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Extended Audio Sample An Impartial Witness 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 (1,629 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: August 2010 ISBN: 9781482979725
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Tending to the soldiers in the trenches of France during the First World War, battlefield nurse Bess Crawford can’t help but notice the photo of a young pilot’s wife every time she tends to him. But then at the railway station, in a mob of troops leaving for the front, Bess glimpses a familiar face—the pilot’s wife? Back in France, Bess sees a newspaper with a drawing of the woman’s face on the front page. She’d been murdered—the very day Bess saw her. Bess is soon on the search for a devious and very dangerous killer—a search that will put her own life in jeopardy.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Remarkable.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A book rich in atmosphere and dense with plot.”

    St. Louis Post-Dipatch

  • “A superb whodunit…and a moving evocation of a world at war.”

    Richmond Times-Dispatch

  • “Finely plotted and full of meticulous period detail and deft characterizations.”

    Strand

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 2/16/2014

    " Bess Crawford suffers in comparison to Charles Todd's other hero, Inspector Rutledge. Crawford's character is a little flat (Rutledge's war demons give him complexity). But even at the best of times Todd's secondary characters lack subtlety. In this effort it really shows. What I did enjoy is Todd's rendering of wartime England "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnie | 2/10/2014

    " I basically enjoyed this book, but I found myself thinking most of the way through it that I couldn't quite believe in the main character, Bess Crawford. I had the same problem in the first book. She gets a lot more involved in the lives of people she hardly knows than I can imagine anyone doing. Also, at one point she visits a very hostile person whom she hardly knows alone at night - sort of a "never, never do this" action that no one with half a brain would do. I frequently found myself with questions about the character of Simon: how old is this guy, how come he's always there whenever needed (does he have a Bess GPS implant or something), how come he can run around the country getting her out of scrapes as batman to a RETIRED colonel when practically any other ablebodied man is in the army? I'm probably going to feel foolish when someone who remembers the first book better than I do answers some of these questions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zoe | 2/9/2014

    " Lovely, brooding complex mystery with an amateur sleuth with the dogged determination of a pro. Audio version read beautifully by Rosalyn Landor. Great for WWI buffs and fans of Maisie Dobbs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Billie | 2/4/2014

    " Interesting, lots of information regarding WW1 England and fighting in France. WW1 nurse Beth Crawford solves murder cases and nurses on the front lines. I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michele bookloverforever | 1/20/2014

    " Bess Crawford, intrepid WWI nurse, solves another mystery. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Naomi | 1/19/2014

    " This book was ok..not a rock your socks type of book. The character of Bess Crawford has really bored me, yet I haven't really been able to get into their other character either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margery | 1/15/2014

    " Bess Crawford, a nurse who has seen WWI action in France, solves a murder mystery and I love to read British murder mysteries! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Constance | 1/9/2014

    " A good historical background, but the solution to the mystery is a bit obvious from the end if the first third of the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ade | 12/30/2013

    " I was immersed in world war one setting... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary | 12/30/2013

    " Bess unwillingly serves as a witness, and becomes entangled in a murder inquiry that alarms her family. As always, principles and ethics are held in high regard, something that seems charming and is certainly missing in our times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robbin | 12/21/2013

    " This was a good book and kept me guessing until the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 12/13/2013

    " Liked a little better than the first. I hope her next book is based at the front bc she gets a hell of a lot of leave! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 11/23/2013

    " If you are a fan of the Maisie Dobbs series, you will definitely like this one about a nurse in WWI who gets embroiled in mysteries on the homefront in England. This is the second in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 10/16/2013

    " I just prefer the other series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cece | 3/1/2013

    " I have to agree with other reviewers that this has too modern a feel to be set during WW I. However, it was nicely plotted and I enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol jinx~☆~ | 7/10/2012

    " Murder mystery with a touch of history and interesting characters.Written by Charles Todd and his mother but his mother's name isn't listed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Pamela Murray | 7/10/2012

    " This series is a lot like the Maisie Dobbs books, but (to me, at least) less fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 7/6/2012

    " More than a 3 but less than a 4. I like the Charles Todd books and I liked the previous Bess Crawford one. This is still a decent read but I found the pltting to be more contrived than I would have liked. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandie | 6/19/2012

    " I found this so unbelievable that it was annoying. I put it down after about 70 pages and 2 days later decided to finish it since it was for one of my book clubs, but really did not enjoy it at all "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annette Meier | 1/19/2012

    " Amazing! Excellent! Wonderful sequel to the first story - I cannot wait for the next one to come out! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Mussard | 12/4/2011

    " A good mystery book to read curled up on the couch on a rainy day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vickie | 9/25/2011

    " Disappointing. The plot was unnecessarily convoluted and the characters were unappealing. A let down after the first book in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 8/27/2011

    " This was a bit over-plotted, with a lot of story threads that have you flipping back and forth to remember who's who. But up to Todd's usual good writing and Bess is a good, believable sleuth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rosie Genova | 6/25/2011

    " I'm a big Todd fan, both of the Rutledge series and now the Bess Crawford mysteries. Beyond the mystery, what I loved about this one was the detailed picture of English village life during the Great War. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol jinx | 6/12/2011

    " Murder mystery with a touch of history and interesting characters.Written by Charles Todd and his mother but his mother's name isn't listed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth | 6/8/2011

    " Another outing with Bess Crawford. Reading two of these back-to-back made the evil sibling theme a bit annoying and the degree to which Bess leans on Simon's assistance made me wish the author would get it over with and just team them straight up, but I expect that's to come in future books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 6/2/2011

    " In this series written by a mother-son team , Bess Crawford, a WWI nurse, solves mysteries. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Puad | 5/23/2011

    " I was immersed in world war one setting... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sandie | 5/16/2011

    " I found this so unbelievable that it was annoying. I put it down after about 70 pages and 2 days later decided to finish it since it was for one of my book clubs, but really did not enjoy it at all "

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

    " Can't wait to read the next one, if there is a ext one "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 5/3/2011

    " This is evidently part of a series of mysteries by this author. WWI time frame in England is always intriguing to me.
    Main character is intriguing also. I may try another in the series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 4/8/2011

    " A new series for me. Not the greatest of mysteries, but love the wwi story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susie | 4/7/2011

    " a good murder mystery, easy reading. takes place during WWI. Kept me interested to the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 3/23/2011

    " This second book in the series featuring Bess Crawford, a WWI battlefield nurse, is well plotted and highly satisfying. Bess is an strong, appealing heroine that I would like to see more of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 3/20/2011

    " The characters are well drawn with more depth than in many mysteries. The period is World War I with the real horrors, tragedies and temptations providing the background for murder. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Elle | 3/16/2011

    " I thought this book had great promise, but it is somewhat unbelievable, and contrived, so if you are a serious reader of mystery, I would read one of this author's Inspector Rutledge series instead. "

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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.