“Charles Todd” is a mother/son writing team with two accomplished historical mystery series under their belts. If you’re a fan of mysteries with three dimensional characters, vivid period settings and a compelling mystery driving the plot, you’re in for a treat.
Todd’s first series features Inspector Ian Rutledge, a WWI vet working for Scotland Yard and battling demons he brought back from the war. Books from that series regularly hit the bestseller list and the NYTBR summarized, “Book by book, the mother/son team who writes as Charles Todd continue to delve deeper and deeper into the national psyche of Britain during the unsettled years following World War I.”
In 2009 Todd introduced a second series featuring Bess Crawford, daughter of a distinguished WWI officer. In the first book, A Duty to the Dead, Bess follows her father and signs up to go overseas as a nurse in the Great War. Again, the NYTBR weighed in positively and established that the series was right up there with the best: “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.”
This is the fifth book finds Bess in back India where she grew up and investigating a long-ago murder in her father’s regiment. PW summarizes:
Bestseller Todd once again demonstrates his talent at depicting the horrors of war in his excellent fifth mystery featuring English nurse Bess Crawford. As the carnage of WWI finally nears its end, Bess finds herself investigating murders committed a decade earlier on two different continents. In 1908, Bess was living in India with her parents when a member of her father’s regiment, Lt. Thomas Wade, came under suspicion of killing his parents. But before he could be apprehended, Wade vanished near the Khyber Pass. Although no body was recovered, he was presumed dead. While Bess is serving in France in 1918, the last words of a dying soldier persuade her that Wade might have survived. Her innate curiosity and knowledge of how traumatizing the scandal was to her father lead her to again play sleuth. In the process, she also examines the triple murder of an entire family that Wade may have committed in England before leaving for India. The extremely clever plot builds to a satisfying resolution.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
A Question of Honor: A Bess Crawford Mystery (9780062237156) by Charles Todd. $25.99 hardcover. 8/27/13 on sale.