The final review, discussion questions & answers for Booktime with Bess: An Unmarked Grave

(Please click on the book’s cover image for a great book trailer for An UnMarked Grave!)

Well, here we are, at the end of the Book Club Girl’s final book in the Bess Crawford series! We read 4 books already? The time went by so quickly. Thank you to Jennifer for organizing this wonderful read-a-long! This was my very first foray in to participating in a read-a-long and I thoroughly enjoyed.

So wrapping up, I must say that in the 4-book series, my very favourite was A Bitter Truth (#3 in the series). An Unmarked Grave started out (for me) with Huge promise. It was gripping and we saw Bess in great peril and adventure this time around! Moreso than she has ever found herself in. However, I found her battle with the Spanish influenza to be quite rushed (she suffered and survived in 2 short chapters I think?)and the murder mystery and final, solved reason for the multiple murders to be…ahem…well…lame. What happened to the ending of this novel? It really fell apart at the end. The twists, the turns, the adventures were so top rate! And then the ending comes along and the reason for the multiple murders is revealed and for me, fell spectacularly flat. I was disappointed. However, like Jennifer says, the suffering and the length of the war is taking its toll and the description of it is well done in this story. And again, Bess really finds herself in some harrowing troubles which were all exciting to read.

Now, on to the discussion questions and my answers to them:

1) In each of the previous books in the series, we saw Simon Brandon take on a increasingly bigger role in investigating crimes with Bess and in this book, the Colonel and Bess’ mother are also actively involved in her search for the killer. What did you make of this?

Simon definitely played a major role in this book, and I really enjoyed his involvement, but also how Todd threw in some trouble for him too. Overall, I really liked the development of Bess’ relationship with her parents and the role they play in helping her solve these mysteries. I think her Mom was more front and centre this time too, which was great fun.

2) Both Bess and Simon fall ill in this novel – Bess from the Spanish Flu epidemic ravaging both France and England and Simon from his wounds. What did you think of each of them in their more vulnerable states and why do you think the authors chose that for them?

Above I noted that I liked how Todd put Simon out of reach and in some trouble for some of this story, it certainly added to the anticipation of what was going to happen to Bess. Also above, I felt the Spanish Flu that Bess came down with to be too rushed, in my opinion. It did add to the great mystery and was a great twist of events for the book so I thought it was great!

3) There were several suspects put forth throughout the course of the novel. How did you feel when the killer, and his motives for killing, was finally revealed?

Ah, see, I revealed so much in the beginning of my review. ☺ When the killer and his motives were revealed in the end I was greatly disappointed. I thought it to be very lame and was so surprised at the limpness of the reason. It made the multiple murders and the attempts to hunt down and silence Bess quite far-fetched!

4) I loved the scene of Bess working alongside the doctor to save Sargeant Mitchell, with her father looking on. As far as we know this is the first time he’s seen his daughter in action as a nurse and what she can do. What did you think of that scene?

I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Bess, her family and Simon very much in this story. I like how everything is progressing with her and look forward to the 5th in the series!