A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford Mysteries)
By: Charles Todd
Genre: Historical Mystery
Bess Crawford is a nurse serving for England during WWII. While taking care of the soldiers, some who are dying, Bess would write letters home to their loved ones. Arthur Graham lay dying and asked Bess to take his final message home to his loved ones. He didn’t want to write a letter he wanted Bess to deliver the message in person. The message: I lied. I did it for mother’s sake.
Bess finds herself home on leave and decides to visit Arthur’s family. However, once there, Bess finds herself in a bit of a mess. After delivering the message the family dismisses it. No one seems to care that Arthur desired for something to be set right. Bess is sure there is more going on. Bess begins to ask questions.
People in the town of Owlhurst seem to turn up dead and the Graham family is somehow involved. Then, after caring for Peregrine, Arthur’s older brother, he escapes from the local insane asylum imploring Bess to help him prove he is innocent of a 14 year old murder. Could this murder have something to do with Arthur's message? Bess find herself digging into this family that seems so ordinary on the outside but clearly has some serious flaws. Someone does not want her poking around.
Bess is down to earth, smart, and caring. She desires to see justice served. I enjoyed getting to know her and found myself liking her. The author introduces several characters throughout the story. He does a good job of explaining them and their importance to the plot.
I was sad to see this story end. However, there are 5 more books in this series.