A Pattern of Lies, by Charles Todd #review #TLCBookTours @tlcbooktours

About the book,  A Pattern of Lies A Pattern of Lies

• Hardcover: 336 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow; 1st edition (August 18, 2015)

Bess Crawford must keep a deadly pattern of lies from destroying an innocent family in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling Accomplice

In 1916, at the height of the war, an explosion and fire at an armament factory in Kent killed more than a hundred men. With Ashton Powder Mill situated so close to the coast—within reach of German saboteurs—the Army investigated, eventually ruling the event an appalling tragedy. Now, two years later, suspicion, gossip, and rumor have raised the specter of murder—and fingers point to the owner, Philip Ashton, whose son is battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s friend and former patient.

While visiting the Ashtons, Bess finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn’t stop with Philip Ashton’s arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege. The police are hostile—the Inspector’s brother died in the mill explosion—and refuse to consult either the Army or Scotland Yard. Why, after two years, has the village turned against Ashton?

In France, Bess searches for the only known witness to the explosion, now serving at the Front, and tries to convince him to give evidence about that terrible Sunday morning, only to find herself and the witness hunted by someone intent on preventing anyone from discovering what—or who—is behind this web of vicious lies. Uncertain whom to trust, she can rely only on her own wits and courage, but how can she stop a killer whose face she has never seen?

Philip Ashton is urged to throw himself on the mercy of the court—where he will surely find none. Time is running out. And Bess, at the point of a gun, has only one choice left: to risk her life to save the Ashtons.

Buy, read, and discuss A Pattern of Lies

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

About the author, Charles Todd Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.

Connect with Charles

Website | Facebook

My Thoughts MissMeliss

Bess Armstrong is back and better than before in this novel which was a great adventure for the former battlefield nurse. I loved that this story, like the last, blended her compassionate side, the one that seeks to provide solace and care – with her ability to be completely ruthless when she needs to be.

Having read this novel immediately after the last one, and then set it aside without writing the review immediately, some elements are muddled but I liked that Bess’s former patient Philip Ashton is central to this story, and I like that it was about responsibility and choice as much as it was about Nazi spies and war crimes. The entity known as Charles Todd is really good at bringing dierse elements into a story, giving us something that appeals to our contemporary sound-bite focused brains while still retaining the feel and language of a period piece.

I mentioned that Bess is one of my new favorite fictional characters. She has only increased her merit in this novel. Go read it, because nothing that I say can top the experience of this brilliantly crafted, well plotted, gripping novel.

Goes well with a crisp lager and a really good chicken curry.

A Pattern of Lies Tour Stops TLC Book Tours

Tuesday, August 11th: Crime Fiction Lover

Tuesday, August 18th: A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, August 19th: Booked on a Feeling

Thursday, August 20th: Dwell in Possibility

Friday, August 21st: Reading Reality

Monday, August 24th: Mystery Playground

Tuesday, August 25th: Raven Haired Girl

Wednesday, August 26th: Luxury Reading

Thursday, August 27th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Monday, August 31st: A Bookworm’s World

Tuesday, September 1st: Lavish Bookshelf

Wednesday, September 2nd: Mom’s Small Victories

Thursday, September 3rd: Victoria Weisfeld

Friday, September 4th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Tuesday, September 8th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Wednesday, September 9th: Bibliotica

Thursday, September 10th: cakes, tea and dreams

Friday, September 11th: Jorie Loves a Story

TBD: 5 Minutes For Books

TBD: Helen’s Book Blog

An Unwilling Accomplice, by Charles Todd

About the book, An Unwilling Accomplice An Unwilling Accomplice

• Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (May 5, 2015)

In this absorbing and atmospheric historical mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, World War I battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s career and life are in jeopardy when a murder is committed on her watch

Bess Crawford has been summoned by the War Office to accompany a wounded soldier from Shropshire to Buckingham Palace, where he’s to be decorated for gallantry by King George himself.

Heavily bandaged and confined to a wheelchair, Sergeant Jason Wilkins will be in her care for barely a day. But on the morning after the ceremony when Bess goes to collect her charge for his return journey, she finds the room empty. How could such a severely wounded man vanish without a trace?

Both the Army and the Nursing Service hold Bess to blame for losing the war hero. The Army now considers Wilkins a deserter, and Scotland Yard questions Bess when Wilkins is suspected of killing a man in cold blood. If Bess is to clear her name and return to duty in France, she must prove that she was never his accomplice. But the sergeant has disappeared again and neither the Army nor the police can find him.

Following a trail of clues across England, Bess is drawn into a mystery that seems to grow darker with every discovery. But will uncovering the truth put more innocent people in jeopardy?

Buy, read, and discuss An Unwilling Accomplice

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound  | Goodreads

About the author, Charles Todd Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.

Connect with Charles

Website | Facebook.

My Thoughts MissMeliss

The Bess Crawford series may be my new favorite historical mystery series, though I say this having only just finished book one, and not yet started book two, which I’m reviewing in August.

