Thursday, August 29, 2013
A QUESTION OF HONOR by Charles Todd
While there are certainly a number of worthy books to be read I try never to miss a Bess Crawford mystery by a redoubtable pseudonymous mother/son writing team. With Bess they’ve created an admirable character, one with the greatest integrity and also very human. She is a battlefield nurse serving during World War I and also an amateur detective or “sleuth” as she might put it. The authors are adept at describing the horrors of war, the terrors of trench warfare and the tolls taken on soldiers. They are equally skilled at noting Bess’s thoughts and perceptions which continue to give readers insights into their heroine.
With the fifth in the Bess Crawford series, A Question Of Honor, we see more of Bess’s early life in India where she lived with her father, a colonel in the British army. The story begins in 1908 when Bess was fifteen and takes us to England and France in 1918. More often than not at that time officers would send their children home to be educated. Unfortunately for one family stationed in India they receive word that their daughter, Alice, died of typhoid in England. Of course, her mother is overwrought and since her husband cannot get leave she is accompanied to England by an officer who had planned to go there, one Thomas Wade.
After Wade returns to duty he flees from the military police who accuse him not only of murdering a family while he was in England but his own parents in Agra, India. Wade escapes capture until finally a report of his death is received.
Fast forward to wartime on the front where Bess listens to a dying soldier who confides in her - he shares a secret with her, shocking news relating to Thomas Wade. It begins to seem that the past is not buried after all. Knowing Bess she will search for answers and eventually find them.
A Question Of Honor is one more stellar offering in this series. Don’t miss it!
- Gail Cooke