Charles Todd has written the third Bess Crawford mystery, "A Bitter Truth."
(William Morrow Publishing, 340 pages)
While on Christmas leave during the Great War, nurse Bess Crawford finds a weeping woman near her flat in London.
Her medical training spots the signs of abuse in the woman's face and Bess is concerned that the woman's injuries might be more serious than mere bruises.
When the woman pleads with Bess to accompany her back to her husband's home in Sussex, she agrees so that she might keep an eye on her.
In Sussex, the Ellis family has gathered to honor the elder son, a casualty of the horrible war in Europe.
One evening, a slightly intoxicated guest lets slip some information concerning a young girl who could be the illegitimate daughter of one of the Ellis brothers.
The next day, the guest is found dead and foul play is suspected.
Nurse Bess Crawford finds herself embroiled in a mystery in which family troubles and military secrets intersect in a most deadly manner.
Once again, the astute Miss Crawford must stop that most desperate criminal - the fiend who kills to fend off the fateful trip to the gallows.
Charles Todd, a mother and son writing team, does a superb job in writing a classic manor home mystery set against the backdrop of war torn England in 1917.