Timed perfectly for those of us who are hooked on  The Crimson Field (airing on PBS now, it aired in the UK last year), this novel blends historical accuracy with a gripping mystery, and ties everything us with a truly interesting and engaging lead character.

In Bess Crawford, Todd has created a female lead who feels appropriate for her time, but is still completely relatable to contemporary readers. She is smart, resourceful, and interesting, but she’s also very real, and her flaws only make her seem more so.

I really liked the blend of military and civilian characters, but I also appreciated that even in a story that’s pretty serious, there was room for small touches of humor. Not ha-ha laugh-inducing jokes, but small moments drawn from life. Those touches are what makes a novel sing  and this novel truly does.

I’ve been a fan of Todd’s other detective series for a while now, but Bess Crawford has supplanted Ian Rutledge in my heart.

Goes well with a proper English tea.

Charles Todd’s Tour Stops: TLC Book Tours

Wednesday, July 8th: Mom’s Small Victories

Monday, July 13th: Booked on a Feeling

Tuesday, July 14th: Mystery Playground

Wednesday, July 15th: Bibliotica

Monday, July 20th: Dwell in Possibility

Wednesday, July 22nd: Raven Haired Girl

Wednesday, July 22nd: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Thursday, July 23rd: Helen’s Book Blog

Friday, July 24th: Jorie Loves a Story

Monday, July 27th: A Chick Who Reads

Tuesday, July 28th: Lavish Bookshelf

Wednesday, July 29th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews

Friday, July 31st: No More Grumpy Bookseller


Hunting Shadows, an #InspectorIanRutledge #Mystery by Charles Todd – #Review #Bibliotica

About the book Hunting Shadows Hunting Shadows

Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (January 21, 2014)

In the latest mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd, Inspector Ian Rutledge is summoned to the quiet, isolated Fen country to solve a series of seemingly unconnected murders before the killer strikes again.

August 1920. A society wedding at Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire becomes a crime scene when a guest is shot just as the bride arrives. Two weeks later, after a fruitless search for clues, the local police are forced to call in Scotland Yard. But not before there is another shooting in a village close by. This second murder has a witness; the only problem is that her description of the killer is so horrific it’s unbelievable. Badgered by the police, she quickly recants her story.

Despite his experience, Inspector Ian Rutledge can find no connection between the two deaths. One victim was an Army officer, the other a solicitor standing for Parliament; their paths have never crossed. What links these two murders? Is it something from the past? Or is it only in the mind of a clever killer?

Then the case reminds Rutledge of a legendary assassin whispered about during the war. His own dark memories come back to haunt him as he hunts for the missing connection—and yet, when he finds it, it isn’t as simple as he’d expected. He must put his trust in the devil in order to find the elusive and shocking answer.

Buy, read, and discuss Hunting Shadows

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads

About the author, Charles Todd Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Bess Crawford mysteries, the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.

Connect with Charles Todd

Website | Facebook.

My Thoughts

I love a good mystery, and this book was exactly what I needed on a cold, drizzly, Texas winter day. The opening, with a man planning a revenge-based murder, was chilling, and the next chapter with the actual murder taking place during a wedding had all the chaos and confusion you’d expect, plus the twist of the (possible) killer walking through the scene without anyone taking real note. (This is not a spoiler for the whodunnit part of the story.)

As the novel opened up, and we met Inspector Ian Rutledge, I felt like I was being plunged into one of those oh-so-atmospheric British novels I’ve loved for as long as I can remember. The action was well paced, taking time to appreciate the heavy mist or a well-earned meat pie without getting too bogged down by extraneous detail. The characters seemed appropriate for the period (the 20s) and the piece, and there were some lovely bits of all-too-human comedy to balance the darkness inherent in a murder mystery.

What took Hunting Shadows to a whole new level for me, though, is Rutledge’s ongoing battle with what, today, would be called PTSD. Burdened with guilt over the death of a war buddy, he still hears his friend’s voice from time to time. That layer of storytelling added a lot to Rutledge’s character, but it also made the whole book have a deeper resonance. We forget, sometimes, what war does to even the brightest, most stable people, and how those experiences shape our whole lives.

If you love a classic mystery-thriller with lush descriptions, believable characters, and a compelling story, you will, as I did, love Hunting Shadows.

Goes well with a pint of stout and a fresh-from-the-oven meat pie.

Tour Stops TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour organized by TLC Book Tours. For the complete list of tour stops, see below. For more information, click HERE.
Friday, January 2nd: Kritters Ramblings

Tuesday, January 6th: Dwell in Possibility

Wednesday, January 7th: 5 Minutes For Books

Monday, January 19th: Broken Teepee

Thursday, February 5th: Luxury Reading

Friday, February 6th: Bibliotica

Monday, February 9th: Jorie Loves a Story

Wednesday, February 11th: A Bookworm’s World

Wednesday, February 18th: The Discerning Reader

TBD: Fuelled by Fiction