RBess Crawford is a WWI battlefield nurse in France, treating injured soldiers and those stricken with the Spanish flu. One night, a colleague asks Bess to come visit the shed where the bodies are kept because he has noticed something odd. When Bess visits, she finds the body of an officer who died of a broken neck. Suspecting murder, Bess sets to report to the Matron right away except she too falls ill from the flu and is brought back to England to recover at home.
Once Bess has recovered, she can't remember whether finding the officer with a broken neck was a dream but when she learns that the colleague who informed her of the officer "committed suicide", she still suspects there's a murderer on the loose. What she doesn't realize, is that she too is in the murderer's sights.
This book is the forth book in the Bess Crawford series. I hadn't read the previous three books and for the most part this could be a stand alone. I found the only confusing part is that the relationship of family friend Simon wasn't completely explained, as I'm sure he was introduced in previous novels. For quite a while I wondered if he was a cousin or a love interest or just a friend of Bess.
I really enjoyed reading about what nurses would have done during war time. It seems that they get moved around a lot, it makes you wonder how anyone could keep track of who and what were going where. Bess mentioned travelling back and forth between France and England a lot which would have added more confusion to who was where. There was also the relevant threat of a submarine shooting on these ships crossing the channel.
Bess as a character was also quite refreshing. Typical to novels written in these times, she was very proper and yet independent, strong, and smart. Just the type of female character I like!
Bess worked with friends, family, and fellow nurses and officers to help track down the murderer. When the motive was actually determined though, I found it to be a bit weak. Would someone really kill that many people just for the described motive? I'm not so sure.
On looking in to the author more, I learned that Charles Todd is actually a mother/son writing duo, which is rather impressive. What happens if there's a disagreement in how the plot should progress? It certainly takes a strong relationship to write a book!