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

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  4,135 Ratings  ·  507 Reviews

“A wonderful new mystery series that will let us see the horrors of World War I through the eyes of Bess Crawford, battlefield nurse.”
—Margaret Maron

“Readers who can’t get enough of Jacqueline Winspear’s novels, or Hester Latterly, who saw action in the Crimean War in a series of novels by Anne Perry, are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”
New York

Kindle Edition, 275 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by William Morrow (first published January 1st 2012)
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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
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
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
An Unmarked Grave
3.5 Stars

At the height of the Influenza epidemic of 1918, combat nurse Bess Crawford must contend not only with the wounded and the sick, but with the sudden appearance of an unidentified body among those slated for burial. In the aftermath of her own bout with illness, Bess works with her father's connections to collect evidence and unmask a lethal killer who will stop at nothing to fulfill his mission.

The Bess Crawford mysteries is well-written and entertaining. The historical
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Well written and rich in historical detail and atmosphere, as always. But the plot was a complete shambles.
Jul 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was good! It was better than I thought it would be. I will have to look for the others in the series.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this series and this book but now I feel as if I have to simply break up with it. I was very interested in this book in particular because it dealt with the Spanish Flu, something I'm quite interested in. But the story was very lacking. What detective work was Bess doing? The detective work I did see was done by a secondary character, Simon and we never see the story from his eyes.

very disappointed.
An Unmarked Grave, although fourth in the Bess Crawford Mystery series, was my introduction to the mother-son writing team that is Charles Todd. Upon learning of this duo, I was intrigued by the pairing. How interesting that mother and son choose to write as one. I have two grown sons but they do not share my love of books. I have a hard time imagining writing anything with either. Caroline and Charles Todd have combined their love of history, literature, and mysteries and created two very succe ...more
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
In a military ward in France in 1918, the Spanish Influenza is killing as many soldiers as are dying in battle. The medical staff tries their best but as some of them also succomb to the disease, it appears to be a losing battle as more and more bodies are carried out to await burial.

Battlefield nurse Bess Crawford is asked by an orderly to look at one of the bodies. She sees Maj. Carson has been murdered and recognizes him as a family friend. Before she can report it, she's a victim to the dise
A slightly more messy novel, narrated by the same woman. And either I'm not able to concentrate on something more than easy, or this novel was a mess..... I'm just not sure.
Too many people, too much running around, and I kept finding myself not paying attention for a while. It got confusing, fast. I may take a break from this series for a while.
3 stars.
Simone St James
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The mystery itself isn't explained in enough detail in this one... but, my gosh, the scenes at the front in World War I are amazing. They are not battle scenes, but a portrait of life behind the lines - the medical tents, the supply lorries, the chaos. Incredibly detailed and absorbing. Also, Bess needs a love interest, stat :)
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book
Kathy Davie
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While working as a nurse at a field hospital in France, a startling discovery is brought to Bess's attention: an orderly has found a suspicious body amongst the dead. He's certain that it doesn't belong and a second check of his counts confirms. What's more, the body is unmarked with the exception of an obviously broken neck, leaving both Bess and the orderly concerned. It would seem the dead man was slipped in amongst the other bodies in the hopes that someone could cover it up. What makes it m ...more
Cathy Cole
Apr 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Luanne Ollivier
Aug 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As if dealing with the horrible wounds of war, now Bess Crawford as a nurse in France must face the almost surety of death by those who contract the Spanish flu. Just before she falls victim to the scourge herself, Bess discovers the body of a man who has been murdered. Thankfully, Bess recovers from the flu and sets out to solve the mystery of who broke the neck of a man and placed him amongst the bodies of flu victims. Soon, Bess, herself is in danger, herself by the killer who stalks her. Thi ...more
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
Sep 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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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Simon Brandon 15 147 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 (9 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)
  • Casualty of War (Bess Crawford #9)

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