Title: A Forgotten Place (A Bess Crawford Mystery #10)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 357 (ARC)
Publisher: William Morrow
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Bess Crawford is still working in service to the Queen’s military forces as a nurse. The war is over, but the wounded still need care. They didn’t just miraculously heal once the war ended. She is tasked with caring for a Welsh unit that all had amputations. Most came from the mines in Wales, and with their injuries were not sure how they were going to support their families. They felt they would have been better off dying in the war and not returning half a man. Bess encourages them as best she can. They are all released together for the return home journey. A couple of months later Bess receives a letter from their commanding officer, himself an amputee, asking for her help. Several of the troop have died from illness, accident or their own hand. Bess has some time off due her, so she heads to Wales. She plans to spend a day or two there and then return to finish out her leave visiting her parents in England.
After tracking down Captain Williams, Bess finds herself on a beautiful but desolate space of land at the furthermost region of Wales. There are no telephones, mail service, grocery stores or police force. The small village is not tolerant of strangers. Once Bess is dropped off by her driver, she plans to leave the next day as a storm approaches. However, during the night her driver takes off, leaving her stranded. Bess has no way to contact anyone, and she soon discovers the villagers have a secret they don’t want known. Bess is now constantly watched wherever she goes. A couple of men are beaten badly, but don’t know the culprit’s identity. There are dead men washing ashore and secretly buried. The village’s wealthy widow seems to visit rarely, but when she does her home is slowly being dismantled from the inside. What is going on? Bess has a sense of justice and curiosity that is going to get her in trouble. Will she end up a permanent resident in the churchyard?
I enjoy the mysteries of Charles Todd because they are so much more than just a “whodunnit” for me. The deeper thoughts and psychological aspects of the characters are intriguing. How will a certain character act in a certain situation? How will Bess react? I like watching the characters interact and develop along the path of the story, reaching a conclusion with a twist. Each story can stand alone but does progress in time, so it would be best to start with book one of the series. Enjoy this wonderful British mystery series set during WWI and immediately thereafter!