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Download A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery Audiobook, by Charles Todd Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,295 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Todd Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Bess Crawford Mysteries Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9780062125644
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Trying to help a woman in distress, World War I nurse and accidental sleuth Bess Crawford learns that no good deed goes unpunished

When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London residence. The woman has nowhere to turn, and propelled by a firm sense of duty, Bess takes her in.

Once inside Bess’s flat, the woman reveals that a quarrel with her husband erupted into violence, yet she wants to return home—if Bess will go with her to Sussex. Realizing that the woman is suffering from a concussion, Bess gives up a few precious days of leave to travel with her. But she soon discovers that this is a good deed with unforeseeable consequences.

What Bess finds at Vixen Hill is a house of mourning. The woman’s family has gathered for a memorial service for the elder son, who died of war wounds. Her husband, home on compassionate leave, is tense, tormented by jealousy and his own guilty conscience.

Then, when a troubled houseguest is found dead, Bess herself becomes a prime suspect in the case. This murder will lead her to a dangerous quest in war-torn France, an unexpected ally, and a startling revelation that puts her in jeopardy before a vicious killer can be exposed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Makes fine work of the brooding atmosphere.” 

    New York Times Book Review 

  • “Highly recommended—well-rounded, believable characters, a multi-layered plot solidly based on human nature, all authentically set in the England of 1917, make A Bitter Truth an outstanding and riveting read.” 

    Stephanie Laurens, New York Times bestselling author 

  • “Charles Todd has developed believable characters that carry along this story with lightning speed from the first page to the last.” 

    New York Journal of Books 

  • “When a murder occurs, the local police suspect Bess is involved. The Todds (a mother-son writing team) plausibly insert their heroine yet again into a criminal investigation, besides providing their usual depth of characterization.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Bess is a very strong series lead, the historical setting is as well developed here as it is in the Rutledge books, and the mysteries are just as elegantly constructed. Readers who have yet to sample the Crawford series should be strongly encouraged to do so.” 

    Booklist

  • “A thoughtful mystery with an excellent plot, well-drawn characters and wonderful atmosphere.” 

    Associated Press 

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 RuthG | 2/14/2014

    " The Charles Todd team has written another absorbing Bess Crawford story. The small village, manor house, and brooding countryside are very atmospheric and unsettling. There is no shortage of possible killers, and Bess struggles to sort out the various motives and opportunities. The weather and the conditions of the roads are so important as to almost be characters in themselves. The Aussie sergeant is a fun character in the story and I hope he returns in future Bess adventures. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 2/7/2014

    " If you like the Maisie Dobbs series then you'd like this series also. Unfortunately, if you read both at the same time, you get the young women confused because they are so close in character and circumstance. Bess, in this series, has no great powers of deduction like Maisie, but her nursing profession seems to get her included in a lot of unfortunate events. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary Routzahn | 2/4/2014

    " I surrendered on page 257. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chapple | 1/31/2014

    " I think I picked this up expecting Maisie Dobbs. Nursing Sister Bess Crawford is no less intrepid, especially when she finds a bruised and shivering woman on her doorstep when she comes home from France for Christmas leave. As Bess gets more and more involved with Lydia there are murders, lots of theorizing and quite a bit of motoring about. (I kept wondering about gasoline rationing, but evidently that was a WWII phenomena, not WWI). I found the plot more annoying than compelling though to be fair I was engaged enough to finish the final third in one go. Pleasant enough. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beatriz | 1/30/2014

    " The newest Bess Crawford novel did not disappoint! It left me wanting more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 1/27/2014

    " I liked much of the story line and sort of mystery within a mystery aspect, but the final solution seemed to easy and out of left field and not up to the previous books in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Clarissa | 1/16/2014

    " I really liked this series. I liked the characters and they drew me into the story. I would definitely read another Bess Crawford mystery. In fact, I look forward to the one coming out later this year. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris | 1/11/2014

    " I love the Ian Rutledge series, but Bess has really hit her stride for me with this book! Took me a while, but I am so glad I stuck with the character and the series. Very well crafted! Cannot wait for the new book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendy | 12/16/2013

    " This book did not disappoint, again another great Bess book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ginger | 12/6/2013

    " As always, the Todd team doesn't disappoint. A well crafted mystery with my favorite Todd character, Bess. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paula Montgomery | 12/5/2013

    " Bess Crawford becomes involved in a murder investigation when she finds a woman on her doorstep. Interesting, but the plot doesn't gel for me and the ending is too pat. The lead up to who the murderer does work for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsten | 10/27/2013

    " Good characters, ho hum mystery. Bess Crawford, Maisie Dobbs... my WWI era plucky nursing sister/sleuths are running together a bit. And how did these women in their mid-20's get to be so wise? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justaskmom | 4/12/2013

    " This is the third book about Bess Crawford, a nursing sister during WWI. Each book can be read as a stand-alone novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dee | 4/3/2013

    " Another good installment of the Bess Crawford series. This is a character driven book with a mystery to solve. I definitely enjoy the characters and the mystery keeps me interested. Look forward to the next one in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa | 3/8/2012

    " It is starting off well. And it ended well enough. Not the best, mostly because it really had two parts that weren't well meshed together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 1/30/2012

    " Prefer Maisie Dobbs (Winspear), but scratches a historical mystery itch "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele | 11/5/2011

    " Bess is the daughter of a retired British officer. She is a nurse in WWI. there is a mystery involving a patient and she becomes involved. Complicated characters in complicated times and situations. Not amusing but gives one a real sense of the temper of that time period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara | 11/2/2011

    " Another great installment in the Bess Crawford series. With each book the main characters are developing. I like what I'm seeing with her relationship with Simon and now the new Aussie Larimer is a nice possibility. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 10/16/2011

    " I am not a huge fan of historical murder mysteries, but I make an exception for this one, with Bess Crawford, a WWI nurse who is brave and interesting and heroic. Recommended "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette | 10/14/2011

    " Absolutely loved it! I cannot wait until the next episode for Nurse Bess Crawford! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Guna | 10/11/2011

    " Bess Crawford is a British nurse working in France during WWI. In this next installment, Bess becomes involved in a murder in the British countryside, and must find the true murderer before she's next. I enjoy all the Charles Todd books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leslie | 9/30/2011

    " good plotting; like the protagonist. of course, these are much lighter than the Ian Rutledge series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Denise | 9/26/2011

    " I'm hooked on both their characters now! Can't wait for the next installments! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 4/28/2011

    " Ag ood book and a good series. However: not a great series like theri other series. "

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About the Author
Author Charles Todd

Charles and Caroline Todd, a mother-son writing team, are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. They live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.

About the Narrator

Rosalyn Landor has won twelve AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the Audie Award. She has worked as an actor since the age of seven, both in Europe and the United States. Her extensive list of credits includes leading roles in film, theater, and audio productions, as well as in various miniseries on all the major television networks and in such productions as Masterpiece Theatre’s Sherlock Holmes and Rumpole of the Bailey.