Sara's Reviews > An Unmarked Grave

An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd
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's review
Jun 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: audio, 100-in-2012, wwi, favorites, cozy-mysteries
Read from June 06 to 07, 2012

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 hospital. Even more, the man is someone Bess knew; a soldier in her father's old regiment and a friend. All the signs indicate that the man was murdered and hidden in the shed, but before Bess can alert anyone she herself is struck down by the influenza.

Bess faces a long recovery and the memory of the hours before her collapse are hazy and muddled up with fever dreams brought on by her illness. She is half convinced that she imagined the whole thing, but the man she saw is listed as a deserter and the ordlerly who showed him to her has committed suicide. Bess cannot let it rest at that. Something much deeper is going on and she will defy her family and the killer himself to find out what and clear the names of the two dead men.

As usual, I loved this book. Bess has never been an untouchable heroine. She starts the very first book wounded, but there is something about seeing her so vulnerable to the flu that I found really touching. I also like the way her family reacts to try to protect her. She understands their fears, but she cannot let things lie. The very first book in this series is titled A Duty to the Dead and I get the sense throughout the entire series, but especially in this new book, that Bess feels a sense of duty to those who are hurt and killed fighting this war. She cannot let good men be reviled as cowards or deserters, she cannot let their families live with that stigma. It is not that she wants to investigate, but that her duty compells her to.
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06/07/2012 page 272

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message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura Coulter Great review! And thanks for introducing me to this series.

Sara you're so welcome lovely lady!

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