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A Cruel Deception

Bess Crawford Mysteries, Book 11
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Series: Bess Crawford Mysteries, Book 11
Length: 10 hrs
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the aftermath of World War I, nurse Bess Crawford attempts to save a troubled former soldier from a mysterious killer in this 11th book in the beloved Bess Crawford mystery series from New York Times best-selling author Charles Todd.

The Armistice of November 1918 ended the fighting, but the Great War will not be over until a peace treaty is drawn up and signed by all parties. Representatives from the Allies are gathering in Paris, and already ominous signs of disagreement have appeared.

Sister Bess Crawford, who has been working with the severely wounded in England in the war’s wake, is asked to carry out a personal mission in Paris for a Matron at the London headquarters of The Queen Alexandra’s.

Bess is facing decisions about her own future, even as she searches for the man she is charged with helping. When she does locate Lawrence Minton, she finds a bitter and disturbed officer who has walked away from his duties at the Peace Conference and is well on his way toward an addiction to opiates. When she confronts him with the dangers of using laudanum, he tells her that he doesn’t care if he lives or dies, as long as he can find oblivion. But what has changed him? What is it that haunts him? He can’t confide in Bess - because the truth is so deeply buried in his mind that he can only relive it in nightmares. The officers who had shared a house with him in Paris profess to know nothing - still, Bess is reluctant to trust them even when they offer her their help. But where to begin on her own?

What is driving this man to a despair so profound it can only end with death? The war? Something that happened in Paris? To prevent a tragedy, she must get at the truth as quickly as possible - which means putting herself between Lieutenant Minton and whatever is destroying him. Or is it whoever?

©2019 Charles Todd (P)2019 HarperAudio

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Excellent as always

Charles Todd never disappoints, and this is no exception. Another great novel following Bess’ adventures post WWI.

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Profile Image for Mar P Sanders
  • Mar P Sanders
  • 15-11-2019

Bess’ Deception

Having read/listened to all the Bess Crawford (Ian Rutledge too) stories, I am aware there will be some I find more enjoyable or interesting than others. This particular offering is a good read but seemed to have more ‘filler’ than necessary. I believe “House Todd” can claim ownership of this time period and the social idioms and mores. Their books do more to reveal the terrible human costs of WW 1 than all the history classes available to me - even having grown up as an “army brat”.

In layers of deception, This book reveals more about Bess’ ability to deceive as anyone else involved in this tragic war of wounded men, women and children. Bess is not naive but she jumps to a lot of conclusions and I found the narrative dragging a bit as she muddled through what seemed lame notions.

And, really, no Simon?? Can “House Todd” ever allow a hero or heroine a little happy fellowship?? Thank heavens for the Americans and Australians and their optimistic bonhomie.

I’ll be watching for a sign Bess can grow up enough to become a more interesting and 3 dimensional character worth following ....

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathleen Warner
  • 25-10-2019

Disappointing

Not up to usual standard. Tedious story with unsympathetic characters. Regret doing a pre-order.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Erin Y.
  • 19-11-2019

not my favorite Bess Crawford

this story felt tedious and forced compared to the earlier ones. the reader could not be better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Winsome
  • 18-11-2019

Love this series...

Love this series as well as the Inspector Ian Rutledge series. These are complex characters who one really cares about, and there is wonderful period detail. I devour each book as soon as it's available, and then must wait impatiently for the next one. Note to authors: please, please, may we have a little romance in Bess' life (the war is over!). There are a few tantalizing hints here, but our favorite heartthrob is "somewhere in Scotland" and we haven't heard from him very much in the last couple of books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Faith Christmas
  • 08-11-2019

Ahhhhhh...!!! Spoiler !!!

Ok so the story didn’t have Simon in it !!!
I loved it ! I loved the whole story ! It was awesome !!!
When I started the book I said to myself: I hope Simon or Captain Barkley professes some sort of love for Bess.
NOPE !!! Not even.
But it was an awesome book !!!
Can’t wait until the next !

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Dinna
  • 04-11-2019

Did not disappoint.

Enjoying Bess after the war. She is still the same focused carrying person eventhough the world has changed around her. I expect in the future things will get more dangerous as the cloak of her uniform will no longer protect her. Looking forward to the next edition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Norma garcia
  • 04-11-2019

one of my favorites

loved the story the characters surprise at the end loved the narrator but I did miss Simon

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jodi Renee Pilot
  • 03-11-2019

Another Great Story

Loved every minute of it. My only regret is that I've read them all and have to wait for the next one. I love that Bess is finally realizing her feelings for Captain Brandon. I can't wait to see how it unfolds.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful