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A Question of Honor

Another compelling Bess Crawford mystery

August 29, 2013
By REGINA M. ANGELI - Books Writer , The Daily News

The mother-and-son writing team known as Charles Todd have their fifth Bess Crawford mystery, "A Question of Honor." (William Morrow, 309 pages)

Bess Crawford grew up in India, the daughter of a British colonel who had served with distinction. But the one great mark against his regiment was Lieutenant Wade - a man suspected of having committed multiple murders and was thought to have died in a fall in the Kyhber Pass while trying to flee into the lawless land of Afghanistan.

Years later, while serving as a nurse in France during the First World War, Bess tends to a dying Indian sergeant who confesses that he had seen Lt. Wade.

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Bess feels compelled to investigate the old crimes which served as such a dark stain against her father and his men.

What she discovers is that many of her fellow countrymen who volunteered to take in the children of those serving the Empire abroad were anything but noble. Some were simply greedy and cruel.

Her investigation of the old case is hampered by a new enemy - not the bullets and poisonous gas of their German army but something just as deadly - an influenza infection which soon ravages both armies and becomes a pandemic.

The Todd team blends their usual compelling mystery with tragic details of the First World War, which struck down so many young men, including the only son of the great writer Joseph Rudyard Kipling.



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