The Cliff’s Edge

Bess Crawford Book 13

William Morrow Pub

Feb 14th, 2023

The Cliff’s Edge by Charles Todd is not only a mystery who- done- it but delves into how those on the front lines must adjust to returning home after WWI ended.  Bess Crawford is the main character, who must decide where she wants to go with her life after retiring from being an Army nurse.  She appears restless and uncertain of her future including her feelings for Simon, her father’s military aide, which was explored a little in the previous book, An Irish Hostage.

“In the last Bess book, An Irish Hostage, readers learned all this information about Simon and what happened between them. To understand what is going on between Bess and Simon at least read the last 1/3 of An Irish Hostage. They did kiss and it was not paternal. In this book he makes no physical appearance, but sometimes one of the secondary characters reminds Bess of Simon in the way he looks. Bess and Simon will have to talk about their problems.  We punted in this book with Simon playing scarce, which is driving Bess up a wall. Another important question is what direction Bess will go after resigning from the nurse’s corps.”

In this book, Simon is MIA with only glimpses of him in Bess’s thoughts.  This means that she is on her own trying to find clues as to what happened.  The story opens with Bess agreeing to travel to Yorkshire to help her cousin Melinda’s friend Lady Beatrice, recover from surgery. Bess gets even more than she bargained for when her patient’s godson, Gordon Neville, suffers an accident, and she’s dispatched to help him. He was injured in a fall from a cliff, an accident that killed his childhood friend Frederick Caldwell. Both Bess and the police, called to investigate, wonder if it was an accident or something more sinister. After Gordon is accused of murder Bess struggles to find out if he is indeed the killer but is thwarted because of a feud between families. 

“Mark is rude, has a bad temperament, angry, and is callous. Mark has an attitude problem, a chip on his shoulder. He manages through intimidation and when around, makes people walk on eggshells.  Whereas Gordon is still suffering from grief, sometimes has a bad temperament, stubborn, and is reckless. Gordon inherited the farm, a man of the land. He is a hero and a solid person, who can be counted on in a pinch.”

Unfortunately, for fans of this series it has a cliffhanger regarding the relationship between Bess and Simon. There is no resolution on how they will react to one another, going back to just a friendship, wanting an intimate relationship, or just avoiding each other. Yet, as with all the other books, it does gives readers a glimpse into the era, the York setting, and believable characters.



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.