Sunday, September 20, 2015

A Pattern of Lies: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd

Bess was happy to run into one of her patients from the past.  He was doing well, had a smile for her, and invited her to come and see his mother again.  On the way there, the car gets egged and Bess realizes that life is not easy for him or his family.  When he explains why, it makes her wonder if she should have come...

William Morrow and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can grab a copy now.  If you haven't had the opportunity to read anything by this team, you need to look up their other books, too.  This is a mother/son team and they write excellent mysteries set in the UK for the most part.  I've thoroughly enjoyed every one I've read.

It seems the powder plant blew up.  Producing gun powder during a war means a lot of pressure to do it faster and produce more of it.  The soldier's father refused to make it unsafe for the workers.  But he was close to the plant when it blew and now he's being accused of setting the fire that finished the job.  He's not guilty but the townfolk are eager to blame someone for their losses.

There was one potential witness, so Bess goes back work and asks friends to see if they can find him.  They do; he refuses to testify.  He doesn't discuss what he did or didn't see; he won't talk at all.  Then shortly thereafter he gets killed.  When the fellows in the tank say it wasn't enemy fire that took him out, it makes it look like someone really didn't want him to talk.  

As Bess keeps investigating it gets more and more dangerous for her.  The father goes to jail because of a false witness against him.  Someone tries to kill Bess.  The locals try to burn down the father's house.  This is very busy story with someone buzzing around like a fly spreading gossip and innuendo about the family and their involvement in the fire of the powder plant.

I enjoy Bess' father and her other military friends.  Those contacts are part of what keeps her alive.  Her own skills help, too.  

This team writes books I love to read.  There is historical detail, you get glimpses of what life was like during war times, and you learn a bit about the countries the characters are in.  It's all interwoven with a good mystery.  I'll be reading more of their work.

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