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An Unwilling Accomplice

Title:  An Unwilling Accomplice (A Bess Crawford Mystery #6)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  337 (advance reader’s edition)
Year:  2014
Publisher:  William Morrow
It is autumn 1918 and Bess Crawford is summoned to London to accompany a wounded war hero as he accepts a medal from the King of England for his meritorious service.  After receiving the medal, the wounded soldier disappears, leaving Bess to face a charge of dereliction of duty.  In order to clear her name and restore her reputation, Bess sets out to find the man.  She enlists the help of the ever-stalwart family friend, Simon.
After setting off to track the man through hill and dale, they discover more and more questions about who they are tracking.  Is it even the right man?  How could he possibly just disappear when he was confined to a wheelchair?  What is he up to?  Then, a soldier on extended leave home is found hanging from an iron bridge, murdered.  A witness places Bess’s missing soldier on the bridge around the time of the murder.  Once she arrives, she is warned off by the local inspector, but gets a clue to where the man might have gone next.  Bess and Simon encounter person after person who is close-mouthed and unwilling to give them any information.  They follow what they hope is his trail and wind up in an area of three small villages.  Is Bess’s missing soldier really an assassin?  Who else could be helping keep him hidden?  Is he even in this area where Bess and Simon are searching?
The mystery was the usual top-notch quality I’ve come to expect from Charles Todd, but I just felt too much time was spent chasing around the countryside.  I thought it drug the story down a bit.  Other than that, I enjoyed revisiting Bess and I was glad to spend much more time with Simon in the story.  I admire the grit and determination and strength of Bess to see justice done no matter how tired she is or how hungry she is or what the cost is to herself.  There is a twist toward the end of the story that I wasn’t expecting that made the story more interesting.  I look forward to the next adventure of Bess Crawford and can’t wait to see what happens!
My rating is 4 stars.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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