjoyed this book because it is well-written, and because Bess Crawford is an interesting heroine. The World War I setting continues to interest me, as it is so seldom a character in fiction, and is a time just at the cusp or modernism. I didn't figure out the villain until the very end of the book, so I enjoyed the "chase" as well.

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