An Unwilling Accomplice

An Unwilling Accomplice

Book - 2014
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World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford's career and life are in jeopardy when a murder is committed on her watch, in this absorbing and atmospheric historical mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd.

Arriving in London on leave, Bess Crawford receives an unusual summons from the War Office. She's been requested to accompany a wounded soldier to Buckingham Palace, where he's to be decorated for gallantry by King George himself.

Though she is certain she's never met or nursed Sergeant Jason Wilkins, she cannot refuse the honor. Heavily bandaged and confined to a wheelchair, the soldier will be in her care for barely a day. But on the morning after the ceremony when Bess goes to collect her charge for his return journey, she finds the room empty. How could such a severely wounded man simply vanish without a trace? Both the Army and the Nursing Service hold Bess to blame for losing the war hero. There is a humiliating inquiry, and the incident is noted in her record.

More disturbing news complicates her already difficult situation: The Army now considers Wilkins a deserter, and Scotland Yard questions her when Wilkins is suspected of killing a man in cold blood. If Bess is to clear her name and return to duty in France, she must prove that she was never his accomplice. But the sergeant has disappeared again and neither the Army nor the police can find him.

The moral implications--that a patient in her charge has committed murder--become more important to Bess than her own future. Accompanied by her friend Simon Brandon, she heads north to find the missing man herself.

Carefully questioning suspicious locals, Bess and Simon follow a trail of clues across England. Drawn into a mystery that seems to grow darker with every discovery, they realize that this man has brought the war home to remote places far from the killing fields of France. But will uncovering the truth put more innocent people in jeopardy?

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2014.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780062237194
Branch Call Number: FIC Todd
Characteristics: 337 p.


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Jun 24, 2016

My least favorite Bess Crawford book. Wandering back and forth between villages and talking to the same people over and over. Are they looking for 1 man? 2 or 3? Do I even care very much? I wish Simon would just kiss Bess already.

Jan 07, 2016

Bess is asked by a disabled soldier to accompany him to Buckingham Palace to receive a medal from the King, and shepherd him until the next morning. When he's vanished by morning, she's blamed by both the Army and Nursing Services, her sterling career in jeopardy. True to Bess, she can't have that, and she goes all over England, unwittingly putting herself and others in danger trying to solve the mystery. Loyal protector Simon, of course, helps, and they solve it in the end. As always, great period details in a plot that nearly spins out of control. However, these are character-driven stories, and Bess learns as she goes.

I've had it with this author. The quality of writing has gone down over the years. The clues are repetitive and the plot line is confusing. The final resolution was unsatisfactory and the protagonist is poorly developed, just a grownup "Nancy Drew"

Nov 25, 2014

While reading this book I felt dizzy, pulled in every directions and going nowhere. The plot is so contrived, farfetched and just plain impossible. The more I read the more frustrated I got. I've liked the other books of Charles Todd, the Bess Crawford and Ian Rutledge series, but this one is not in the style the authors have accustomed us to; it's written as if 1: it's from a bad ghost writer or 2: it's a book written in haste to meet the publisher's deadline. I hope that with the next books the author(s) return to the standard of mystery writing that the reader has come to expect from this team.

Oct 22, 2014

A long time fan of these books, I was so disappointed in this latest one. I found it totally confusing and the main characters seemed to spend all their time roaming around villages in the middle of night searching for one man or maybe two - or maybe not. And having picnics.

Sep 21, 2014

Up to the usual Charles Todd standard. Intriguing and at the same time giving a good insight to the conditions both sides of the Channel in World War I.

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