cover image The Cliff’s Edge: A Bess Crawford Mystery

The Cliff’s Edge: A Bess Crawford Mystery

Charles Todd. Morrow, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-303994-0

Set in 1919, bestseller Todd’s stellar 13th Bess Crawford mystery (after 2021’s An Irish Hostage) sends the former WWI front-line nurse to Yorkshire. There, a cousin of Bess’s has a friend, Lillian Taylor, the companion to Lady Beatrice, who’s scheduled to have her gallbladder removed. The surgeon insists that Lady Beatrice have a nurse in attendance on her discharge from hospital, but she’s refused. Lillian wants Bess to try to change Lady Beatrice’s mind. In the end, the domineering aristocrat persuades Bess to serve as her post-op private nurse. Bess gets even more than she bargained for when her patient’s godson, Gordon Neville, suffers an accident, and she’s dispatched to help him. She finds Neville recovering from a fall off a cliff; Neville’s friend Frederick Caldwell suffered fatal injuries while apparently attempting to save him. A wound on the back of Frederick’s skull suggests a different story, and Bess’s investigation uncovers a complex web of secrets and possible motives for murder. Todd has few peers at both keeping readers turning pages for the reveal and making every character on those pages feel real. Those seeking emotional depth in their mysteries will be richly rewarded. Agent: Lisa Gallagher, DeFiore & Co. (Feb.)