The World War One stories follow a family from the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 to the ceasefire on the 11 November 1918. There are five books, one for each year, and they follow the four adult siblings. Reverend Joseph Reavley, who becomes a chaplain in the trenches in Flanders, his sister Hannah, whose husband is in the Royal Navy, younger brother Matthew who is in the intelligence service, and cannot confide in anyone at all, and youngest sister Judith who is an ambulance driver on the Western Front. They solve many crimes while seeking to keep hope, courage, and compassion in the grimmest and most terrible circumstances. Joseph especially struggles to keep faith and be of use amid such overwhelming injury and loss. But in case you think it is unmitigated despair, they all survive, and find some happiness.