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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 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 Gabriel will discover that this is no ordinary drowning-the victim is part of a plot to betray England's most precious secrets. The critics raved about their first adventure, comparing them with the characters of Tess Gerritsen in period clothes. Fans of Instruments of Darkness will find the smart and spirited pair's second outing just as riveting.


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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 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 Gabriel will discover that this is no ordinary drowning-the victim is part of a plot to betray England's most precious secrets. The critics raved about their first adventure, comparing them with the characters of Tess Gerritsen in period clothes. Fans of Instruments of Darkness will find the smart and spirited pair's second outing just as riveting.

30 review for Anatomy of Murder

  1. 5 out of 5

    Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)

    This was quite good. I loved the historical details, and the mystery was very interesting, with some distinct elements I haven't encountered in another mystery book thus far. Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther are a good combination. Also liked Jocasta, Sam, and Boyo. Recommended to fans of historical fiction and mystery. Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur in the February 2012. http://affairedecoeur.com. This was quite good. I loved the historical details, and the mystery was very interesting, with some distinct elements I haven't encountered in another mystery book thus far. Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther are a good combination. Also liked Jocasta, Sam, and Boyo. Recommended to fans of historical fiction and mystery. Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur in the February 2012. http://affairedecoeur.com.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    The Book Report: Mrs. Harriet Westerman, Royal Navy wife, and Mr. Gabriel Crowther, anatomist and aristocrat manqué (albeit with a very good reason to have missed the mark), are back in these two volumes, succeeding "INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS". Mrs. Westerman is, in "Anatomy," in London because her husband has suffered a grievous injury in the process of taking a very rich prize ship (an eighteenth-century Royal Navy captain made his own and his crew's fortune by capturing enemy ships, not sinking The Book Report: Mrs. Harriet Westerman, Royal Navy wife, and Mr. Gabriel Crowther, anatomist and aristocrat manqué (albeit with a very good reason to have missed the mark), are back in these two volumes, succeeding "INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS". Mrs. Westerman is, in "Anatomy," in London because her husband has suffered a grievous injury in the process of taking a very rich prize ship (an eighteenth-century Royal Navy captain made his own and his crew's fortune by capturing enemy ships, not sinking them). Mrs. Westerman has confined him to a hospital to recover, but her friend and neighbor Crowther has followed her to Town, ensuring she will not be bored. In fact, Crowther and Westerman find themselves looking into a series of ever-more-suspicious deaths, embroiling themselves and the families of Westerman and Thornleigh (County neighbors also in London while Thornleigh Hall is restored to its former magnificence after being burned down in the fist book) in the terrifying toils of a spy conspiracy taking place during the closing days of America's war for independence. While there can never be a doubt that Crowther and Westerman will prevail, the cost to them both is always a source of suspense. Mrs. Westerman, a respectable Captain's wife, yet again charges around acting MOST unfeminine and brash, asking questions that powerful people do not want answered and demanding that everyone around her allow her to be herself (horrors!) and follow her own path (gadzooks!). Her proper, missish younger sister informs Mrs. Westerman in no uncertain terms of her behavior's cost to all her family. Crowther is drawn back into the world of aristos and wastrels he left behind without a shred of regret many years before. And, to make matters worse, while he is working out the solution to the dangerous puzzle at hand, he is required to dig up the ghosts of his murdered father and executed brother. All is resolved in the end, of course, but the personal lives of the sleuths are altered in some very significant ways. The stakes rise.... And in "Island," the newly upped ante is raised still further! Now Crowther and Westerman are summoned to Crowther's childhood home in the Lake District by none other than Crowther's unpleasant, spoiled, snobbish sister, unseen by the man for more than thirty years. (Thank GOODNESS, one can hear Crowther--and the author--thinking.) Her brat son is involved in some sort of scrape; bones are discovered in the family's old home that should most definitely not be there; and here Mrs. Westerman is, assisting with the anatomization of several of the corpses that pile up wherever the pair appear. Crowther has reason to suspect his nephew of murder, not a great stretch as the said nephew reminds him of his executed murderer brother; Mrs. Westerman's son Stephen, brought to the Lake District for enlightenment and education, is embroiled in the dangerous business of ferreting out truths that the great and the good do not wish to see out; and all concerned are, of course, inalterably changed by their researches and investigations. At the end of this book, the entire series dramatis personae are assembled...it is a very moving finale. What Robertson plans for the enxt installment in the series, I cannot imagine. It will need to be a doozy to top this one. My Review: I don't have a lot to say about the books, except I think any mystery lover who is also a history buff will enjoy the series. I very much enjoy the books myownself. I suspect that the author's somewhat stately choice of style, no contractions, no anachronisms, could pall on some readers. For me, it was a genuine pleasure. I like these books, and find them quite involving and well-made in novel terms. As mysteries, they are quite good enough...but not first-rank puzzlers. It's not why I am reading them, so I'm not disappointed. More of the Christie style, where the journey is the point, than the Sayers tradition, where the puzzle is very tightly crafted. Go in with your expectations properly calibrated, and these are delightful entertainments.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barb in Maryland

