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A Cruel Deception

(Bess Crawford #11)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,521 ratings  ·  254 reviews
In the aftermath of World War I, nurse Bess Crawford attempts to save a troubled former soldier from a mysterious killer.

The Armistice of November 1918 ended the fighting, but the Great War will not be over until a Peace Treaty is drawn up and signed by all parties. Representatives from the Allies are gathering in Paris, and already ominous signs of disagreement have
ebook, (EPUB), 320 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by William Morrow/HarperCollins Publishers (New York)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  1,521 ratings  ·  254 reviews

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The Library Lady
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I thought about giving this a 3 mainly because I am tired of Bess's love life. Clearly she has a thing for Simon, when is she going to figure that out, and the last lines here seem to be foreshadowing something for books to come. Also, since Melinda Crawford is a regular secondary character in both this series and in the Todds's Ian Rutledge series, I keep expecting that eventually the two timelines will meet, as will the characters, perhaps Ian as one of Bess's patients? So far no sign of that. ...more
Lynn Horton
Dec 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Consistent. That’s the word for the Bess Crawford mysteries. And that’s generally a good thing. The characters are always beautifully drawn, and the story is always well crafted. The storylines are always unique, and the descriptions really draw the reader into the story. A Cruel Deception is no exception to the caliber of this finely developed series, although it moves more slowly than some installments, and the authors rely on a lot of backstory, even early on.

The only aspect of the series
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwi
Is this really only the 11th Bess Crawford? Well, I have enjoyed them all. This one Bess is quite alone and experiences some harrowing challenges as she complies with order from her superior to find and care for a missing son in Paris. I don't care to ruin the story for others and my eyes are calling me to sleepy time.
It's a great WWI series.

Library Loan
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
This excellent series continues with nursing sister Bess Crawford in 1918, just after the Armistice, determining what path she should follow after years of war service. Her London hospital matron steps in with a personal request of Bess - find and help her soldier son, apparently missing from his work with the peace talks in Paris. This is another beautifully rendered story about the lingering effects of war, both physical and mental, and the conflict of social change that inevitably occurs, ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Always a joy to spend time solving a mystery with Bess Crawford.
Ah Bess l have followed your adventures through 11 books,and l am not sure l want to go on. Bess has become to judgemental for my liking. She runs around all over the place and just stumbles into the answers she seeks. She is also getting a little to bossy for my taste. I wanted Simon and Bess together by now,but it looks like that story line is going to drag on yet.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is hard to believe this is the 11th installment of the Bess Crawford series, it seems like yesterday that I was reading about the ship Bess was returning to England had been hit and was sinking. The series continues to be outstanding and this one is no different. The war is over and Bess accepts an personal assignment from the Matron of the London office of Queen Alexandra to return to Paris and check on her son and report back to the Matron. At Bess arrival in Paris Bess found the affairs of ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it

I have read most, if not all, of this series featuring Bess Crawford. She's a member of Queen Alexandra's nurses who served valiantly at the front during WWI. Opening this book was just like sitting down to tea with a good friend:

"Oh, Bess. It's so good to see you. What on earth have you been up to?"

"Well, a most extraordinary request has brought me here. Matron called me to her office recently and asked a personal favor. She hadn't heard from her son for quite some time and was worried. He was
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
This series has taken the reader through the unspeakable horrors of World War I through the eyes of Sister (nurse) Bess Crawford. Each entry, while focusing on a murder or murders to be solved, gains its inspiration from actual events inspired by that war and its effects on every strata of European society, resulting mysteries that are not only entertaining but appeal to the heart and the mind of the reader.

A Cruel Deception is no exception. We find Bess at loose ends as peace talks are in full
Ray Palen
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's hard to believe that we are already discussing the eleventh novel in the terrific Bess Crawford series. It seems like I was just diving into the first novel featuring the WWI battlefield Nurse from England and feeling like it was just a temporary respite from the well-seasoned, award-winning Ian Rutledge series. Yes, the mother and son team that writes under the name of Charles Todd knew a good thing was happening when they penned their first Bess Crawford mystery and we're so lucky that it ...more
Sharon Huether
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, world-war-i
After working with the severely wounded men during the war Sister Bess Crawford wondered what was her next assignment. She was contacted by a mother whose son Lawrence Minton was missing.
Through her sources Bess finds more about Minton, the soldier and what he saw to make him fearful.
After a perpetrator breaks into the house where Minton is recuperating Bess shoots him, only to
incapacitate him , so he can be arrested by the authorities.

An interesting book, the eleventh in the series.

I want to
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Very enjoyable; would have been a 4 star for me but the ending was weak & felt a bit unlikely.

Bess is sent over to Paris by her Matron to investigate the disappearance of Matron's Army son from the peace talks. Loved the setting & tidbits about the times. Bess is thinking about her future, too, as the need for the wartime nursing staffs is waning. Wonder if the series will take a different turn?
Jan 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Earlier volumes in this series were more interesting, but I am now invested in Bess Crawford and must read each new one to find out "what comes next."
I'm always happy at the release of another Charles Todd novel, and the latest in the Bess Crawford series was no exception. While A Cruel Deception seemed to me to be not as fast paced as some earlier titles in the series, it was still a quick, enjoyable read. Bess returns to France in search of a hospital Matron's son, who has walked away from his duties at the Peace Conference. I do find that I am a bit impatient with Bess's lack of concern for the possible repercussions when she sets out on ...more
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The greatest strength of the Bess Crawford books is the meticulous adherence to the details and the spirit of time and place. I enjoyed following along as Bess searched for an answer to the miasma surrounding her Matron's son. I did want more of Bess and her own personal story. Looking forward to the next installment.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really 3.5 stars. I love this series, and I look forward to reading every new book. It feels like A Cruel Deception is almost a filler, or transition piece. The mystery in this book seemed a little weak, and the solution was, to my mind, contrived. Bess will be facing transitions in her career it seems, and hopefully in her love life. Simon or Ian Rutledge? To be determined.
Laura Hill
Jul 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Thank you to HarperCollins Publishers and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on October 22nd, 2019.

