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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Friday, November 11, 2011

Required: A Lapse of Logical Thinking

A Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford MysteryA Bitter Truth: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

At the outset it is necessary to say that I have not read the first two Bess Crawford Mysteries so Bess' background and her relationship to Simon, who seems to appear anytime Bess is in dire straits, is not familiar to me. As a result I found the relationship confusing. But, even it I understood that aspect of the story, I would be hard-pressed to believe the whole basis of the book. That a war-time nursing sister would take in an abused woman in the middle of the night in London was a stretch for me, when the woman was a total stranger. But I put that aside and said to myself -- it is Christmas time, so therefore cold and dark and deserted and Bess is, after all, in the humanitarian business--so maybe. BUT, she then forgoes her visit to her worried parents on a holiday leave to travel with this stranger to the home of the woman's abusive spouse? And the spouse and his mother and grandmother and sister and brother-in-law to say nothing of the town's rector and doctor greet this stranger with open arms and reveal all kinds of family secrets seemingly easily was really stretching my ability to accept.

We are speaking upper society here, with a son who has supposedly swatted his wife in the face! A scandal if ever there was one. Nevermind, that Bess seems to have some pedigree of her own--she is a total stranger. This would never happen. Needless to say, having found this all very difficult to accept the multiple murders and the mystery of who dunnit was really secondary. About the only part that rang true for me was Bess' experiences in France, her meeting the Australian and maybe the nuns and the orphans for whom they were caring.

Since Charles Todd was lauded prominently on the dust cover as a New York Times Bestselling Author I stuck it out but won't run out to buy another of this authors' works any time soon. It wasn't horrible but it wasn't gripping either and I found I don't much care what happens to the characters.

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