Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Question of Honor - Charles Todd

A Question of Honor is the fifth book in Charles Todd's wonderful Bess Crawford mystery series.

1918. Bess is a nursing sister in England, doing her part in the First World War. Bess's first duty is to the wounded and her profession, but she can't help but become involved in murder and mystery that cross her path.

In a A Question of Honor, we get travel back to Bess's childhood in India with her father, a regimental leader and mother as well. Many of the children  of officers in the Colonel Sahib's regiment were sent back to England for eduction. One of those officers, Wade,  was marked a murderer, following the deaths of five people in England after one of his visits back home. He escaped into the wilderness of Afghanistan, but was presumed dead. But while working in a hospital, Bess hears that Wade is still alive - and still serving his country under another name - that of the family he killed. Bess decides she must investigate further......

I love this period series. Todd masterfully brings the settings and time period to life with wonderfully descriptive passages. The sense of honor, duty, loyalty, social mores, skills and conversation all combine to richly recreate this bygone era.

Bess is a wonderful protagonist - intelligent, inquisitive and brave. We get to see more of Bess's parents in this latest book as they too become involved in the search for a murderer. Bess's friend Simon has healed from injuries sustained in a previous book and is also very involved. I'd like to see Todd take their relationship to a different level - beau - instead of friend.

Todd's mysteries are always intelligent with no gore and are presented in a fashion that suits the era represented. It is fun to watch the solution being pieced together without modern methods or tools. Rudyard Kipling makes an appearance and adds to the solving of the mystery as well.

I've chosen to listen to the last few books as I really enjoy the reader - Rosalyn Landor. She has a wonderful British accent and her voice completes the mental image I've conjured up for Bess. She portrays male characters just as well and the listener is easily able to discern who is speaking. Her tone are rich and 'plummy'. She easily captures the and conveys  the time periods and social niceties of the tie. For me, this is one of the series I prefer to listen to, but it's just as good in print! Fans of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs series would enjoy Bess. Definitely recommended.

 Listen to an excerpt of A Question of Honor. Or read an excerpt of A Question of Honor.


bermudaonion said...

I haven't tried this series yet but really want to.


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Michael Draper said...

Well reviewed. I'm adding this to my list immediately.
I've always enjoyed Charles Todd.

Mike Draper

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I really like this series and enjoyed the print edition of this book. I listened to an earlier book and thought Landor did a great performance. I hope the series continues after the war.