When battlefield nurse Bess Crawford returns from France for a well-earned Christmas leave, she finds a bruised and shivering woman huddled in the doorway of her London flat. Realizing that the woman has nowhere to turn, Bess offers her shelter. When she feels safer, the woman reveals her name and that she has fled from her husband, an officer on leave, who struck her during a terrible quarrel. Still frightened, she will not return to her small village in Sussex unless Bess accompanies her. Every day of leave is precious, for Bess plans to visit her family. But concern and a firm sense of duty compel the independent and compassionate nurse to be certain the woman is safe. But once she arrives at the woman's house, Bess is unsettled by the tense atmosphere, which seems to permeate the very walls. Before she can understand what is going on, matters take a deadly turn when another of the houseguests, a wounded soldier, is murdered. Not only is Bess caught in the center of the hunt for a killer--she becomes a prime suspect herself.
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Charles and Caroline Todd, a mother-son writing team, are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Inspector Ian Rutledge mysteries, the Bess Crawford mysteries, and two stand-alone novels. They live in Delaware and North Carolina, respectively.
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