Sunday, October 27, 2013

Review: A Question of Honor by Charles Todd

Description (from cover):

'In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, World War I nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford investigates an old murder that occurred during her childhood in India, a search for the truth that will transform her and leave her pondering a troubling question: How can facts lie?

Bess Crawford enjoyed a wondrous childhood in India, where her father, a colonel in the British Army, was stationed on the Northwest Frontier. But an unforgettable incident darkened that happy time. In 1908, Colonel Crawford's regiment discovered that it had a murderer in its ranks, an officer who killed five people in India and England yet was never brought to trial. In the eyes of many of these soldiers, men defined by honor and duty, the crime was a stain on the regiment's reputation and on the good name of Bess' father, the Colonel Sahib, who had trained the killer.

A decade later, tending to the wounded on the battlefields of France during World War I, Bess learns from a dying Indian sergeant that the supposed murderer, Lieutenant Wade, is alive--and serving at the Front. Bess cannot believe the shocking news. According to reliable reports, Wade's body had been seen deep in the Khyber Pass, where he had died trying to reach Afghanistan. Soon, though, her mind is racing. How had he escaped from India? What had driven a good man to murder in cold blood?

Wanting answers, she uses her leave to investigate. In the village where the first three killings took place, she discovers that the locals are certain that the British soldier was innocent. Yet the present owner of the house where the crime was committed believes otherwise, and is convinced that Bess' father helped Wade flee. To settle the matter once and for all, Bess sets out to find Wade and let the courts decide. 

But when she stumbles on the horrific truth, something that even the famous writer Rudyard Kipling had kept secret all his life, she is shaken to her very core. The facts will damn Wade even as they reveal a brutal reality, a reality that could have been her own fate.'

My thoughts:

Over the past four books in this series, I have really come to enjoy Bess and her friends. I enjoy Bess' character because she refuses to let her privilege life deter her from helping the wounded by serving as a nurse during World War I. I love the setting, I love the characters and the mysteries keep me riveted from page one. I can't believe it took me so long to find this series and to fall in love with it. Bess' character is compassionate, yet stubborn and I love that the author portrays her in this light and that we get to see her hard at work on the battlefields saving lives of wounded soldiers. I think that this is the part that endears me the most to her.

Bess grew up in India as a child and an event from her past has resurfaced into the present. She must use her wits and her knack for solving complex mysteries to solve this mystery before it can drag down her family's reputation. She has a fierce loyalty to those she loves and when she feels that they are threatened, she will fight tooth and nail to make sure that everything is set right. I loved this mystery and was surprised at the ending as I didn't see the conclusion coming at all. It was a nice little shock, but one that I immensely enjoyed as I like to be surprised. 

I can't wait to see what the author has in store for Bess and her family. I really would like this series to have the war end and see how Bess gets on afterwards. Also, I really need Simon and Bess to realize that they were meant for each other all along and get on with it. I think that they would make the perfect couple and I really think that this would make a lot of readers happy, including myself. I am curious to see what the author will take Bess next and I am eagerly waiting for the next installment. A great addition to an already stellar series.

Overall Rating: 5

Title:  A Question of Honor
Author:  Charles Todd
Series:  Bess Crawford Mystery #5
Publisher:  William Morrow
Publication Date:  August 27, 2013
Pages:  320
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

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