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Extended Audio Sample A Duty to the Dead 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 (3,393 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Todd Narrator: Rosalyn Landor Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Bess Crawford Mysteries Release Date: September 2009 ISBN: 9781482978940
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The daughter of a distinguished soldier, Bess Crawford follows in his patriotic footsteps, volunteering to serve her country as a nurse during the Great War. In 1916, she promises Lieutenant Arthur Graham that she will carry his dying request to a brother. When the hospital ship is sunk by a mine and she is sent home to England to recover from her wounds, Bess is determined to fulfill her promise at last. There the enigmatic message is treated with skepticism. Then the family’s safe world is turned upside down when another brother comes home, dying of pneumonia. Knowing what it cost the young officer to rely on a stranger to speak for him, Bess takes upon herself this duty to the dead, so that Arthur can rest in peace. But it isn’t as straightforward as she expects, when she hears the whispers in the village of Owlhurst—and in the end, the price of uncovering the truth will mean putting her own life at risk for Arthur’s sake. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Rosalyn Landor achieves the perfect timbre for Bess’ firm yet feminine introspection. Voices of men are remarkably strong and forthright, and Landor even sparkles with crisp accents from other parts of the British Isles.”

    AudioFile

  • “Fans of independent women sleuths like Maisie Dobbs will welcome this new addition to their ranks.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Todd employs all the elements of a satisfying cozy mystery, with an absorbing plot and a charismatic heroine that will leave the reader wanting more. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Will readers miss Inspector Rutledge? You bet. But anyone who cares to loll in early-twentieth century English villages and mores and follow a plucky heroine as she confronts the stupidity of war will find solace in this old-fashioned mystery.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A 2010 Macavity Award Nominee for the Sue Feder Historical Mystery
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Selected for the September 2009 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 2/20/2014

    " I was disappointed in the new character from Charles Todd. Where his Ian Rutledge seems to be weighing the pros and cons of each thought about the crimes. Bess seems to be jumping to conclusions and making the events fit her imagination. The story was interesting - Bess goes to the family of a dying man to pass on a message and becomes involved with the family and helps to right a wrong form years before. Bess is strong and rather independent but just didn't feel for her the way I do for Todd's other series character. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 2/20/2014

    " A nurse comes home to recuperate from a broken arm during WWI. Little does she know that the request of a dying soldier would send her into the arms of a family with many secrets. Interesting and authentic from the very beginning. Hard to put down once I started. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara A. | 2/19/2014

    " Enjoyed this a great deal. A terrific first chapter--the torpedoing/sinking of The Britanic! A wonderful page turner. Atmospheric and detail rich--esp the references to Bess Crawford's childhood in India. Though all gets wrapped up a bit too neatly and quickly at the end...I am now officially a Bess Crawford/Charles Todd fan! Heavenly to know that there are 3 more in print! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 2/13/2014

    " I liked the time frame of this book, and was intrigued by Bess' service during the war. I thought Bess was an interesting enough detective, the mystery readable and the characters engaging. But somewhere past the middle of the book, the story began to drag a bit, I got impatient for some kind of resolution, and my interest began waning. Finding out what the heck is going on just seems to take a long time. But it wasn't a bad book; I enjoyed the first half and finished the book still liking Bess and many of the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 2/1/2014

    " New mystery series by Charles Todd, the creator of the Ian Rutledge detective series. Good mystery! A little complicated at the end but still very good characters and plot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamara | 1/25/2014

    " A nurse takes a dying man's last words back to his family in Kent, England. Sinking of the Brittanica hospital ship, WW1 nurse-sleuth. Book 1 of 5 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joy (Thoughts of Joy) | 1/24/2014

    " You can read my thoughts here. (3.5/5) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roberta | 1/15/2014

    " Another gem from this mother/son team. I love the mysteries set outside of the u.s.. Less violent and more complex but very, very good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 12/26/2013

