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“Bess is among the most compassionate and intelligent characters.” –The Sun-Sentinel
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Bess Crawford mystery series, a short story that unravels dark secrets from her close friend Simon Brandon’s past.
Years before the Great War summoned Bess Crawford to serve as a battlefield nurse, the indomitable heroine spent her childhood in India under the watchful eye of her friend and confidant, the young soldier Simon Brandon. The two formed an inseparable bond on the dangerous Northwest Frontier where her father’s Regiment held the Khyber Pass against all intruders. It was Simon who taught Bess to ride and shoot, escorted her to the bazaars and the Maharani’s Palace, and did his best to keep her out of trouble, after the Crawford family took an interest in the tall, angry boy with a mysterious past.
But the Crawfords have long guarded secrets for Simon and he owes them a debt that runs deeper than Bess could ever know. Told through the eyes of Melinda, Richard, Clarissa, and Bess, A Hanging at Dawn pieces together a mystery at the center of Bess’s family that will irrevocably change the course of her future.
Charles Todd is the New York Times bestselling author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother-and-son writing team, Caroline passed away in August 2021 and Charles lives in Florida.
"Adds new and important history to the Crawford saga, fleshing out the existing novels and adding new depth to our reading of them. For series fans, it’s a must-read." — Booklist on A Hanging at Dawn
"Tightly plotted . . . A tidy, energetic origin story about Simon as well as intriguing look at India at the turn of the 20th Century." — Sun Sentinel (South Florida) on A Hanging at Dawn
“As always, Todd’s intense feelings for the traumatized survivors of war make one mother’s son the broken hero of an entire generation of lost souls.” — New York Times Book Review on A Cruel Deception
“Sensitive, beautifully written, disconcertingly familiar.” — Kirkus Reviews on A Cruel Deception
"Bess is among the most compassionate and intelligent characters, whose observations on life and people are advanced for the era in which she lives." — The Sun-Sentinel (Florida)
"As always, the mother-son writing team of Charles Todd does a magnificent job with atmosphere and dialogue, all while keeping their good-hearted heroine one step (but only one) ahead of the bad guys .” — BookPage on A Cruel Deception
"As usual, Todd mixes historical verisimilitude with exemplary character design and sharp plotting. Another fine entry in this popular series.” — Booklist on A Cruel Deception
“Terrific . . . A Cruel Deception shows that there are still plenty of stories left for Bess Crawford, and I cannot wait to see what happens next." — Book Reporter on A Cruel Deception