A Casualty of War

A Casualty of War

Book - 2017
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Though the Great War is nearing its end, the fighting rages on. While waiting for transport back to her post, Bess Crawford meets Captain Alan Travis from the island of Barbados. Later, when he's brought into her forward aid station disoriented from a head wound, Bess is alarmed that he believes his distant English cousin, Lieutenant James Travis, shot him. Then the Captain is brought back to the aid station with a more severe wound, once more angrily denouncing the Lieutenant as a killer. But when it appears that James Travis couldn't have shot him, the Captain's sanity is questioned. Still, Bess wonders how such an experienced officer could be so wrong. On leave in England, Bess finds the Captain strapped to his bed in a clinic for brain injuries. Horrified by his condition, Bess and Sergeant Major Simon Brandon travel to James Travis's home in Suffolk, to learn more about the baffling relationship between these two cousins.
Publisher: New York, NY :, William Morrow,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062678782
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY TOD
Characteristics: 377 pages ; 24 cm

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MaryElizabeth17
Oct 28, 2017

I love the Charles Todd books and this one is as good as the rest. I prefer the Ian Rutledge novels, but the ones about Bess include the same WWI historical atmosphere. This is one of the things I like best about the Todd novels - their ability to put the reader in that time and place. In this novel, with the end of the War, there is a suggestion that Simon Brandon is becoming even more attentive to Bess. But in some ways, I am sorry to see the War end for novelistic reasons only. I liked reading mysteries that linked her nursing experiences on the battlefields of France with circumstances back in England.

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maucarden
Oct 11, 2017

These are just a few musings rather than a review since so many others have written terrific reviews.

Once again the Todd mother and son team have written a book full of detail that puts you in the trenches, going over the hill or in the aid stations of WWI. Their ability to put you right with the characters has been a hallmark of both the Bess Crawford series and the Ian Rutledge series.

It makes me crazy there isn't any inner life expressed by Bess. Hey, there is a marriage proposal by one of her dearest friends and it's worth only a paragraph or three. There is a suggestion that the man who has been her companion since childhood might be in love with her is barely worth a consideration even though it might be upsetting her whole world view. Who knows? We rarely are allowed a glimpse of anything she is thinking unless it is related to her nursing or the case she is investigating. At least Ian Rutledge has an inner life even though it is only expressed by his PTSD caused ghost.

I like that there seemed to be more detail about Simon Brandon. Maybe these details have always been part of the back-story included in the previous books and I'm just not remembering. But there did seem to be more in this book and it seems as if the Todds are making him even younger than might have been expressed in earlier books. Will this result in Simon declaring himself in the next book? Many if not most reader/reviewer seem to want to see the Todds take this step. I always wonder if authors read their reviews and take to heart some of the comments that are made.

The portrayal of the Armistice is just stunning in its simplicity. Heartbreaking too, how the effort for the troops doing their best to kill one another with a renewed vigor ran through the story before the Armistice. I never doubt a single historical detail included by the Todds.

A personal preference, please don’t use ‘grin’ more than twice in a book. Smile is perfect. Besides, Simon smiles, he shouldn’t be grinning in this book. He is not a grinner, he guards his emotions. Grinning denotes looseness of a sort. Yep, I might take ‘my’ characters a bit too seriously. I also have a personal war against smirk and quirk being used more than twice in any book.

As usual I will anxiously await the next book.

m
maipenrai
Jan 06, 2017

(The ninth book in the Bess Crawford Mystery series)

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