    " I'd probably give this a 2.5 if I could. It just seemed kind of slow for me, but I did want to finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 12/25/2013

    " This is the first book in a mystery series about a British nurse during WW I. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judith | 12/16/2013

    " This is a new series about Bess Crawford. She is a British army nurse who was injured when her ship was sunk in 1916. Different. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debbie Lokken | 12/5/2013

    " As a nurse I can appreciate the main character and I love learning so much about WW1 "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 7/22/2013

    " I like this new character-- a British nurse in WWI is an interesting point of view. Mystery not so compelling. Will read the second in the series to see if plotting improves. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janet | 7/19/2013

    " I like this character and series by Charles Todd. And I LOVE when it's narrated by Roz Landor. Win/Win! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gaynel | 5/23/2013

    " Very comfortable read. No tension or suspense whatsover and plot holes you could drive a truck through but I still found it absorbing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mikkee | 3/2/2013

    " Engaging, easy read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 2/12/2013

    " A little over complicated. "

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

    " A WWI nurse has to solve a decades old mystery associated with a deceased patient. I enjoyed the setting and the lack of romance - it made the book a little different than the expected. It had lots of twists and turns in the plot too. I'll read the second one, I'm sure. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara | 7/25/2012

    " Great intro to a new kind of detective. A little reminiscent of Anne Perry's Hester Latterley but still fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joanne | 5/29/2012

    " very good! I like the heroine and the period - WWI. THe author does a good job of showing the horror of that war, and the class structure in place during that era. Plot was interesting and the characters were too. Will read another in the series. Actually listened - good narration. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 4/23/2012

    " First book in the Bess Crawford mystery series; set during WWI. Recommend to Maisie Dobbs' fans. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rebecca | 3/14/2012

    " This was fun: I'll definitely keep my eye out for more of these. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 3/11/2012

    " The best thing about the Bess Crawford books is the honour of most of the characters. It is also fun to visit a time when Britain was more structured, with the upstairs and the downstairs. It was comfortable for the upstairs people, and long gone, but entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 11/15/2011

    " I enjoyed this book about WWI. A nurse on a troop ship falls in love with one of her patients. As he lays dieing he asks her to give his brother a message. It's very criptic and leads Bess on a hunt to find out what he could have meant. She finds out a lot more than she bargined for. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 6/17/2011

    " Will be interesting to see if this series takes off... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 DonnaR | 6/6/2011

    " I had high hopes for this WWI period mystery, but found it very cliched and predictable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fred | 5/31/2011

    " I loved the time, the settings, and the unusual story line which made this fresh. Most importantly I cared about the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sherri | 5/10/2011

    " A decent read, though fairly easy to guess what is going to happen rather early-on in the novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 5/4/2011

    " If you are a Anne Perry fan, this is a series you should enjoy "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 4/1/2011

    " Bess Crawford is a nurse during WWI who is left with unanswered questions that she needs to explore. Perfectly set mystery, describing the complexities of being a woman in this time, emerging feminist issues. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maryann | 4/1/2011

    " A compelling story well told, and a classic mystery well wrought. Highly recommend.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilynn | 3/19/2011

    " A fast moving-beginning to a new series by this mother-son duo. Bess Crawford, World War I nurse, finds the lingering damage from an old murder when she visits the family of one of her late patients. If you like Maisie Dobbs, you'll love Bess! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeni | 3/16/2011

    " This was well-written, with a very interesting story that kind of kept you guessing. I say kind of because you knew fairly early on that one of 4 people was the murderer, and it gradually narrowed down to two. No dramatic plot twists as far as I was concerned, but still a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 2/27/2011

    " This was a great start to a new series about a WWI nurse/detective. I'll definitely continue with this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gaynel | 2/20/2011

    " Very comfortable read. No tension or suspense whatsover and plot holes you could drive a truck through but I still found it absorbing. "

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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 eight 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.