    A very deep,dark,rich mystery with lots of threads that come together for a heart-pounding conclusion. I loved it. One of the best historical mysteries I have read in quite some time. Robertson manages to give all of her characters, even the secondary ones, depth and personality. I was especially fond of Mrs. Bligh, the Tarot reader, with her dog Boyo. Our main characters are no paragons--Harriet and Gabriel have their flaws as well as strengths, and the author is not shy about bringing them to o A very deep,dark,rich mystery with lots of threads that come together for a heart-pounding conclusion. I loved it. One of the best historical mysteries I have read in quite some time. Robertson manages to give all of her characters, even the secondary ones, depth and personality. I was especially fond of Mrs. Bligh, the Tarot reader, with her dog Boyo. Our main characters are no paragons--Harriet and Gabriel have their flaws as well as strengths, and the author is not shy about bringing them to our attention. Her attention to the historic detail is very good, without being didactic. I could believe myself in London in the fall of 1781--all the little touches were there. Though this is the second in an on-going series, the author provides enough back-story to make it accessible to readers who have not read the first. And if you haven't read the first (Instruments of Darkness), then you have missed a treat.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Ally

    Not as good as her first in the series - almost too many details and characters to follow. That said, it’s an intricate mystery peopled by many interesting characters ~ some whom we came to know via her last in the series (Instruments of Darkness) and some new. I think I would have preferred that there not been the espionage angle as it brought in an element that the story would have done better without. Still, overall good 3.75 stars

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kerri

    This one starts a little slowly, but it definitely speeds up as the plot thickens more and more. Murder, secret plots to ferret out and untangle, and a whole lot of new characters. So many new characters, in fact, that I had a bit of trouble at times remembering who was who and what. But it all settled as I continued on. Some of the characters (Susan and Rachel for example) are annoying but they serve important roles. Violence, murder, swearing, details of poverty, trauma.

