cover image The Shattered Tree: A Bess Crawford Mystery

The Shattered Tree: A Bess Crawford Mystery

Charles Todd. Morrow, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-238627-4

Not even a life-threatening bullet wound can stop Bess Crawford in bestseller Todd’s compelling eighth whodunit featuring the dogged English nurse (after 2015’s A Pattern of Lies). At an aid station in France in October 1918, Bess encounters an injured, unidentified French lieutenant, who yells in fluent German after being attacked by a fellow patient, a Scotsman. Though Bess’s matron suggests that the Frenchman is from German-speaking Alsace-Lorraine, Bess isn’t so sure. Two weeks later, Bess is in the trenches when a German sniper shoots her in the side. Sent to Paris to recuperate, Bess pursues the matter of the French officer’s identity at her peril. She finds an ally in old acquaintance Captain Barkley, an American who’s ostensibly in the city searching for deserters. Bess keeps pushing her luck, but Todd (the mother-son writing team of Caroline and Charles Todd) makes her persistence plausible and delivers an interesting answer to the mystery. Agent: Jane Chelius, Jane Chelius Literary Agency. (Aug.)