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A bitter truth
Charles Todd
Adult Fiction TODD

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From Publishers' Weekly:

At the outset of Todd's outstanding third Bess Crawford mystery (after 2010's An Impartial Witness), Bess returns to London in December 1917 on leave from her nursing work in France to find an attractive, well-bred woman of about 25 huddled in the doorway of her lodging house. The tearful woman, who reluctantly gives her name as Lydia, accepts Bess's invitation to come inside. Lydia later reveals that she's fled to London from Sussex after her husband struck her in the face. The tenderhearted Bess agrees to accompany Lydia back home so she can provide moral support. On arrival in Sussex, Bess finds herself in the midst of a family devastated by untimely death and hiding poisonous secrets. When a murder occurs, the local police suspect Bess is involved. The Todds (a mother-son writing team) plausibly insert their heroine yet again into a criminal investigation, besides providing their usual depth of characterization. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Truth can be a bitter pill to swallow. In Todd's third Bess Crawford mystery (after An Impartial Witness), Bess finds herself back in London, on leave from her nursing duties on the World War I battlefields of France. Upon arriving at her London lodging, she finds a battered woman named Lydia in her doorway taking shelter from the cold. Bess befriends Lydia, who begs to be accompanied back to her home in Sussex. During a memorial for Lydia's brother-in-law, Bess becomes embroiled in the family's disagreements and secrets. When one of the houseguests, a wounded soldier, is found murdered, the police cast their suspicion on everyone-including Bess herself. She must search from Sussex all the way to war-torn France to discover the bitter truth about a soldier's death not on the battlefield but on the home front. -VERDICT Todd brings World War I England and France to life with an intriguing plot and an intrepid sleuth. Recommended for all British wartime mystery aficionados who like plucky investigators similar to Maisie Dobbs.-Susan O. Moritz, Montgomery Cty. P.L.s, MD (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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Tries to help a strange woman get back home.

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