  6. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    First Sentence: Captain Westerman was in his cabin reading the letter from his wife for the fourth time when he heard the officer of the morning watch ring Six Bells. Mrs. Harriet Westerman and her friend, Gabriel Crowther, are once again embroiled in solving a murder. However, the stakes are even higher as they deal with treason against England during the Revolutionary War. In a much less elegant part of London, Tarot-card reader sees the impending murder of one of her clients. Although she fail First Sentence: Captain Westerman was in his cabin reading the letter from his wife for the fourth time when he heard the officer of the morning watch ring Six Bells. Mrs. Harriet Westerman and her friend, Gabriel Crowther, are once again embroiled in solving a murder. However, the stakes are even higher as they deal with treason against England during the Revolutionary War. In a much less elegant part of London, Tarot-card reader sees the impending murder of one of her clients. Although she fails in preventing the murder, she is determined to bring the woman’s killers to justice. Beginning with an exciting and dramatic scene, this is one of those can’t-stop-until-I-finish-it books. Ms. Robertston’s writing is atmospheric and insightful with a strong sense of time and place, subtle, wry humor, a marvelous voice and style which evoke the period and the emotions of the characters. I found it fascinating to see the Revolution from the English perspective. I love the characters. Harriet, intuitive and more able to relate to others, and Crowther, the cold, analytic scientist, balance each other well. Harriet is someone who, as a real person, I should like very much. We learn more of Crowther and his past, which hints of much more to come. I am enjoying the evolution of their relationship despite the differences in the ages and natures. All the characters are alive and wonderful. It’s nice to see the characters from the first book, including Molloy, and meet the delightful new characters Jocasta, Sam and Boyo. I did feel a cast of characters would have been helpful. The captivating plot, good twist, the way in which the threads were brought together was wonderful. Set in 1781 during the Revolution, the story deals with traitors, murder and opera with a touch of the metaphysical. It takes you from the Opera house and salons of the wealthy to the meanest slums of London revealing the apathy and cruelty which resides in each. Ms. Robertston is one of the best new-to-me-authors I’ve found this year. Her writing is insightful with interesting observations on celebrity worship, and encourages one to look at things from a different perspective. It is not often that events in a book make me truly cry, but it speaks to speaks to an author's skill that her writing evokes such strong emotion. It was an excellent read but I recommend starting with her first book. I can’t wait for her next book. ANATOMY OF MURDER (Hist Mys-Harriet Westerman/Gabriel Crowther-England-Georgian/1781) - Ex Robertson, Imogen – 2nd in series Headline, ©2010, UK Hardcover – ISBN: 9780755348428 [image error]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mark Robertson

    Entertaining historical novel reads a little like Jane Austen at times. This second novel of Robertson's refers often back to the first, so I wish I'd read that one first. Set in 1781, The lead character, Harriet Westerman, is the wife of a British Navy Captain. She and an older male who is something of a pioneering medical examiner, Gabriel Crowther, had met in the country when solving the previous year's crime. They're in London now, where Captain Westerman is being treated for an injury suffe Entertaining historical novel reads a little like Jane Austen at times. This second novel of Robertson's refers often back to the first, so I wish I'd read that one first. Set in 1781, The lead character, Harriet Westerman, is the wife of a British Navy Captain. She and an older male who is something of a pioneering medical examiner, Gabriel Crowther, had met in the country when solving the previous year's crime. They're in London now, where Captain Westerman is being treated for an injury suffered at sea, and are asked to look into a murder. There's a large and interesting cast of characters and some good plot twists in this tale of murder and intrigue. It's annoying that a map at the front of the book is headed "London in 1871".

  8. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Liked the first, and the second is more of the same. The murder mystery (mysteries, really) runs a dim second to the depiction of 18th century London from almost every conceivable angle. There are really two mysteries that run parallel, and I think Ms. Robertson was a bit more interested in Jocasta, Sam and Boyo than her putative leads, Crowder and Westerman. As historical novels go, this is pretty good. As a murder mystery, not so much. It never is really clear what the stakes are for the actua Liked the first, and the second is more of the same. The murder mystery (mysteries, really) runs a dim second to the depiction of 18th century London from almost every conceivable angle. There are really two mysteries that run parallel, and I think Ms. Robertson was a bit more interested in Jocasta, Sam and Boyo than her putative leads, Crowder and Westerman. As historical novels go, this is pretty good. As a murder mystery, not so much. It never is really clear what the stakes are for the actual killings. Will read more of the series.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Johanna

    I am loving this series! I can't wait for the third book! I am loving this series! I can't wait for the third book!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julia Wilson

