A Duty to the Dead - Charles Todd

The first installment in the Bess Crawford Series and it was an enjoyable read without being an exceptional one. Bess Crawford is a nurse in WWI, who currently is on home leave because of a broken arm. Prior to her injury she promised a dying soldier that she would pass a message along to his brother, which she feels is her duty to do while being sick at home. As she encounters the family and gets to know them, Bess starts to dig deeper in the dark past of these people.


I really liked the atmosphere and the setting of this book. Not knowing an awful lot about WWI I enjoyed the facts about the great war that the author included in his narrative, especially the medicinal ones like the condition of shell shock and trench foot. I would have liked to see Bess more in action as a nurse.

But as it is, she becomes an amateur sleuth and this could very well turn into a problem for me in the other novels of the series. I have a great dislike for female amateur sleuths, who have no business whatsoever to ask complete strangers uncomfortable question. In this book I didn´t mind it that much, because she has a reason to do so. But I´m curious how the author is going to pull it off in the later books. The mystery itself was ok, but it wasn´t a mindbending one and it was kind of predictable.


I´m definitely going to read the next book in the series, just to make up my mind about this series and Bess.