A Duty to the Dead (eBook)
From the brilliantly imaginative New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd comes an unforgettable new character in an exceptional new series
England, 1916. Independent-minded Bess Crawford's upbringing is far different from that of the usual upper-middle-class British gentlewoman. Growing up in India, she learned the importance of responsibility, honor, and duty from her officer father. At the outbreak of World War I, she followed in his footsteps and volunteered for the nursing corps, serving from the battlefields of France to the doomed hospital ship Britannic.
On one voyage, Bess grows fond of the young, gravely wounded Lieutenant Arthur Graham. Something rests heavily on his conscience, and to give him a little peace as he dies, she promises to deliver a message to his brother. It is some months before she can carry out this duty, and when she's next in England, she herself is recovering from a wound.
When Bess arrives at the Graham house in Kent, Jonathan Graham listens to his brother's last wishes with surprising indifference. Neither his mother nor his brother Timothy seems to think it has any significance. Unsettled by this, Bess is about to take her leave when sudden tragedy envelops her. She quickly discovers that fulfilling this duty to the dead has thrust her into a maelstrom of intrigue and murder that will endanger her own life and test her courage as not even war has.
About the Author
Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling 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, respectively.
Praise for A Duty to the Dead…
“Winning....Fans of independent women sleuths like Maisie Dobbs will welcome this new addition to their ranks.”
“Anyone who cares to loll in early-20th century English villages and mores and follow a plucky heroine as she confronts the stupidity of war will find solace in this old-fashioned mystery.”
“Todd employs all the elements of a satisfying cozy mystery, with an absorbing plot and a charismatic heroine that will leave the reader wanting more.”
“Full of rich historical details, this novel contrasts the beauty of the English countryside with the horrors of a war that devastated families....Absorbing.”
“Readers who can’t get enough of Maisie Dobbs, the intrepid World War I battlefield nurse in Jacqueline Winspear’s novels, or Hester Latterly, who saw action in the Crimean War in a series of novels by Anne Perry, are bound to be caught up in the adventures of Bess Crawford.”
-New York Times Book Review
“The superb start of a new historical series....A welcome old-fashioned mystery and a brilliant start to a character with plenty more to discover in future books.”
-New Mystery Reader
“A compelling story, a complex mystery and a revealing look deep into human nature.”
-Winston-Salem Journal (NC)
“A tense psychological drama, steeped in the tragedy of the Great War.”
-Iron Mountain Daily (Michigan)
“Todd’s novels are known for compelling plotting with a thoughtful whodunit aspect, rich characterization, evocative prose and haunting atmosphere, and A Duty to the Dead excels at each. Another moving entry in a growing and distinguished body of work, it is neither easily put down nor easily forgotten.”
“A Duty to the Dead has all the elements of a good mystery—action, suspense, murder, love, a damsel in distress.”
-Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City)
“Another winner....Todd again excels at vivid atmosphere and the effects of war in this specific time and place. Grade: A.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
“The Todd books offer an insight into and a grim reminder of the avalanche of broken bodies and minds that came back from France in 1918 as well as a reminder of how little was done to restore them.”
-Washington Times on A Duty to the Dead
“An absorbing story that will not disappoint Todd’s fans.”
-Contra Costa Times on A Duty to the Dead
“Here is a brave, smart and likable young heroine who will please Todd fans.”
-Evansville Courier & Press on A Duty to the Dead
“This is a wonderful new mystery series that will let us see the horrors of World War I through the eyes of Bess Crawford, a battlefield nurse. A Duty to the Dead is a richly realistic depiction of both the era and people who lived through it.
-Margaret Maron, Edgar Award–Winning author of Death’s Half Acre