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The Cliff's Edge: Bess Crawford #13    by Charles Todd order for
Cliff's Edge
by Charles Todd
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2023 (2023)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Cliff's Edge is the thirteenth (following An Irish Hostage) in the Bess Crawford mystery series written by the mother/son under the name of Charles Todd (also authors of Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries). Bess comes from an army family. She was a Nursing Sister during World War I and her father (the Colonel) and close friend, Simon Brandon, were both engaged in top secret war work.

This episode opens in the summer of 1919. Bess's mother receives a letter asking Bess to persuade a friend of cousin Melinda, elderly Lady Beatrice, to accept a nurse's attendance after gallbladder surgery. Bess agrees, and gets on well with the strong-willed patrician and with her companion, Lillian. Then comes news of a serious injury to Beatrice's grandnephew Gordon. Bess and Lillian head to isolated Scarfdale to see what they can do to help.

There was an accident on the moor. Gordon was with his childhood friend Frederick. The latter has died. Gordon was badly hurt and can't recall how it happened. He's under suspicion by the police. Another death soon follows, increasing the police focus on Gordon as the main person of interest. Frederick's brother appears and looks remarkably like Simon.

It's a rather complicated plot, but Bess is persistent in seeking the truth. Along the way come revelations about her own family - and about Simon's past.

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