The book for January is A Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd.
I first saw this book in Bas Bleu magazine a couple of years ago and it piqued my interest. I added it to my "to read" list on Goodreads and hadn't thought much of it. When Jacob asked what book I wanted for Christmas I sent him to my Goodreads list to choose and this is what I found under the tree.
The book is a historical fiction mystery. It is centered around Bess Crawford, a nurse during WWI aboard a hospital ship. When she receives a desperate request from a dying lieutenant, Arthur Graham, she takes it upon herself to visit his family. “Tell my brother Jonathan that I lied,” he said. “I did it for Mother’s sake. But it has to be set right.”
Back home in England, Bess receives an unexpected response from the dead soldier’s family, for neither Jonathan Graham‚ his mother‚ nor his younger brother admit to understanding what the message means.
But the Grahams are harboring a grim secret, and Bess must, somehow, get to the bottom of it. It is her sacred duty to the dead, no matter how painful, or dangerous, that obligation might be.
I really enjoyed this quick read. It's not hard to figure out who'd done it. The real question is what else did he/she do?
Charles Todd is a mother/son writing duo from North Carolina and they have written a several more Bess Crawford mysteries as well as a series of books based on their character Inspector Ian Rutledge who is a veteran of the Great War and works for Scotland Yard.