TLC Book Tours Review: An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

Posted 6 June, 2012 by Molly(Cover To Cover Cafe) in Book Reviews / 4 Comments

An Unmarked Grave
Charles Todd
William Morrow Paperbacks
June 5,2012
352 pages/eBook
Amazon | BN
provided by publisher
RBM’s Disclaimer
4/5 Books

World War I nurse and amateur sleuth Bess Crawford matches wits with a devious killer in this exciting and suspenseful adventure from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd

In the spring of 1918, the Spanish flu epidemic spreads, killing millions of soldiers and civilians across the globe. Overwhelmed by the constant flow of wounded soldiers coming from the French front, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford must now contend with hundreds of influenza patients as well.

However, war and disease are not the only killers to strike. Bess discovers, concealed among the dead waiting for burial, the body of an officer who has been murdered. Though she is devoted to all her patients, this soldier’s death touches her deeply. Not only did the man serve in her father’s former regiment, he was also a family friend.

Before she can report the terrible news, Bess falls ill, the latest victim of the flu. By the time she recovers, the murdered officer has been buried, and the only other person who saw the body has hanged himself. Or did he?
Working her father’s connections in the military, Bess begins to piece together what little evidence she can find to unmask the elusive killer and see justice served. But she must be as vigilant as she is tenacious. With a determined killer on her heels, each move Bess makes could be her last.

Author Charles Todd

About The Author:
Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water. Caroline has been married (to the same man) for umpteen years, and Charles is divorced.

Charles and Caroline have a rich storytelling heritage. Both spent many evenings on the porch listening to their fathers and grandfathers reminisce. And a maternal grandmother told marvelous ghost stories. This tradition allows them to write with passion about events before their own time. And an uncle/great-uncle who served as a flyer in WWI aroused an early interest in the Great War.

Charles learned the rich history of Britain, including the legends of King Arthur, William Wallace, and other heroes, as a child. Books on Nelson and by Winston Churchill were always at hand. Their many trips to England gave them the opportunity to spend time in villages and the countryside, where there’s a different viewpoint from that of the large cities. Their travels are at the heart of the series they began ten years ago.

Charles’s love of history led him to a study of some of the wars that shape it: the American Civil War, WWI and WWII. He enjoys all things nautical, has an international collection of seashells, and has sailed most of his life. Golf is still a hobby that can be both friend and foe. And sports in general are enthusiasms. Charles had a career as a business consultant. This experience gave him an understanding of going to troubled places where no one was glad to see him arrive. This was excellent training for Rutledge’s reception as he tries to find a killer in spite of local resistance.

Caroline has always been a great reader and enjoyed reading aloud, especially poetry that told a story. The Highwayman was one of her early favorites. Her wars are WWI, the Boer War, and the English Civil War, with a sneaking appreciation of the Wars of the Roses as well. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling the world, gardening, or painting in oils. Her background in international affairs backs up her interest in world events, and she’s also a sports fan, an enthusiastic follower of her favorite teams in baseball and pro football. She loves the sea, but is a poor sailor. (Charles inherited his iron stomach from his father.) Still, she has never met a beach she didn’t like.
Both Caroline and Charles share a love of animals, and family pets have always been rescues. There was once a lizard named Schnickelfritz. Don’t ask.

Writing together is a challenge, and both enjoy giving the other a hard time. The famous quote is that in revenge, Charles crashes Caroline’s computer, and Caroline crashes his parties. Will they survive to write more novels together? Stay tuned! Their father/husband is holding the bets.

Connect With The Author:

TLC Book ToursMy Review:

A wonderfully written, absolutely captivating read! Mother/son team, Charles Todd has instantly made a fan out of me, and this is just the first one that I’ve read! Bess Crawford’s character and the mysterious events surrounding her in this suspenseful read was awesome. The best, however, was the fact that this was a historical mystery, centered around WWI and the Spanish Flu epidemic. Not one to really follow history in high school, learning about all the wars and happenings in history, I’ve acquired a taste for the historical novels, especially those centered around mystery.

Bess Crawford is a nurse for the WWI soldiers. The Spanish Flu has broken out and soon Bess is completely taken by the amount of sick soldiers brought in to tend. However, among these soldiers there’s one among the deceased that Bess is sure didn’t die from the epidemic. As Bess searches for the truth, she becomes ill, never fully finding out the clues to the crime. When she recovers, however, there’s trouble that she doesn’t bargain for. The murdered body has been buried, more deaths occurred-all closely related- and her life may be in danger.

This British field nurse will not be deterred however. Following the twists and turns, Bess pulls the reader to the heart of the story and takes them on a journey of finding the truth. Who is the killer? Why are they killing? Who will be next? All those are answered in this amazing book.

While this is the 4th Bess Crawford Mystery, this was not confusing in any way and truly held me until the last page. Filled with the right amount of suspense, the who-dun-it’s and the why’s stand out and make the reader hungry for more.Definitely worthy of 4 Books, this is one series that I look forward to going back and reading all the installments, as well as looking forward to more from this great team of authors! Well done, Charles Todd, well done!

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4 responses to “TLC Book Tours Review: An Unmarked Grave by Charles Todd

  1. Maria D.

    This sounds like a really good historical suspense novel and something I would enjoy reading. I don’t know a lot about the Spanish Flu but I am fond of historically based mysteries and I’m intrigued by the mother/son writing team. Thanks for highlighting this book, I’ll add it to my list.

  2. great review! We’ll be discussing An Unmarked Grave on my blog on 6/25 as part of our Bess Crawford read along ( and then we’re having a live podcast discussion with the Charles Todd team about the entire Bess Crawford series on 6/28 – join us if you can! link to the radio show:
    hope it’s ok to have included the links!

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