Sunday, March 11, 2012
A Duty to the Dead
A Duty to the Dead, by Charles Todd
Bess Crawford is a nurse, serving on the Britannic during World War I. Well, she gets torpedoed in the first five pages, and after that she's on leave getting better, so she doesn't actually spend much time in the war, but this is a historical mystery anyway. During her recovery, Bess seeks out a wealthy Kent family to deliver a final message from a dying soldier. She doesn't know what the message means, and she's unsatisfied with the reception it gets from the family. As she gets to know the family and other village residents, she starts to develop suspicions about the past, and in trying to fulfill her duty, she gradually uncovers an old story of malice and horror.
I quite enjoyed this mystery. There are a good many characters, but they're all individuals, and the mystery is sufficiently mysterious without being too complicated for credibility. I looked for this title because the story sounded interesting, and it delivered, so I'm going to count it toward my World War I Challenge (even though it's not very literary or anything). I'll be looking for more Bess Crawford mysteries.