In the fourth installment of Imogen Robertson’s acclaimed historical suspense series, Mrs. Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther depart England for the Duchy of Maulberg on a desperate mission to save a man accused of murder.
Shrove Tuesday, 1784. As Germany’s elite dance at a masked ball, the beautiful Lady Martesen is murdered. Daniel Clode, Mrs. Westerman’s brother-in-law, is found near the body, his wrists cut, his memories nightmarish. Is Daniel a killer? As he awaits execution, Westerman enlists Crowther, the increasingly reclusive anatomist, to help prove Daniel’s innocence. After another ruthless death, the investigative duo find themselves racing to solve the mystery behind the killings—but no one will talk, and the clock is ticking for Daniel.
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Praise for ISLAND OF BONES
“Robertson's superior third historical featuring anatomist Gabriel Crowther and widow Harriet Westerman (after 2012's Anatomy of Murder) makes the most of its revelations about Crowther's backstory . . . First-rate prose and the deepening relationship between the two leads bode well for the longevity of this series.”
—Publishers Weekly,(starred review)
“Set aside quality time to fully enjoy this richly layered, engaging historical series; a great suggestion for fans of Anne Perry, Charles Finch, and C.S. Harris.”
“[An] audacious mix of cultural gloss and uncomplicated, straight-ahead storytelling. The multi-layered nuance of Peter Ackroyd and the buttonholing narrative grasp of Stephen King are stirred into the mix.”
—The Independent (UK)
"A new Imogen Robertson book is fast becoming something of an event. . . . This follow-up does not disappoint. As ever, the characters are enticing and the plot absorbing. If you've not read the previous books, do not despair—they each stand alone. But if you have time on your hands, now is your chance to catch up."
—The Daily Mail (UK)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is the fourth in a series of historical suspense novels by this author and it’s quite unusual. It involves two sleuths who are British and here attempt to solve their first criminal mystery outside of England, in Germany in 1782. Harriet Westerman is an intelligent, fearless gal whose past history with murder has left some pain and a bit of shadow about her public image. Gabriel Crowther is a bit of a recluse who speaks his mind at all times, no matter how offensively it is taken, but he is also bright and an anatomist, fascinated with the scientific properties of the body for criminal analysis and healing as well. Now they learn that a good friend, Daniel Clode, is accused of murdering Lady Martesen. They immediately leave for the Duchy of Maulberg in German! First, they discovered that Daniel Clode has been acting like someone who is insane and then they are shocked to find that Lady Martesen was probably killed not by smothering, as originally thought, but by drowning. But how can someone be drowned and have no sign of water anywhere on the clothing or body? Westerman and Crowther are surprised by the fairness of the investigation in Maulberg, a place that is rather an enigma since it is ruled by an absolute dictator who allows them room for investigation perhaps with a slightly hidden financial motive. Meanwhile other characters such as the brilliant mathematician Pegel appear on the scene and discover the presence of a secret group that is equated with the Free Masons but is not anything like them in reality. in fact, the plot that begins to unfold turns out to be one that could change the face of European governments, one country at a time and not in a healthy productive way! As the murder took place during the annual Shrove Tuesday celebrations, Daniel Clode was like all other celebrants wearing a mask, one that is part of the plot to undo him as he will be executed if found guilty. But there’s much more to this mystery and the above summary is only a tad of all the clues that are gradually revealed with just the right amount of tension and intrigue, including a notable amount of period description and detail that is very interesting as well as the investigation. Imogen Robertson is a talented writer who has penned a mystery others have compared to Anne Perry for detail and Tess Gerritesen for forensic evidence. This reviewer couldn’t agree more! Mystery fans and historical fiction fans will love this novel for sure! Very well done and highly recommended!
I loved this book! My only disappointment is that it may be a bit of a wait until the next one comes out. I love the plot, the writing, and the characters. Imogen Robertson is a truly gifted author, in my opinion, and now tops the list of my favorites.
Well-written, tightly plotted, with believable characters in believable relationships. Also full of interesting facts and ideas about early crime forensics and study of anatomy. Couched in authentic settings, this is a crime-duo series for readers who like to be intellectually as well as emotionally engaged in a murder mystery.