An absorbing addition to the Bess Crawford series — this episode takes place in Paris, just after the end of WWI. Bess is sent on a private mission to track down the missing son of a Nursing Matron and has to unravel a complicated history whilst fending off surprise attacks on both herself and the subject. Always
Aug 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This book was entertaining and suspenseful, and if it was a standalone, I would recommend it. As an entry in the Bess Crawford series, though, it lacked some of the key characters that have made this series so fun to read, and a lot of the obvious historical markers that make the series distinctive. While I strongly recommend the series, this episode was somewhat disappointing.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bess Crawford is sent to Paris by Matron to find her son, Lawrence, and report back to her regarding his whereabouts and condition. As a wounded army captain, he had volunteered to take part in the peace talks but is now missing. Bess takes on the challenge and finds him staying with a friend, a young woman whose family he had helped during the war. But he is suffering from a severe laudanum addiction and makes it clear that he resents both Bess' and his mother's interference. Bess decides not ...more
Nov 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a great fan of Charles Todd—I’ve read both the Bess Crawford and the Ian Rutledge books. The Rutledge series was always my favorite but A Cruel Deception was surprisingly awful!

The mystery was convoluted and preposterous. The matron of the Queen Alexandra nurses, Simon and Bess’ father use the army as their personal security service. The text was repetitious and there was no plausible reason why Bess should have been involved or persistent. And a doctor frankly violated professional ethics
Donna Hines
A troubled soldier and a mysterious killer--Count me IN!
Such a haunting reflection upon this soldier...But what haunts him so deeply that he wants to take his own life?
What could possibly be so excruciatingly painful upon him as to turn to drugs to mask the pain?
A drowning-a young girl- a lost opportunity for forgiveness?
It's this empathy that attracted Sister Bess to carry out a personal mission in the wake of these events of war.
It's this same compassion that she assists Lt. Lawrence Minton to
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Bess, er, Sister Crawford, is at it again: back to Paris as a personal favor to Matron, who is concerned about her son. Attached to the peace delegation, because he asked to serve, she fears he may be ill, in danger, or possibly addicted to opiates. Bess, ever the sole of discretion, is off, although she does happen to encounter her father on the ferry over.

Matron was right to be concerned: her son is addicted to laudanum, and is haunted by recently jarred memories from a terrible incident in
Melissa Dee
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A new Bess Crawford mystery is a delight. In "Cruel Deception,” Bess is struggling with her changing role as the war is ending and nursing sisters are returning to civilian life. Her renowned investigative skills are called into action by her superior Matron, who sends Bess on an unorthodox mission to find a soldier missing from the peace talks taking place in Paris. What looks at first like a simple case of AWOL turns into something more complex.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy
Sandra Arnau-Dewar
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this book although I wish that Simon was in the story. Bess worries about what Simon is doing in Scotland and wonders if he has a love interest, but this seemed like a red herring that the authors included to pique the reader's curiosity about the relationship. Bess is no shy and simpering wallflower. It is time for her to face her feelings and find out what is going on with Simon!
Karen Potts
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Bess Crawford, one of my favorite heroines, endeavors to find her nursing superior's son & heal him of the delusions of guilt gnawing at his soul over events he can't remember except in nightmares. She is clever, wise & determined as always & eventually the story unfolds to restore health & harmony. Another outstanding book in an outstanding series.
Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve been joyed all of the Bess Crawford books, And this one is no exception. However I am ready for her to make some decisions about her future and her love life. But I did enjoy the post WW 1 setting and the introduction of a few new, interesting characters.
I was pleased to see Bess rely at least somewhat more on her own resources than she has in past entries, when Simon Brandon or her father always seem to show up in the nick of time to rescue her. The “Colonel Sahib” still manages to ride to Bess’s rescue at the crucial moment, but Bess’s own actions largely rescue herself this time.
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another engaging Bess Crawford novel.
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I love the Charles Todd novels, but the newest in the Bess series was so disappointing. It was hard to stay interested in the saga of a selfish sullen addict who refused to tell anyone what had happened. The eventual who-dun-it solution didn't really make much sense and seemed far-fetched. Over the length of this series, I've really loved Bess' interactions with her landlady, her parents, and Simon. But this story had Bess mostly on her own and being filled with her own angst and uncertainty ...more
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Charles Todd is the pen name used by the mother-and-son writing team, Caroline Todd and Charles Todd. Together they write the Ian Rutledge and Bess Crawford Series. They have published two standalone mystery novels and many short stories.

Other books in the series

Bess Crawford (1 - 10 of 11 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)
  • An Unwilling Accomplice (Bess Crawford, #6)
  • A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford, #7)
  • The Shattered Tree (Bess Crawford, #8)
  • A Casualty of War (Bess Crawford, #9)
  • A Forgotten Place (Bess Crawford, #10)