Michael's Reviews > A Duty To The Dead

A Duty To The Dead by Charles Todd
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's review
Aug 27, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: advanced-copy-review, amature-detective, mystery, read-in-2009, reader-s-club-review-request, reviewed
Recommended to Michael by: Requested to read from book club.
Recommended for: mystery fans, WWI fans, English mystery fans.
Read in August, 2009 , read count: 1

This lovely story introduces Bess Crawford, a WWI nurse and investigator.

As we begin the adventure, there is an explosion on the Red Cross ship, Britannic. Since no U boat is seen, it is assumed that the boat hit a mine. Thirty men die.

Bess was thrown and broke her arm in the explosion and is given time off to recouperate. In her nursing activities, Bess had cared for a Lt. Ambrose Graham who had been healing but suddenly the wound became septic and proved fatal. He had asked Bess to deliver a message to his brother. "Tell Jonathan that I lied. I did it for Mother's sake. But it has to be set right."

When Bess travels to Kent and tells Jonathan, neither he nor his mother know what to make of the message.

At the Graham home, Bess meets Jonathan who is home recouperating from an injury at the front. His brother Tim has a club foot and is medically unfit for duty. Another brother, Peregrine is institutionalized, she also meets their cousin, Robert Douglas.

Peregrine caught pnemonia at the instutition and is sent home to rehabilitate. Bess offers to care for him. However, Mrs. Graham warns Bess, Peregrine murdered someone when he was a teenager and that he wasn't right in the head when he did it.

Another veteran in Kent who is attempting to recover is Ted Booker. He's suffering through shell shock. Bess helps him through one of his episodes but just as he seems to be healing, it looks like he removed the bandages and committed suicide.

Bess then returns to London where she has a surprise, an unexpected guest.

She looks into the murder that Peregrine is said to have done and the story moves continues.

This is a beautiful story. The pace is perfect and I feel that the reader should sit down with a glass of wine and a snack and then prepare for excellence in the book.

Bess is a well described character, the area of Kent and London is nicely described and overall "A Duty to the Dead" was a satisfying, enjoyable read.
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