    This second installment of the Crowther and Westerman series is as good as the first book. The two eccentric main characters are asked to help unravel the mystery behind a murder of a man who might be a French spy, during the 1700s. They two abrasive but enjoyable main characters weave their way through London's music scene and homes filled with political intrigue. This second installment of the Crowther and Westerman series is as good as the first book. The two eccentric main characters are asked to help unravel the mystery behind a murder of a man who might be a French spy, during the 1700s. They two abrasive but enjoyable main characters weave their way through London's music scene and homes filled with political intrigue.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Lynx

    Interesting to read about the revolutionary war from the British point of view.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melodramaticfool

    After being thrown into the world of Crowther and Mrs. Westermann I couldn't possibly fathom what mystery could happen next! Imagine my surprise when a body in the river leads to a pathway of government secrets, spies, and tragedy! It was interesting to be led through the world of the stage, as the dynamic duo sought out their killer! I learned to love new characters, and grow fonder of those we've been introduced to which is something I appreciate about Robertson's books. Characters from the pre After being thrown into the world of Crowther and Mrs. Westermann I couldn't possibly fathom what mystery could happen next! Imagine my surprise when a body in the river leads to a pathway of government secrets, spies, and tragedy! It was interesting to be led through the world of the stage, as the dynamic duo sought out their killer! I learned to love new characters, and grow fonder of those we've been introduced to which is something I appreciate about Robertson's books. Characters from the previous book are not only seen in the second, but participate in events, and are a daily and active part of Crowther and Westermann's chaotic lives. I've also developed an appreciation of Robertson's style of swapping P.O.V.s between chapters, it helps give the reader a full view of the happenings going on even behind the scenes when night falls, and the criminals come out to play. :) This time we got to follow after a psychic who puts bread on her table by reading people's cards. Headstrong and determined, she was an interesting character to follow and made it more fun when the chapters were about her! I was worried at first that it would be slow due to the fact that sometimes espionage can be rather dry, but I was kept entertained as the mystery became more dangerous, desperate, and led to dangers among our detective's crowd! I shall not spoil it though, you must see for yourself!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    LURVE. I had this book for awhile before I dared to read it, because I liked the first in the series so VERY much and was afraid the sophomore curse would strike this one. Not so! Another twisty, suspenseful, intriguing mystery written much in the same vein as the first, with multiple seemingly unrelated plot threads that all weave together at the end. (I seem to be reading a lot of titles like that lately.) My only gripe with this was that the field of possible suspects was so broad that we rea LURVE. I had this book for awhile before I dared to read it, because I liked the first in the series so VERY much and was afraid the sophomore curse would strike this one. Not so! Another twisty, suspenseful, intriguing mystery written much in the same vein as the first, with multiple seemingly unrelated plot threads that all weave together at the end. (I seem to be reading a lot of titles like that lately.) My only gripe with this was that the field of possible suspects was so broad that we really didn't get to focus for long on any one of them, which slightly dulled the satisfaction of seeing the bad guy brought to justice in the end. Balancing that was the unexpected (well, for me) continuation of plot threads and characters from the previous book. Most of the mysteries I've read are fairly episodic in nature-- detective gets case, detective solves case, detective never sees case-related people again. Not so in this title! Mrs. Westerman is in fact staying with the young Lord Sussex and Lady Susan and their new guardians (from the previous title), and all of them become surprisingly key elements in the new case. (Crowther's there too, of course-- he's practically a house guest himself, he's over so often). In fact, I'd say readers would likely gain far more satisfaction from the title by reading the other book first, and getting to know all of these wonderful secondary players better. (Lady Susan in particular really comes into her own in this, I felt.) There's also continuation of Mrs. Westerman's turbulent personal life (as well as a few more hints of Crowther's), and her uncertainty at being in a role that is at once so unfeminine (for the time period) and unsuited to her station, yet so suited to her temperament. Mrs. Westerman is doing a service to the Crown and her fellow man in pursuing justice, but the notoriety that comes with it could potentially damage her husband's career and her sister's and her children's future prospects. And yet... it's an occupation she enjoys, and is good at, and Crowther (for all his technical skill) could not do the job without her. For all that she's rather brash, she's not insensitive to these problems, and they cause her (and her family) a great deal of guilt and unease. I really, really look forward to seeing where the author's going to go with Book 3. This one took us in a few MOST unexpected directions.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    First Line: Captain Westerman was in his cabin reading the letter from his wife for the fourth time when he heard the officer of the morning watch ring Six Bells. It's 1781, and Harriet Westerman finds herself in London. Her husband, a ship's captain, has been very seriously injured while capturing a French vessel, and Harriet needs to be near him during his recuperation. She and the reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther have become famous (or infamous) as amateur detectives for solving the mysteri First Line: Captain Westerman was in his cabin reading the letter from his wife for the fourth time when he heard the officer of the morning watch ring Six Bells. It's 1781, and Harriet Westerman finds herself in London. Her husband, a ship's captain, has been very seriously injured while capturing a French vessel, and Harriet needs to be near him during his recuperation. She and the reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther have become famous (or infamous) as amateur detectives for solving the mysteries of Thornleigh Hall, which occurred in the first book of the series, Instruments of Darkness. The British government requests their skills as detectives in investigating the death of a man whose body was pulled from the Thames. Harriet's presence at her husband's bedside is doing him no good. Since the doctor tells her to occupy her time in some other fashion-- and because "requests" from the government can seldom be ignored-- the team of Crowther and Westerman find themselves unraveling a plot filled with spies and betrayal. Once again author Imogen Robertson immerses the reader in the England of the late eighteenth century. The setting, the time period, and the plot are all engrossing, but as with any high calibre mystery, the characters are what lift everything to a more lofty, enjoyable plane. We meet Harriet's husband, Harriet can now be seen as an anxious wife, and the hermit-like Gabriel Crowther is slowly becoming used to Harriet, her family, and just dealing with the general populace. (When you've avoided the public for years, it can take a while to get reacquainted.) Robertson's characters are anything but static and one-dimensional; things happen to them, they grow, and they change. Put this interesting cast in the middle of a genuinely puzzling investigation, and you experience a little bit of mystery reading nirvana. If you're a fan of historical mysteries, strong characters, intriguing plots, and a rich, almost Dickensian setting, I'd advise you to read Imogen Robertson's Crowther and Westerman series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacqie

    I enjoyed the first book in this historical mystery series a lot. However, this second book failed to grab me. It's been long enough since I read "Instruments of Darkness" that I couldn't remember much about the supporting characters, and they hopped in and out of scenes so fast that I couldn't keep track of what was happening to whom. Crowther and Mrs. Westerman were not as intriguing to me in their interactions this time. The hook for the murder was a thin one, and I couldn't bring myself to c I enjoyed the first book in this historical mystery series a lot. However, this second book failed to grab me. It's been long enough since I read "Instruments of Darkness" that I couldn't remember much about the supporting characters, and they hopped in and out of scenes so fast that I couldn't keep track of what was happening to whom. Crowther and Mrs. Westerman were not as intriguing to me in their interactions this time. The hook for the murder was a thin one, and I couldn't bring myself to care much about the murder of a rather despicable man. Also, there was a third POV character, a fortune teller named Jocasta, brought into this book to give us another plot thread. I'm not sure the book benefited from her, although she is certainly an interesting character in her own right and perhaps deserves her own book. In this work, however, she mostly broke up the flow of the plot- it would have been better for the main characters to get this information another way than this mechanism. In the next book, I think that Crowther goes home. I'm interested to see what happens there, so I will most likely read the next in the series. That may make or break for me whether I'll continue further down the line.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Krisette Spangler

