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Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman Series #2)

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Overview

London, 1781. Harriet Westerman anxiously awaits news of her husband, a ship’s captain who has been gravely injured in the king’s naval battles with France. As London’s streets seethe with rumor, a body is dragged from the murky waters of the Thames.

Having gained a measure of fame as amateur detectives for unraveling the mysteries of Thornleigh Hall, the indomitable Mrs. Westerman and her reclusive sidekick, anatomist Gabriel Crowther, are once again called on to investigate. ...

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Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman Series #2)

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Overview

London, 1781. Harriet Westerman anxiously awaits news of her husband, a ship’s captain who has been gravely injured in the king’s naval battles with France. As London’s streets seethe with rumor, a body is dragged from the murky waters of the Thames.

Having gained a measure of fame as amateur detectives for unraveling the mysteries of Thornleigh Hall, the indomitable Mrs. Westerman and her reclusive sidekick, anatomist Gabriel Crowther, are once again called on to investigate. In this intricate novel, Harriet and Crowther will discover that this is no ordinary drowning—the victim is part of a plot to betray England’s most precious secrets.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Robertson improves on her impressive debut, Instruments of Darkness (2011), with her second historical starring anatomist Gabriel Crowther and his partner in detection, Harriet Westerman. In the gripping prologue, set in 1781 off the Newfoundland coast, Westerman’s husband, the captain of an English warship, captures an intelligence officer from a French vessel he defeats in battle. The captain, after questioning the prisoner, suffers an accidental blow to the head that renders him unconscious. He eventually regains consciousness, but has lost his memory, much to the dismay of government officials in London, who were hoping he could help identify a new foreign spymaster planted on English shores. Meanwhile, the Admiralty enlists Crowther and Westerman to investigate how a man’s body that may belong to an operative for the French ended up in the Thames. Memorable prose, strong and unusual leads, a sophisticated plot with several unexpected turns, and an accurate portrayal of the period all make this a winner. Agent: Annette Green. (Feb.)
Library Journal
In this sequel to Instruments of Darkness, Harriet Westerman has traveled to London to be near her husband, a naval commander recovering from injuries sustained at sea. There, she and anatomist Gabriel Crowther are asked to investigate a murder that leads them into the worlds of opera and espionage. Harriet's outspoken, emotional nature and Gabriel's scientific skills complement each other. A subplot involves Mrs. Bligh, a clairvoyant who is troubled by a reading she gives to a young woman. When she discovers that the woman has died, Mrs. Bligh is convinced the girl has been murdered and investigates. The two stories, though taking place in different classes of Georgian society, eventually intertwine in a surprising conclusion. VERDICT The author has done her research (with two pages of historical notes as proof), and the authentic details and dialog transport readers back to 1781 London. However, the many references to the previous book make it essential that new readers start with that one. Fans of such historical mystery authors as Anne Perry and Charles Finch will delight in this new series.—Jean King, West Hempstead P.L., NY
Kirkus Reviews
Spies, corpses, tarot cards and countertenors combine in this appealing if overextended adventure featuring a pair of amateur sleuths in 18th-century London. Although British novelist Robertson (Instruments of Darkness, 2011, etc.) has no difficulty resuming the engaging tone of her period series, this sequel, after its punchy prologue, has a noticeably slacker pace. Mrs. Harriet Westerman, one half of the detective duo, is preoccupied with the mental health of her naval captain husband James, wounded after capturing a French ship carrying a spy during the war with the American Rebels. Now Harriet and her forensic scientist friend Gabriel Crowther are invited by the British authorities to help trace the espionage links to London, starting with the examination of a body found floating in the Thames. These investigations, and the dark fears of a slum-dwelling fortune-teller, are the driving forces for some two-thirds of the story, and they're not enough to sustain excitement, even when packed with atmospheric background and well-researched historical detail. More corpses follow, as well as a predictable, busy denouement, none of which diminishes the sense of a weakly plotted tale and a small cast of characters too conveniently connected. Background authenticity is a substitute for foreground thrills in a solid but less-enthralling follow-up. Book three is under way.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143122630
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 8/28/2012
  • Series: Crowther and Westerman Series , #2
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 201,154
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Imogen Robertson is an award-winning TV, film, and radio director. Instruments of Darkness, her first novel, won the London Telegraph’s "First thousand words of a novel" competition in 2007 and was an Editor's Choice in The New York Times Book Review. She studied at Cambridge and now lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 28, 2012

    A great follow up to Instruments of Darkness!

    I really liked this book. Just like Instruments of Darkness, I had the hardest time putting it down until I reached the end. I am really looking forward, to the next book in the series: Island of Bones, to be released later this year.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Slow moving

    I enjoyed Robertson's first novel, Instruments of Darkness, but was disappointed by Anatomy of Murder. Very slow moving, especially in the first three-quarters of the book. For a mystery novel there were too many irrelevant details about opera, naval warfare, and Jane Austen-esque descriptions of English family life. And too many characters from her first novel inserted themselves into this one without moving the plot much, just adding to a bewildering cast of characters. If you want a tour of Eighteenth Century London, with a scent of murder to keep you flipping pages, though, this book is for you

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2012

    Great Cast of Characters

    Received a copy of this book from Goodreads and I enjoyed reading it. The mystery envolves multiple intresting people set in 1700 London during the time of the American Revolution. It has murder annd spying all rolled together in an intresting story full of twists..Since this is the first book by this author that I've read I think I'll read her others

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 15, 2012

    Imogen Robertson started off with a bang with Instruments of Dar

    Imogen Robertson started off with a bang with Instruments of Darkness and keeps the series not only going strong but picking up considerable steam with the second book; Anatomy of Murder. Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther find themselves once again pulled in by circumstances into solving a murder. While the duo are asked by the British Goverment to look into the death of a suspected french spy that ties somehow into the mental breakdown of Westerman's husband; A Naval Captain.
    In the seedier part of London,Jocasta a Tarot-card reader portents evil for one of her clients and is unable to keep it from happening. Thusly she decides to bring justice to the young girl.
    Throw in the growth of Lady Susan and Imogen Robertson has brought all the players into the fray for a thrillride of a mystery. You will find it all in this book, thrills, good solid whodunit, and more then a little tragedy to go around.
    This is a young writer who has taken the time to learn her craft and is wielding it so well.
    A great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2013

    This author does not disappoint!

    This author does not disappoint!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2013

    Recommended!!

    I read all of this series and enjoyed each one . These are well written with unexpected humor and a wealth of history and forensic
    detail. I particularly like historic mysteries and these are worth the time and money. I wish there were more.

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    Posted July 3, 2012

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    Posted May 16, 2012

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    Posted March 8, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

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