A Bitter Truth Large Print
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A Bitter Truth Large Print

3.88 (5,002 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"Highly recommended--well-rounded, believable characters, a multi-layered plot solidly based on human nature, all authentically set in the England of 1917...an outstanding and riveting read."
--New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Laurens

"Bess Crawford is a strong and likable character."
--Washington Times

Already deservedly lauded for the superb historical crime novels featuring shell-shocked Scotland Yard inspector Ian Rutledge (A Lonely Death, A Pale Horse et al), acclaimed author Charles Todd upped the ante by introducing readers to a wonderful new series protagonist, World War One battlefield nurse Bess Crawford. Featured for a third time in A Bitter Truth, Bess reaches out to help an abused and frightened young woman, only to discover that no good deed ever goes unpunished when the good Samaritan nurse finds herself falsely accused of murder. A terrific follow up to Todd's A Duty to the Dead and An Impartial Witness, A Bitter Truth is another thrilling and evocative mystery from "one of the most respected writers in the genre" (Denver Post) and a treat for fans of Elizabeth George, Anne Perry, Martha Grimes, and Jacqueline Winspear.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 490 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 30mm | 521.63g
  • AVON BOOKS
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Large type / large print
  • Large type / large print edition
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0062088556
  • 9780062088550
  • 1,393,166

Back cover copy

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 go home--if Bess will come with her to Sussex.

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 has died of war wounds. Her husband, home on compassionate leave, is tense, tormented by jealousy and his own guilty conscience. Then, when a troubled house guest 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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Review quote

"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
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Rating details

5,002 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 25% (1,265)
4 44% (2,179)
3 26% (1,301)
2 4% (217)
1 1% (40)

Our customer reviews

I have a love-hate relationship with the mystery/thriller genre so I'm constantly on the hunt for new titles to see how an author will twist the well-known and loved genre into something new. I haven't read anything by Charles Todd before so I was quite looking forward to reading this one. A Bitter Truth is third in the series of mystery novels featuring battlefield nurse - and accidental sleuth - Elizabeth "Bess" Crawford. Upon her return to England from war-torn France, she encounters a bruised and beaten woman named Lydia Ellis. Ever the good heart, Bess takes her in. Lydia tells a tale of violence and betrayal and tells Bess that the only way she would come back to her Sussex home is if Bess would accompany her. They find Lydia's home of Vixen Hill in mourning over a lost brother. As Bess prepares to return to London, a house guest is murdered and Bess becomes a suspect. Okay, the GOOD: I like the overall mood and setting of the story. Very gothic, noir-like. The scenes in France had a totally different feel from those set in England. It really transports you to WWII era. The story progression, albeit slow, was steady; no flashbacks and almost re-telling of events within the text. It almost had the feel of a dinner theatre mystery. I liked the character of Bess. She was solid and consistent and strong. Simon Brandon and Sergeant Larimore were very likable as well. Although I did not like most of the Ellises, they had good character development. However, I am not sure if readers are supposed to hate them as much as I did. They, especially Gran, were cold and self-centered. Lydia was insensitive and impractical (although I did like her the most out of her family). At first, I thought it made sense for the author to antagonize the Ellis family for the sake of the story but towards the end, I'm not quite sure if that was necessary... or even relevant overall. And, the stuff I did not like: Okay, I liked the premise of the story and the direction it was going as I read on. But the execution was lacking. Everything was long-drawn-out and it slowed the story down. There were parts where I was reading a passage again and again until my eyes glazed over. I had a hard time getting into it because the beginning was slow and boring. (And as it turns out, the whole first part had absolutely NOTHING to do with the bigger picture. Filler!) And the overall writing was choppy. It was like it was trying to sound like something it's not. I can't quite figure it out. Maybe it's because "Charles Todd" is a pseudonym for a mother-son writing team? Two people with different writing styles. The words did not flow smoothly. The switching between calling the Ellis family members by their first name and full name got confusing fast. "Mrs. Roger, Mrs. Lydia, Lydia Ellis", all one person. Can't we just call her "Lydia"? "Mama Ellis, Mrs. Ellis, Roger's mother"? I gave up after a while and just went with it. There were also some questionable decisions that I don't want to get into. (That's for a reader guide or a book club to discuss.) I have to say that I was impressed that I wasn't able to crack the case before the book told me who did it. But that was short-lived because more irrelevant things happen towards the end of the book. With that said, this was enough to spark my interest in seeking out other Charles Todd books. Bess is a great character and I would like to see her in the author's other work. Rating: 3/5. Recommendation: This can be a good book club selection. There is a good amount of mystery and intrigue and lots to talk about.show more
by Cate Ten
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