MYSTERY

A Cruel Deception

Morrow. (Bess Crawford, Bk. 11). Oct. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9780062859839. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062859860. M
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By 1919, the army hospitals are closing in England, and Sister Bess Crawford expects a reassignment when she’s called to the nursing headquarters. Instead, the matron asks her to take on a personal case. Matron’s son, Lawrence, was to participate in the peace talks in Paris, but he hasn’t been in meetings. Worried about Lawrence, who was wounded in the war and, like so many other soldiers, and might now have a drug dependency, she asks Bess to go to Paris to track down her son. Bess’s father, who is involved in the peace talks, is too busy to help her as she travels from Paris to St. Ives, searching for Lawrence. It becomes a dangerous job for Bess, as she finds a man haunted by his past and threatened by an unknown enemy who even follows Bess to Paris and tries to kill her.
VERDICT The 11th “Bess Crawford” historical mystery, following A Forgotten Place, will appeal to readers of the series and possibly fans of Jacqueline Winspear’s “Maisie Dobbs” books. However, most readers will find it slow going and plodding with little mystery. [See Prepub Alert, 2/25/19.]

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