Synopses & Reviews
World War I nurse Bess Crawford, introduced in A Duty to the Dead
, returns in an exciting new mystery in which a murder draws her inexorably into the sights of a cunning killer
It is the early summer of 1917. Bess Crawford has returned to England from the trenches of France with a convoy of severely wounded men. One of her patients is a young pilot who has been burned beyond recognition, and who clings to life and the photo of his wife that is pinned to his tunic.
While passing through a London train station, Bess notices a woman bidding an emotional farewell to an officer, her grief heart-wrenching. And then Bess realizes that she seems familiar. In fact, she's the woman in the pilot's photo, but the man she is seeing off is not her husband.
Back on duty in France, Bess discovers a newspaper with a drawing of the woman's face on the front page. Accompanying the drawing is a plea from Scotland Yard seeking information from anyone who has seen her. For it appears that the woman was murdered on the very day Bess encountered her at the station.
Granted leave to speak with Scotland Yard, Bess becomes entangled in the case. Though an arrest is made, she must delve into the depths of her very soul to decide if the police will hang an innocent man or a vicious killer. Exposing the truth is dangerousand will put her own life on the line.
"Bess (A Duty to the Dead) is dogged, implacable and headstrong in the way of Victorian heroines, and mired in a plot the author's more capable detective, Ian Rutledge, would dispatch in half the time with twice the brio." Kirkus Reviews
"Another winning performance with a smartly plotted, well-told mystery.... [F]ans of mysteries featuring strong, appealing heroines will certainly embrace this one. Highly recommendable." Booklist
“Todds novels are known for compelling plotting with a thoughtful whodunit aspect, rich characterization, evocative prose, and haunting atmosphere.”
“Readers who cant get enough of [Jacqueline Winspears] Maisie Dobbs…are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”
—New York Times Book Review
To great critical acclaim, author Charles Todd introduced protagonist Bess Crawford in A Duty to the Dead. The dedicated World War I nurse returns in An Impartial Witness, and finds herself in grave peril when a moral obligation makes her the inadvertent target of a killer. As hauntingly evocative as Todds award-winning, New York Times bestselling Ian Rutledge novels, An Impartial Witness transports readers to a dark time of war and involves us in murder, intrigue, and the fascinating affairs of a truly unforgettable cast of characters.
About the Author
Charles Todd is the author of twelve Ian Rutledge mysteries, two Bess Crawford mysteries, and one stand-alone novel. A mother-and-son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.
Read an exclusive essay by Charles Todd