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A Clean & Enjoyable Historical Mystery: Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd Review & GIVEAWAY!

A Clean & Enjoyable Historical Mystery: Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd Review & GIVEAWAY!

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd
Series: Bess Crawford #7
Publication Date: Aug. 18, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Military or Politics, Mystery or Thrillers, World or cultural
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Indie Bookstores | Amazon


“Bess Crawford must keep a deadly pattern of lies from destroying an innocent family in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling Accomplice
In 1916, at the height of the war, an explosion and fire at an armament factory in Kent killed more than a hundred men. With Ashton Powder Mill situated so close to the coast—within reach of German saboteurs—the Army investigated, eventually ruling the event an appalling tragedy. Now, two years later, suspicion, gossip, and rumor have raised the specter of murder—and fingers point to the owner, Philip Ashton, whose son is battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s friend and former patient.
While visiting the Ashtons, Bess 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 police are hostile—the Inspector’s brother died in the mill explosion—and refuse to consult either the Army or Scotland Yard. Why, after two years, has the village turned against Ashton?
In France, Bess searches for the only known witness to the explosion, now serving at the Front, and tries to convince him to give evidence about that terrible Sunday morning, only to find herself and the witness hunted by someone intent on preventing anyone from discovering what—or who—is behind this web of vicious lies. Uncertain whom to trust, she can rely only on her own wits and courage, but how can she stop a killer whose face she has never seen?
Philip Ashton is urged to throw himself on the mercy of the court—where he will surely find none. Time is running out. And Bess, at the point of a gun, has only one choice left: to risk her life to save the Ashtons.”

My Thoughts:

Charles Todd has done it again, giving us a clean and enjoyable historical mystery following the escapades of respected single nurse Bess Crawford. I have really been enjoying the historical mystery genre lately! I had much the same reaction to Pattern of Lies as I did to An Unwilling Accomplice by the same author that I read earlier this year. I really enjoyed the historical elements and the mystery itself but was waiting for more to happen with Bess in her personal life.

Bess Crawford is a single lady serving as a nurse in the military. I find her voice quintessentially English – unassuming, pragmatic and endearing, Bess knows just what to say and how to say it to get the answer she seeks in solving this latest mystery. Her approach is subtle until push comes to shove and she’s forced to be blunt and take matters into her own daring hands. She’s a brave woman and gets herself into tricky situations all in the effort to help the Ashton family.

As a single lady with handsome soldiers subject to her sweet and caring nature (Florence Nightingale syndrome all over the place), I hoped that more romance would emerge with one of the soldiers. However, Bess is down to business until she solves her mystery! If you’re looking for romance, you won’t find much here. If you’re looking for a good historical mystery and a unique perspective on what war is like for the nurses, then this book delivers.

In Pattern of Lies, mother-son writing team Charles Todd delivers an enjoyable historical mystery, slowly unraveling the puzzle pieces that help Bess solve the case. Rich in atmosphere, I felt like I was in the rooms with Bess caring for these battered soldiers and got a wonderful sense of what life was like for a single Englishwoman during WWI. Recommended for readers who enjoy historical mystery, historical fiction and strong female lead characters.


England (Canterbury, Kent, Cranbourne) mostly – qualifies for my Travel the World in Books Reading challenge goals

Tour Schedule:

tlc tour host

Tuesday, August 11th: Crime Fiction Lover
Tuesday, August 18th: A Chick Who Reads
Wednesday, August 19th: Booked on a Feeling
Thursday, August 20th: Dwell in Possibility
Friday, August 21st: Reading Reality
Monday, August 24th: Mystery Playground
Tuesday, August 25th: Raven Haired Girl
Wednesday, August 26th: Luxury Reading
Thursday, August 27th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Monday, August 31st: A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, September 1st: Lavish Bookshelf
Wednesday, September 2nd: Mom’s Small Victories
Thursday, September 3rd: Victoria Weisfeld
Friday, September 4th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Tuesday, September 8th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Wednesday, September 9th: Bibliotica
Thursday, September 10th: cakes, tea and dreams
Friday, September 11th: Jorie Loves a Story
TBD: 5 Minutes For Books
TBD: Helen’s Book Blog


Enter to win this wonderful mystery. Open to US residents only. Giveaway ends 9/19/15 at 11:59pm EST.

What historical mysteries have you enjoyed lately? What have you read that’s set during WWI? Let me know and as always, happy reading!

About Charles Todd

Charles Todd is the author of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. A mother and son writing team, they live in Delaware and North Carolina.


  1. Thanks for this captivating historical which sounds memorable and profound. A great story and an era which interests me greatly.

  2. I love historical fiction, especially with a mystery tied in. This one sounds perfect ~ loved your review, Tanya. 🙂

  3. I watched The Crimson Field series on PBS earlier this summer about nurses at a WWI field hospital in France, and I imagine this historical mystery would have a similar appeal as you describe it. The tensions of nurses doing their job and carrying on their personal lives to some degree made for some involving human dilemmas. Add some mystery to this, and I can imagine a good series.

    1. I hope you get to meet them! Stay tuned, I’ll be giving away one of their books soon! Then maybe you’ll have to go to an event and have it signed. I love getting signed books 🙂

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