Book Review: A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd

Recently while I shopped in a local Barnes and Nobles I walked over to the mystery section. The genre of mystery books I'm not familiar with, but hoping to change that. I was enticed by several things: the book cover, the theme of World War I, the main character is a nurse, and the son and mother author team.

Charles Todd is a son/mother writing team. His mothers name is Caroline Todd. The following link is their biography:

The year is 1916 and England has been at war with Germany for 2 years. Bess Crawford is a young English nurse thats duty station is aboard the Britannic ship. They are just off shore of Greece when a torpedo hit the ship. There were no patients aboard the ship at this time. Most of the military and nursing staff were able to abandon the ship before it sank. Bess' arm is badly broken during the blast shock. The survivors are rescued. Bess is sent home on convalescent leave. Before the disaster of the Britannic, Bess had had a patient named Arthur Graham that she'd grown attached to. Arthur had made Bess promise to "set things right" back at home with his family. Bess, during her convalescent leave, ponders what she should do, and after speaking to her father makes the decision to visit Arthur's family. Her visit becomes much more than a confession to Arthur's family of his wishes. She becomes involved in a secret that had been held tightly for too long.
The Britannic sinking, from a movie.
I have fallen head over heels in love with this writing team.
I love the use of rich descriptive words such as frothy, cheeky, and hurt like six devils.
I loved the steady crescendo of story, it is gradual...not a story with high peaks or shallow valleys.
I loved the interesting characters.
I loved not knowing who was truly nice behind that smiling exterior.
I loved guessing who was the perpetrator and or villain.
It is just an enjoyable read.
I'm anxious to make room in my to-be-read-pile to read more books on Bess Crawford and from this writing team!

Published by William Morrow Paperbacks reprint edition 2010
352 pages
Historical Fiction/Mystery/World War I/PTSD

Authors website:
Paperback $10.94
Kindle $9.99
Paperback $11.53
Nook $9.99


  1. It's my turn to pick for my monthly book club...and I've decided to pick this!! I hope it's worthy of a discussion!


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