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A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery Hardcover – Aug 30 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (Aug. 30 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062015702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062015709
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,300 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Makes fine work of the brooding atmosphere.” (New York Times Book Review on A Bitter Truth)

“Outstanding.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on A Bitter Truth)

“Bess is a very strong series lead, the historical setting is as well developed here as it is in the Rutledge books, and the mysteries are just as elegantly constructed. Readers who have yet to sample the Crawford series should be strongly encouraged to do so.” (Booklist on A Bitter Truth)

“Few writers surpass Todd in depicting the insanity of war.” (Kirkus Reviews on A Bitter Truth)

“Todd brings World War I England and France to life with an intriguing plot and an intrepid sleuth.” (Library Journal on A Bitter Truth)

“A thoughtful mystery with an excellent plot, well-drawn characters and wonderful atmosphere.” (Associated Press on A Bitter Truth)

“A well-envisaged plot, a deep sense of time and place and characters drawn with care and compassion.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch on A Bitter Truth)

“Charles Todd has developed believable characters that carry along this story with lightning speed from the first page to the last.” (New York Journal of Books on A Bitter Truth)

“The Todds excel at complex characterizations....For lovers of upper-drawer British whodunnits and Anglophiles in general, A Bitter Truth should prove a sweet treat indeed.” (Wilmington Star-News on A Bitter Truth)

“A lovely picture of a slower world.” (Charlotte Observer on A Bitter Truth)

“A thoughtful mystery with an excellent plot, well-drawn characters and wonderful atmosphere.” (Indianapolis Star on A Bitter Truth)

“Combines believable characters, gut-wrenching suspense and a sobering commentary on the ravages of war.” (Deseret News on A Bitter Truth)

“Highly recommended—well-rounded, believable characters, a multi-layered plot solidly based on human nature, all authentically set in the England of 1917, make A Bitter Truth an outstanding and riveting read.” (Stephanie Laurens, New York Times bestselling author)

“Readers will enjoy Todd’s plucky, determined sleuth and a thrilling mystery that proves murders on the home front don’t stop just because there’s a war.” (Library Journal on An Impartial Witness)

“Bess Crawford is a strong and likable character.” (Washington Times on An Impartial Witness)

“A superb whodunit—just when you think you have it figured out, Todd throws a curve—and a moving evocation of a world at war.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch on An Impartial Witness)

“A smartly plotted, well-told mystery.” (Booklist on An Impartial Witness)

“A book rich in atmosphere and dense with plot.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch on An Impartial Witness)

“Todd’s excellent second mystery featuring British nurse Bess Crawford smoothly blends realistic characters with an intricate plot.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on An Impartial Witness)

“Find some cures for the post-Downton Abbey blues ... Charles Todd has been producing a series of highly praised detective novels set in the years immediately after World War I.” (Tulsa World Scene)

From the Back Cover

Trying to help a woman in distress, World War I nurse and accidental sleuth Bess Crawford learns that no good deed goes unpunished

When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in.

Once inside Bess’s flat, the woman reveals that a quarrel with her husband erupted into violence, yet she wants to return home—if Bess will go with her to Sussex. Realizing that the woman is suffering from a concussion, Bess gives up a few precious days of leave to travel with her. But she soon discovers that this is a good deed with unforeseeable consequences.

What Bess finds at Vixen Hill is a house of mourning. The woman’s family has gathered for a memorial service for the elder son, who died of war wounds. Her husband, home on compassionate leave, is tense, tormented by jealousy and his own guilty conscience.

Then, when a troubled houseguest is found dead, Bess herself becomes a prime suspect in the case. This murder will lead her to a dangerous quest in war-torn France, an unexpected ally, and a startling revelation that puts her in jeopardy before a vicious killer can be exposed.

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Top Customer Reviews

By Marablaise TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 27 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
Bess Crawford is on leave from the front when she stumbles over a woman outside her house. She takes pity on her and learns that the women has been struck by her husband and has fled to London. She slowly gain the woman's trust and learns that her name is Lydia and that her husband's name is Roger. Bess agrees to travel with her home to her house in the country. But this act of kindness will result in quite a lot of trouble as everyone in the household inclusive Bess will be suspected in a murder case.

Once again has Charles Todd written an engrossing historical novel with where Bess en up having to find out the truth. She must try to figure out why anyone would kill a houseguest, but this time, even she is a suspect. Prior to the man's death has he asked Roger at dinner about a child that looked like Julianna, Rogers little sister that died when she was just 6 years old. But who is the child in question and could that simple question really be the reason for his death?

Ad much as I enjoyed the book and the mystery was I also a bit puzzled why it all had to be such a hush-hush thing. When the truth finally was revealed about the child was not that overly surprised, I would have liked a more interesting and perhaps surprising mystery than that. I felt that the family mourning of Julianna was frankly a bit over-the-top sometimes that it could affect the present time that much. Yeah, it was tragical, and yeah she was a beautiful child. But sometimes the truth could perhaps save some heartache and time. Still I enjoyed finding out the truth even though it was a little let down that it wasn't that complex.

But the murders is all whole other story, I failed to realize who the murder was.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a GREAT series. Accurate history, superb characterizations with hints of character development ahead and twisty lovely plotting! I can hardly wait till the next book comes out!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Charles Todd team always do a good job.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 212 reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Too convoluted Oct. 3 2016
By L. Tepperman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Bess Crawford series is generally in fun to read and interesting. However this story line was so convoluted that at the end I really had no idea why the three men were killed. I had trouble getting into the book because the premise of Bess taking in a strange woman didn't really work for me from the beginning.
3.0 out of 5 stars I've only read two books but they both have Bess ... June 6 2016
By Jo's Mom - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've only read two books but they both have Bess coming home on leave and immediately being pulled into a situation that requires her to spend time at a stranger's house instead of going home. There she is involved in a murder investigation. I don't know if all the books have the same general plot and I don't care to read any more to find out.
4.0 out of 5 stars Next book June 8 2016
By Lyn - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I disagree with a lot of the reviews. I enjoyed this book as much as the first two. It eld my attention all the way through.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 22 2016
By Beverly C Redd - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Never disappointed with a "Bess Crawford" novel.
4.0 out of 5 stars Might read more of the series March 17 2014
By Sharon K. Garner - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I liked Bess but some of the plot seemed contrived, and I didn't like some of the other characters. Well written, however, as always. Not quite my cup of tea, but I'm hopeful.