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.
“Readers will enjoy Todds plucky, determined sleuth and a thrilling mystery that proves murders on the home front dont stop just because theres a war.” Library Journal on An Impartial Witness
“A smartly plotted, well-told mystery.” Booklist on An Impartial Witness
“This second book in the Bess Crawford series places this mother-son duo at the top of their plotting game, with intricate twists and plenty of viable suspects. The meticulously realized period detailing is an intrinsic part of a story that is much more than a whodunit.” Romantic Times on An Impartial Witness
“Finely plotted and full of meticulous period detail and deft characterizations, An Impartial Witness testifies to the lasting appeal of historical mystery fiction.” Strand magazine on An Impartial Witness
“Todds excellent second mystery featuring British nurse Bess Crawford smoothly blends realistic characters with an intricate plot.” Publishers Weekly (starred review) on An Impartial Witness
“Entertaining.” Mystery Scene on An Impartial Witness
“A superb whodunitjust when you think you have it figured out, Todd throws a curveand a moving evocation of a world at war.” Richmond Times-Dispatch on An Impartial Witness
“Remarkable.” New York Times Book Review on An Impartial Witness
“A book rich in atmosphere and dense with plot.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch on An Impartial Witness
“Bess Crawford is a strong and likable character.” Washington Times on An Impartial Witness
In the early summer of 1917, Bess Crawford is charged with escorting a convoy of severely wounded soldiers from the trenches of France to England. Among them is a young pilot, burned beyond recognition, who carries a photograph of his wife pinned to his tunic. But later, in a crowded railway station, Bess sees the same woman bidding a heart-wrenching farewell to a departing officer, clearly not her husband.
Back on duty in France, Bess is shocked to discover the wifes photograph in a newspaper accompanying a plea from Scotland Yard for information about her murder, which took place on the very day Bess witnessed that anguished farewell. Granted leave to speak with the authorities, Bess very quickly finds herself entangled in a case of secrets and deadly betrayal in which another life hangs in the balance, and her search for the truth could expose her to far graver dangers than those she faces on the battlefield.
“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 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.