    I always have high expectations for the second installment in a great series, and this one delivers. The writing is so fantastic, and the mystery was extremely intriguing. The one thing that keeps me from giving these book 5 stars is the language. There's not a lot of bad language, there are probably less than five swears in this novel, but they are not consistent with the time period. You never see other authors from this era dropping f bombs, and I don't believe the word was in circulation dur I always have high expectations for the second installment in a great series, and this one delivers. The writing is so fantastic, and the mystery was extremely intriguing. The one thing that keeps me from giving these book 5 stars is the language. There's not a lot of bad language, there are probably less than five swears in this novel, but they are not consistent with the time period. You never see other authors from this era dropping f bombs, and I don't believe the word was in circulation during the Revolutionary War time period. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong. Despite this issue, Ms. Robertson is fast becoming one of my favorite authors.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    The second book in the Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther series, I think this was even better than the first. Many of the characters from the first book appeared in this one, with the addition of new very appealing characters (Mrs. Bligh, Sam and Boyo, who I hope return as the series continues). A gripping read with scary and sad moments, I actually cried at the end. The only odd thing about this book was Harriet herself, who seemed very childish at times. Really looking forward to the next The second book in the Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther series, I think this was even better than the first. Many of the characters from the first book appeared in this one, with the addition of new very appealing characters (Mrs. Bligh, Sam and Boyo, who I hope return as the series continues). A gripping read with scary and sad moments, I actually cried at the end. The only odd thing about this book was Harriet herself, who seemed very childish at times. Really looking forward to the next one in the series.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Janet Martin

    In her second book, Robertson visits the London opera scene in 1781--wonderfully rich detail enhances a murder investigation that follows the recovery of the body of an opera house employee found floating in the Thames. Espionage, treachery, and the murder of several street children compound the evil, as the main body count grows. A spectacular historical mystery with compelling characters and masterfully constructed plot. I can hardly wait to read more!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shan

    Even better than the first, and that's really saying something. Robertson continues to develop the relationship between Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther, while also devoting plenty of energy to beloved (to me, anyway) secondary characters from the first book. The mystery is intricate, the writing swell -- but these books are really about the people. Even better than the first, and that's really saying something. Robertson continues to develop the relationship between Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther, while also devoting plenty of energy to beloved (to me, anyway) secondary characters from the first book. The mystery is intricate, the writing swell -- but these books are really about the people.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Matt B.

    The two sleuths, Westerman and Crowther, return to pry loose the villians hidden in the fabric of British society in 1871. Historical detail convincing. Captivating read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Angel

    another installment--London setting is terrific.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is a good follow-up mystery to "Instruments of Darkness," but on a more serious note and without the dry humor that marked the former book, the first in the Westerman-Crowther series. I especially enjoyed the Prologue scenes which take place on Captain Westerman's ship, HMS Splendor. The writing is witty, captivating and moves at a spanking pace. It is unfortunate that there won't be more of these kinds of scenes in future books. The central core of the book concerns a spy ring in London whi This is a good follow-up mystery to "Instruments of Darkness," but on a more serious note and without the dry humor that marked the former book, the first in the Westerman-Crowther series. I especially enjoyed the Prologue scenes which take place on Captain Westerman's ship, HMS Splendor. The writing is witty, captivating and moves at a spanking pace. It is unfortunate that there won't be more of these kinds of scenes in future books. The central core of the book concerns a spy ring in London which is divulging naval information to France. The spies are killing some of their own as well as others as the bodies pile up. Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther are requested to help solve the mystery of who is behind both spy ring and deaths. In this case, I feel Harriet does not show to advantage as she is absent from her family, notably her young son, Stephen, who desperately needs stability because his father is being treated for a grave head injury causing memory and behavior problems. But she is an absent parent for the most part, while she tells herself that she is of most use working for the greater good of her country. I like her as a character less and less because I think she is a neglectful mother. (In the last book, I didn't even realize until deep into the story, that she had a baby daughter of about 6 months!) Also, I feel the ponderous overtones of romantic attraction between the two main characters is being made to become inevitable rather than spontaneous. I did like the side views of the inner workings of the Opera in London which overlay a sort of "alternate universe" plot that takes place in the slums. These devises were more interesting and less of a strain to follow than the main story. Note: I was greatly disappointed in the many glaring errors and anachronisms here since the first book had been relatively free of them. The worst was the dating of the frontispiece map of London as being from 1871, when it clearly was meant to be of 1781 (the year of the story's action,) a bad copy error!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anne Wright

    Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman#2) by Imogen Robertson If you have not read one of these books you are missing out, This is a wonderful stand alone story, yes it follows on from the first story with comments and memories but you dont need to read it but you will have missed out on the first story in the group. So Book 2 We start with a sea battle between France and Great Britain. Hannah Westerman's husband is ill and in a London hospital and Hannah and her sister and her children are sta Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman#2) by Imogen Robertson If you have not read one of these books you are missing out, This is a wonderful stand alone story, yes it follows on from the first story with comments and memories but you dont need to read it but you will have missed out on the first story in the group. So Book 2 We start with a sea battle between France and Great Britain. Hannah Westerman's husband is ill and in a London hospital and Hannah and her sister and her children are staying with friends whilst she visits her husband. Then there is a murder. well of course there has to be. Crowther is staying in the same house for the time being and Crowther and Westerman are called on by one of the local justices to look ant the body of a man found tied to a stanchion in the Thames. The murder takes them to the opera house and they hear a duet that they love amazingly the singers get tangled up in the murder. They are then invited to a lords residence to hear the duo sing again and they find someone else entangled in the murder. The story moves to the poorer parts of London to a woman Rosita using Tarot to read futures and one of her ladies asking for this service troubles Rosita so much she takes the trouble to find out as much as she can about how and where she lives, then she dies. you must read this if you love crime stories I loved this book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jim Leckband

    Since I bought this book at a library book sale, I didn't read the first book in the series. Sometimes it isn't necessary and sometimes it is. Mostly it isn't in this one - but I was over 200 pages in before Robertson dumped a whole lotta backstory in the narrative. A spy ring in Revolutionary War London (1781) has caught the attention of a Mycroft Holmes-like character - Mr. Palmer. He engages the odd couple, Crowther and Westerman, to find out more, starting with an odd body fished out of the T Since I bought this book at a library book sale, I didn't read the first book in the series. Sometimes it isn't necessary and sometimes it is. Mostly it isn't in this one - but I was over 200 pages in before Robertson dumped a whole lotta backstory in the narrative. A spy ring in Revolutionary War London (1781) has caught the attention of a Mycroft Holmes-like character - Mr. Palmer. He engages the odd couple, Crowther and Westerman, to find out more, starting with an odd body fished out of the Thames. Crowther's super power is apparently the autopsy. Westerman's is ... being a modern woman bad-ass detective dropped into the 18th century? Together they comb the upper dregs and the lower dregs of London society to puzzle out the do-badders. The best parts of the book are with Jocasta - a tarot reading sleuth who comes at the mystery from the other end by seeing the fortune cast on one of the victims. Her story with the orphan boy is right out of Dickens as they piece together what's happening and meet Crowther and Westerman at the end.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cliff

    There's been an explosion in detective stories set in earlier times, from Ancient Rome to medieval monasteries to Tudor England. This is set in the London of 1781, towards the end of the American War if Independence which for Great Britain was as much of a war against the French as against the colonists. It concerns spying against GB by those damned Frenchies. The main protagonists are the wife of a naval captain and an 18th century would be CBI! It's a fair example of the genre, but not excepti There's been an explosion in detective stories set in earlier times, from Ancient Rome to medieval monasteries to Tudor England. This is set in the London of 1781, towards the end of the American War if Independence which for Great Britain was as much of a war against the French as against the colonists. It concerns spying against GB by those damned Frenchies. The main protagonists are the wife of a naval captain and an 18th century would be CBI! It's a fair example of the genre, but not exceptional. The author tells us if all the research she did, but makes a real howler by referring letters on a desk waiting for the penny post. They'd have waited a long time for that was about 50 years in the future. Before that was introduced it was recipients who paid postage upon receipt not the sender. 3 stars is fair.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Danbarnardjr

