Thursday, February 22, 2018

Death of an Unsung Hero

During World War I Lady Montfort has turned the Dower House in England into a hospital for officers sufferingfrom what is  commonly called shell shock, but medically called neurathenia. In Death of an Unsung Hero by Tessa Arlen Lady Montfort and her formidable housekeeper Mrs. Jackson throw themselves into the management of the hospital.

Using innovative new treatments at the hospital, officers are treated quietly with a wide range of therapies including art, working on the land and just talking. Some of the officers arrive at the hospital with a different symptoms, so the therapies are more tailored to their needs. Locally, some people think these officers are malingerers, but Lady Montfort believes in the treatments.

Captain Bray, a decorated officer, arrives at the hospital with amnesia and the inability to interact with others. Although he is making progress, he has a long way to go before he is cured. On the day that his brother is scheduled for a visit, Captain Bray is found dead in the kitchen garden.

Horrified by his death, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson cannot imagine that any of their other officer
patients could have committed the crime. Adding to their stress, the Medical Board is planning to review the hospital's procedures in the next week, and Lady Montfort is concerned about how they will feel about murder, especially as a second officer patient is murdered.

When a clue presents itself in the artwork created by Captain Bray, Lady Montfort and Mrs. Jackson follow the clue to the murderer. The war serves as a backdrop to this mystery, and it was enlightening to learn how so many women pitched in on the local farms while the men were away fighting the war.

As this is the fourth in the series, I hope to go back and read some of the others.I enjoyed this one very much.

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