Monday, October 30, 2017

A Casualty of War (A Bess Crawford Mystery #9)

Title:  A Casualty of War (A Bess Crawford Mystery #9)

Author:  Charles Todd

Pages:  378

Year:  2017

Publisher:  William Morrow

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Bess Crawford is once again called on to help a soldier in need.  This time the soldier, Alan Travis, claims that a soldier in a British uniform tried to kill him, a British soldier himself and not once, but twice.  The soldier looks very much like Alan’s cousin.  Alan suffers a head wound that causes the aid station to doubt his claims.  He is returned to active duty after being cleared by the Base Hospital.  When he is returned to the aid station with a bullet wound in his back, claiming the same soldier tried to kill him again, the authorities investigate his claims.  It is discovered that the man Alan claims tried to kill him is dead.  Now, the hospital staff begins to doubt his sanity and perhaps the first wound to his head was more serious than they thought.  He is transferred to a mental hospital until he can be further evaluated.  Bess feels responsible and tells Alan she will see what she can discover.

Bess is home for two weeks leave after the war is finally over.  However, instead of spending the time with her parents, she ends up chasing clues as the mystery surrounding Captain Travis goes deeper than she originally thought.  She has Simon Brandon at her side for protection and help, but can he truly keep her safe when a murder happens in the small village of the Travis family?  Bess is convinced Captain Travis is sane and won’t rest until justice for him clears his name, freeing him, but at what cost?

In her role as a nurse, Bess has been involved in quite a few mysteries so now that the war is over I am very curious to see how this series will continue.  I thoroughly enjoy the time frame of this series as well as the setting.  I love reading about all the small villages and their intricacies of life, how townspeople interact with one another and strangers.  Bess leaves no stone unturned, even though many times she has no authority, in her investigations.  She just can’t leave a mystery alone, even when she should for her own safety.  I also liked seeing more of Simon in this story and would like to know more about his background.  Maybe there might be a mystery with Simon and his past as the focus?  I’m looking forward to seeing how Bess encounters her tenth mystery!

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