Thursday, October 22, 2009

160 - A Duty to the Dead; Charles Todd

A Duty to the Dead, by Charles Todd is the first in a new mystery series. The novel takes place in 1916, and is set against a backdrop of WWI.

Bess Crawford is a British Army nurse who has been working in the battlefields of France. On her way home on the ship Britannica they hit a German sea mine off the coast of Greece.  Though her arm is broken as a result of the incident, Bess escapes serious injury and is able to get to safety in England.  It is in England that Bess feels a duty to follow up on a promise she made to a dying soldier.  Bess agreed to take a somewhat cryptic message to the brother of the soldier......

"Tell Jonathan that I lied. I did it for Mother's sake. But it has to be set right".

When she delivers the message, Bess is disturbed by Jonathan's dismissive response.  She then becomes involved in a family conflict which ends in murder.

My Thoughts: In this psychological mystery, the wounds of war are vividly described. Women are forced to fill in for the men who went off to fight in the war. Returning soldiers and their family members are left to cope with the physical and psychological aftermath which results to some who serve our country.   Add to this family secrets, and a wise, independent and likable sleuth like Bess Crawford, and this new series should be quite popular. I found myself anxiously turning the pages of this engaging mystery. You might be surprised as I was, to discover that the authors are actually a mother and son team: Caroline and Charles Todd. RECOMMENDED

(The finished book was sent to me by the publisher: Harper Collins) Thank you.

23 comments:

  1. This one sounds really good - I just added it to my amazon wish list.

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  2. Hi Diane,
    Sounds like a great mystery book. I will be putting this on my TBR list. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!

    Sherrie

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  3. I agree with Lynne, this one sounds great! I'm a bit squeamish though; is any of it gross?

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  4. No need to worry if you are squeamish...LOL

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  5. This sounds like a touching story. I love how it was written by a mother and son. :)

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  6. That sounds so good - I've seen other reviews, but never realized it's going to be a series.

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  7. I think books dealing with family secrets are almost always interesting.

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  8. I'm looking forward to reading this. They have another series that I wasn't interested in picking up.

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  9. Great review Diane! I'm not much for war time settings, but this sounds good!

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  10. I love mysteries and this sounds like a good book.

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  11. This goes on my TBR list. Thank you for your great review -- you really piqued my interest.

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  12. Hello, Diane! The only Charles Todd that I've read was his novel -- A Test of Wills. Our local bookstores don't have his titles in stock. I guess I'll order some of his books online. His detective fiction is really very satisfying!

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  13. i'm with janel--stories that revolve around family secrets are intriguing and i really enjoy them. i love that your reviews are so succinct--i tend to blather on too long!

    thank you for pointing out a book i might have otherwise missed. :)

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  14. History and mystery? Sounds terrific!

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  15. A mother and son co-authored this book? This is really interesting! I'll KIV this in my wish list. Thanks!

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  16. This one sounds really interesting. I think I'd enjoy a detective series set in the backdrop of war.

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  17. I like the sound of this one. That's pretty cool that a mother and son wrote this too. I'll be looking for this in my library.

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  18. I just realized that this is a new series (I've read a few of the Inspector Rutledge mysteries). I've requested this from my library but I have a bit of a wait as I am about #30! I had no idea it was a mother-son team either! I'm looking forward to this one!

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  19. This book sounds right up my alley. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great review, Diane!

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  20. Oh, this does sound like a good book! I am glad you liked it and I look forward to reading it. Great review!

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  21. I'm really excited about this new mystery series. It sounds so good. It's on my TBR List - now I just have to get it! :)

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  22. Intrigued...I'm adding this to my wish list. I love the cover too.

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