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Review: An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd

Title: An Unwilling Accomplice
Author: Charles Todd
Year Published: 2015

Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 337
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2015 Google Reading map)UK

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review

Summary (from the inside flap of the book):
 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?


Review: This is my second Bess Crawford book, having already read and reviewed An Unmarked Grave. This book sits well with me since it is set in August 1918, just months before World War I ended. As a history teacher, I loved teaching about World War I; there is something about the time period that I find very interesting. I think life was still "gentle," and just beginning to enter the modern era. There is a politeness in Britain in the 1910s (think Downton Abbey!) that appeals to me as well.

Bess Crawford is a strong main character who has skills which lend well to her roaming around Britain by herself. She is a trained nurse who was stationed at front during the war so is tough, but caring and can take care of herself. She is also bright, which shows as she solves the cases in these mysteries. I also like Simon, Bess' boyfriend? Best friend? (It hasn't been explained to the reader what their exact relationship is.) Simon is military, caring, and smart, like Bess and they work together well.

The mysteries often surround the war, soldiers, and life back home, allowing the story to move around Britain and sometimes France. My only complaint about this installment is that there were so many characters I got confused at times. That said, I did enjoy the book and look forward to reading and reviewing A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd next month!

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