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A Duty to the Deadby Charles Todd
Synopses & Reviews
The daughter of a distinguished soldier' Bess Crawford follows in his footsteps and signs up to go overseas as a nurse during the Great War' helping to deal with the many wounded. There' serving on a hospital ship' she makes a promise to a dying young lieutenant to take a message to his brother' Jonathan Graham: Tell Jonathan that I lied. I did it for Mother′s sake. But it has to be set right. Later' when her ship is sunk by a mine and she′s sidelined by a broken arm' Bess returns home to England' determined to fulfill her promise.
It′s not so easy' however. She travels to the village in Kent where the Grahams live and passes on to Jonathan his brother′s plea. Oddly' neither Jonathan' his mother' nor his younger brother admit to knowing what the message means. Then Bess learns that there′s another brother' incarcerated in a lunatic asylum since the age of 14 when he was accused of brutally murdering a housemaid.
Bess rightly guesses that the dying soldier′s last words had something to do with the fourth brother. Because the family seems unwilling to do anything' she decides that she will investigate. It′s her own duty to the dead.
Damaged but not broken by his service in the Great War, and living a solitary widower's life in a London attic, accidental detective Laurence Bartram looks into the suspicious death of an old friend and discovers much more than he wishes to.
“Intriguing . . . a captivating wartime whodunit.” –Boston Globe
London, 1920. In the aftermath of the Great War and a devastating family tragedy, Laurence Bartram has turned his back on the world. But with a well-timed letter, an old flame manages to draw him back in. Mary Emmett’s brother John—like Laurence, an officer during the war—has apparently killed himself while in the care of a remote veterans’ hospital, and Mary needs to know why.
Aided by his friend Charles—a dauntless gentleman with detective skills cadged from mystery novels—Laurence begins asking difficult questions. What connects a group of war poets, a bitter feud within Emmett’s regiment, and a hidden love affair? Was Emmett’s death really a suicide, or the missing piece in a puzzling series of murders? As veterans tied to Emmett continue to turn up dead, and Laurence is forced to face the darkest corners of his war experiences, his own survival may depend on uncovering the truth.
“An elegant, moving read.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Dedicated to helping the many wounded during the Great War, Bess Crawford receives a desperate request from a dying lieutenant while serving as a nurse aboard a hospital ship. "Tell my brother Jonathan that I lied," the young man says. "I did it for Mother's sake. But it has to be set right."
Back home in England, Bess receives an unexpected response from the dead soldier's family, for neither Jonathan Graham‚ his mother‚ nor his younger brother admit to understanding what the message means.
But the Grahams are harboring a grim secret, and Bess must, somehow, get to the bottom of it. It is her sacred duty to the dead, no matter how painful, or dangerous, that obligation might be.
About the Author
Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.
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