A Duty to the Dead

From the brilliantly imaginative New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd comes an unforgettable new character in an exceptional new series

England, 1916. Independent-minded Bess Crawford’s upbringing is far different from that of the usual upper-middle-class British gentlewoman. Growing up in India, she learned the importance of responsibility, honor, and duty from her officer father. At the outbreak of World War I, she followed in his footsteps and volunteered for the nursing corps, serving from the battlefields of France to the doomed hospital ship Britannic.

On one voyage, Bess grows fond of the young, gravely wounded Lieutenant Arthur Graham. Something rests heavily on his conscience, and to give him a little peace as he dies, she promises to deliver a message to his brother. It is some months before she can carry out this duty, and when she’s next in England, she herself is recovering from a wound.

When Bess arrives at the Graham house in Kent, Jonathan Graham listens to his brother’s last wishes with surprising indifference. Neither his mother nor his brother Timothy seems to think it has any significance. Unsettled by this, Bess is about to take her leave when sudden tragedy envelops her. She quickly discovers that fulfilling this duty to the dead has thrust her into a maelstrom of intrigue and murder that will endanger her own life and test her courage as not even war has.


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Praise for A Duty to the Dead

“Winning…Fans of independent women sleuths like Maisie Dobbs will welcome this new addition to their ranks.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Anyone who cares to loll in early-20th century English villages and mores and follow a plucky heroine as she confronts the stupidity of war will find solace in this old-fashioned mystery.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Todd employs all the elements of a satisfying cozy mystery, with an absorbing plot and a charismatic heroine that will leave the reader wanting more.”
—Library Journal

“This is a wonderful new mystery series that will let us see the horrors of World War I through the eyes of Bess Crawford, a battlefield nurse. A Duty to the Dead is a richly realistic depiction of both the era and people who lived through it. I was sorry when the book ended and am already looking forward to hearing from Bess again. Soon, please!”
—Margaret Maron, Edgar Award-winning author of Death’s Half Acre

Duty to the Dead

ISBN: 9780061791765
ISBN10: 9780061791765
Imprint: William Morrow

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Books in the Bess Crawford Mystery Series

A Question of Honor An Unmarked Grave A Bitter Truth An Impartial Witness Duty to the Dead