cover image An Unwilling Accomplice

An Unwilling Accomplice

Charles Todd. Morrow, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-223719-4

Why would a decorated WWI veteran desert just after being honored by the king? That’s the question posed by Agatha-winner Todd’s absorbing sixth Bess Crawford whodunit (after 2013’s A Question of Honor). In the autumn of 1918, Bess, an experienced battlefield nurse, accompanies wounded Sgt. Jason Wilkins to Buckingham Palace, where he receives a medal from George V. After the ceremony, Bess agrees to let Wilkins have some time to himself to entertain friends, a choice she regrets after finding that he has bolted the London hotel where they were both staying. Given two week’s official leave for her perceived negligence, Bess is determined to track Wilkins down and ascertain why he used her in his scheme. The murder of a man in the north of England, with Wilkins the prime suspect, complicates her efforts. As usual, Todd (the mother-son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd) effectively depicts the psychological effects of war, though the resolution doesn’t do justice to the opening puzzle. [em]Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (Aug.) [/em]