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A Casualty of War: A Bess Crawford Mystery    by Charles Todd order for
Casualty of War
by Charles Todd
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2017 (2017)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford (whom we have met in previous episodes) meets Captain Alan Travis while waiting for transport back to her post. Later she encounters him again. This time, as a patient with a head wound.

The Captain rambles on about being shot by a soldier an English soldier! He is sure the man meant to kill him. And that the shooter was a distant cousin of his! While taking care of other men arriving at the aid station, Bess can't get the captain out of her mind. Captain Travis is treated and sent back to fight the war. But is returned to the aid station with two bullet wounds, which he again declares were fired by a soldier who meant to kill him. And, once again, declares the soldier was his cousin.

While on leave from her duties, Bess discovers the Captain in a hospital, restrained to his bed diagnosed with madness. He is again accusing a relative of trying to kill him. Bess is so upset by the treatment the man is receiving, she assures him she will look into his plight. Now the mystery takes off and leads readers to a small village in Suffolk where Bess is not welcomed with open arms. She is asking too many questions of too many people.

I'll share no more of this intriguing plot. Charles Todd's A Casualty of War will bring readers hours of entertainment. Find out for yourself if the Captain is deranged. If not, why was he shot?

Charles Todd is one of my favorite authors. My father served with the British in that war. Todd's research is such that I felt the authors knew my dad and what he went through. The writing is gripping but can easily soften when describing homes and countrysides. The characters play their parts very well. I felt those peopling Todd's work could easily have been a part of my own life just in a different century.

Todd also writes another series featuring Ian Rankin, that took off like wildfire Rankin has the voice of a conscience that chastises him for one reason or another. The author seems able to get inside the thoughts of his characters and make them come alive. Obtain a copy of A Casualty of War and settle back for a good read.

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