Charles Todd is the author of the Bess Crawford mysteries, the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, and one stand-alone novel. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.
The second season of Downton Abbey was a marvellous saga of love and war. Everyone was talking about it. For us, Charles Todd, it was also a stunning look—on our own TV screen—at the world our books have been capturing on the printed page for so long—the period of the Great War. Where Matthew and William fought the Germans on the battlefields of France, Ian Rutledge and Hamish MacLeod lived and died in those same trenches. Where Lady Sybil nursed the wounded in a stately home turned hospital, our Bess Crawford learned the skills that make her a first-rate battlefield nurse. Few authors have such a wonderful mirror for their books. Episode after episode, it was like stepping back into the past to see all our research come alive.
The war is over for now for Lady Mary and Matthew, for Sybil and the Earl, even for Thomas the footman. But Bess Crawford’s war is still going on. A TV series has a finite life. Suspenseful mysteries like An Unmarked Grave, unfolding against the backdrop of the Great War, continue to thrill readers who aren’t ready to let go one of the most fascinating and moving settings of our time. And there are dozens of stories still to be told about the war and its aftermath, about the people who fought, those who waited at home, and those who tried to save the wounded and the dying. We’ve found many of them, and they sweep across the page into your imagination before you know it. War tests people, it brings out good and evil, love and loss, jealousy and even murder. Remember Bates, tried for murder? He’s not the only one. Bess, a nurse, is trained to observe, to sort out truth from lies, and when murder crosses her path, she has the courage and spirit to step in and do what she can to save an innocent man or woman. Come and meet her, along with Simon Brandon, the Colonel and his lady, Mrs. Hennessey, and Bess’s flat mates. They live in a familiar time, a period we’ve all come to know and love. You’ll feel right at home.