A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford Series #7)

A Pattern of Lies (Bess Crawford Series #7)

by Charles Todd

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A horrific explosion at a gunpowder mill sends Bess Crawford to war-torn France to keep a deadly pattern of lies from leading to more deaths, in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling Accomplice.

An explosion and fire at the Ashton Gunpowder Mill in Kent has killed over a hundred men. It’s called an appalling tragedy—until suspicion and rumor raise the specter of murder. While visiting the Ashton family, Bess Crawford finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn’t stop with Philip Ashton’s arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege.

The only known witness to the tragedy is now at the Front in France. Bess is asked to find him. When she does, he refuses to tell her anything that will help the Ashtons. Realizing that he believes the tissue of lies that has nearly destroyed a family, Bess must convince him to tell her what really happened that terrible Sunday morning. But now someone else is also searching for this man.

To end the vicious persecution of the Ashtons, Bess must risk her own life to protect her reluctant witness from a clever killer intent on preventing either of them from ever reaching England.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062386267
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/18/2015
Series: Bess Crawford Series , #7
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 57,916
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

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, they live on the East Coast.

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A Pattern of Lies 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
A small community blames the Ashton family, owners of a gunpowder mill, for the explosion that killed hundreds of workers and permanently closed the mill. The hatred overflows into dislike for Bess Crawford. Stranded in Kent due to unreliable trains, Bess agrees to help discover what really happened. The search takes Bess over the area, but many people refuse to speak to Bess. The two writers that pen the Bess Crawford series compose a detailed novel of the beauty of England and the horrors of WWI. Charles Todd depicts the plight of nurse’s life during war time, and the rigid rule of Matron, the head of the nurses. This, A Pattern of Lies, is the real portrayal and not an idealized picture of war.
Heretolearn More than 1 year ago
In three weeks (2017 Christmas through last week), I read all eight books by Charles Todd (s) in the Bess series--one right after the other with no interruption. I had never read a series (all eight published to date) in one time period. I learned a lot about how writers build each book in a series. The authors, when needing to repeat from former books, provided additional information or interpretation, generally making the repetition digestible. However, I got tired of people talking "wryly". I had interest in that the authors imagine a murder scene and then discover the murderer as they write. The authors were able to adequately recreate the WWI environment for this series and use actual events as themes, especially for "Pattern of Lies". There was some difference from book to book as to how compelling each book was. "A Pattern of Lies" was very good, but the next book (#8), Casualty of War", was much better. Also, #1 in the series was excellent (about the son put into a psychiatric hospital), which is what got me started on the series The descriptions of English towns got boring and all the roving around England sometimes overwhelmed the story. I would limit the number of locations and the descriptions of the back and forth in countryside/small towns. Some books in the series were worse than others in its wandering throughout England.. Were English really so hostile to outsiders as indicated in these stories? It is not my experience traveling in the UK--but it was a different period then and a time of war. Simon bothered me a bit--didn't seem real at times. I enjoyed many of the characters who become mechanisms to push forward the solving the mystery/theme , i.e., the Austrailian. And, there was some character development of main characters book to book--but I think the war would have had a greater impact on Bess as the series progressed. I recommend the series.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
As if she didn’t have enough to keep her occupied with an endless number of casualties and influenza victims brought to her medical station on the Western Front as World War I drew to a close, Bess Crawford once again becomes involved in a mystery back in England. When she accompanies a group of the wounded to a Kent village she accidentally meets a former patient, Major Mark Ashton, who invites her to spend the night at his parents’ home while she awaits a delayed train to London. There she learns of the family’s troubles, which began two years before when the family-owned powder mill exploded and burned to the round, killing about 100 men. A long delayed reaction in the village results in various acts against the Ashtons, ultimately resulting in the arrest of the father, Phillip. All kinds of nasty rumors float around the village and it remains for Bess, who seems to shuttle back and forth at will several times from France to Kent, to piece together the truth to help exonerate Mark’s father, who is blamed for the explosion. The novel, like the previous ones written in the series by the mother and son team, is carefully plotted, and inhabited by a familiar cast (including Bess’ dad, the Colonel Sahib and his sergeant major, Simon Brandon, both of whom are well connected with the War Department), who contribute to her endeavors. The descriptions of the medical procedures and nursing on the battlefront are perceptive and the characterizations both at the front and back in Kent are perceptive and splendid. Recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not my favorite from these authors. aj west
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this adventure! Couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Another thoroughly enjoyable read in the Bess Crawford mystery series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
"Charles Todd" has created yet another fine book. It gives a strong sense of time and place. I feel I have learned so much more about the realities of WWI reading this series than I ever got in school. Bess Crawford the certainly the person anyone would want pulling for them. Or, conversely, as the evil doer, the person you least want involved. She is conscientious and determined. She can be frightened, but not scared away. Although the beginning idea is taken from an actual event, the story is, after all, fiction and looks into what might happen to a community after an horrific event like the explosion of a gunpowder factory. Especially during wartime. It is marvelously done.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Charles Todd returns with the latest (#7) in the Bess Crawford series - A Pattern of Lies. Bess is a Sister with England's Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service. She has served her country since the beginning of the war in both France and England. It's 1918 and the hope is that the War will soon be over. A chance encounter on a leave plunges Bess into another mystery. (For in addition to being a stellar nurse, she's just as adept at solving mysteries) Mark Ashton, an officer and former patient invites Bess to his family home to visit with his mother. The family owns the Ashton Powder Mill in Kent - the scene of a horrific tragedy that killed over a hundred men. Ruled an accident by the Army, the villagers think differently. Bess is stunned by the hostility shown to the family. As the rancor - and the danger - rises, Bess agrees to see if she can help. There's a possible witness to the event that can clear patriarch Phillip Ashton's name - he's a tankman in France. Oh, I just love this series! I think it's the slow, meticulous building of clues, the measured connecting together of pieces of information, observations and snippets of conversation. It's such a change from my usual fast paced murder and mayhem mysteries. The thoughtful, careful pacing of the book lets the reader settle in to relax, enjoy and travel back in time. Todd does a fantastic job of bringing the war and the time period to life. Descriptions of time and place generate vivid mental images. I really enjoy the glimpses into the war nurses' everyday lives. A sense of honour, duty, and loyalty is infused in the character and the plot, again underscoring the time period. I like Bess - she's strong minded, strong willed, clever, caring and tenacious. Familiar supporting characters return - Bess's father, Colonel Sahib (I have such a strong mental image of this British officer who served in India with the Gurkha's), Simon and Sergeant Lassiter, a cheeky Australian officer who seems quite fond of Bess. There is attraction between Bess and the two men - I often speculate which one will be her choice. (The Aussie would be mine!) As the war is drawing to an end, I wonder where Todd will take this series in peacetime. This reader will be eagerly awaiting the next book! Read an excerpt of A Pattern of Lies. Fans of Maisie Dobbs would absolutely enjoy this series as well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the beds Crawford series. Anticipating another volume.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why is the Nook price more than the hardcover price?