    In my previous review of Instruments of Darkness (Crowther & Westerman #1) I compared the author's style to that of John LeCarre: multitude of characters, complicated plot, all coming together at the end of the book. Anatomy of Murder (Crowther & Westerman #2) is definitely in the same genre. Only this plot is more complicated and the characters are even more interesting. I am a binge reader and certainly don't race through the books that I read. It took me more than a month to read the first th In my previous review of Instruments of Darkness (Crowther & Westerman #1) I compared the author's style to that of John LeCarre: multitude of characters, complicated plot, all coming together at the end of the book. Anatomy of Murder (Crowther & Westerman #2) is definitely in the same genre. Only this plot is more complicated and the characters are even more interesting. I am a binge reader and certainly don't race through the books that I read. It took me more than a month to read the first three-quarters of this book, but only three days to read the last quarter. And the final chapters elicited a full range of emotions: humor, anxiety, fear, sadness (tears), and relief. Quite simply, Imogen Robertson is a masterful writer and story-teller.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    I bought this book mostly accidentally, but I quite enjoyed it. There are a lot of references to the previous book in the series, but it's not necessary to read it to understand this one, everything is introduced well enough. I always enjoy historical novels and murder mysteries, so this combination worked very well for me. I liked the characters and the plot was complex enough to interest, but not so convoluted as not to make sense anymore. I bought this book mostly accidentally, but I quite enjoyed it. There are a lot of references to the previous book in the series, but it's not necessary to read it to understand this one, everything is introduced well enough. I always enjoy historical novels and murder mysteries, so this combination worked very well for me. I liked the characters and the plot was complex enough to interest, but not so convoluted as not to make sense anymore.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rosemary

    Aside from the too late reintroduction of the two children of protagonist, Harriet Westerman, the second of Robertson's 18th century English novels is a terrific read. Historically sound and created with care to the themes of espionage and of music, the partnership of Crowther and Westerman has a particularly intricate mystery to solve. The introduction of Jocasta Blyth along with the return of Molloy from the first book are artfully woven into the plot. Afraid I must continue the series. Aside from the too late reintroduction of the two children of protagonist, Harriet Westerman, the second of Robertson's 18th century English novels is a terrific read. Historically sound and created with care to the themes of espionage and of music, the partnership of Crowther and Westerman has a particularly intricate mystery to solve. The introduction of Jocasta Blyth along with the return of Molloy from the first book are artfully woven into the plot. Afraid I must continue the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbra

    This series just gets better and better. This one is truly amazing, get ready to read thru the night until you finish. London 1781 the streets are rife with rumor and conspiracy as the King's Navy battle the French. Westerman and Crowther are called to investigate the case of a dead man found in the Thames. They will discover this is not an ordinary drowning, but the victim who is part of a plot to betray England's most precious secrets. This series just gets better and better. This one is truly amazing, get ready to read thru the night until you finish. London 1781 the streets are rife with rumor and conspiracy as the King's Navy battle the French. Westerman and Crowther are called to investigate the case of a dead man found in the Thames. They will discover this is not an ordinary drowning, but the victim who is part of a plot to betray England's most precious secrets.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Plonys

    Fabulous! Tarot cards, spies, a naval skirmish, the back streets of 1780s London...really, what's not to like? This second book of the Crowther/Westerman series was much stronger than the first (which was good - and should be read before this book to understand who all the characters are - but was not as suspenseful and well plotted as this one). Fabulous! Tarot cards, spies, a naval skirmish, the back streets of 1780s London...really, what's not to like? This second book of the Crowther/Westerman series was much stronger than the first (which was good - and should be read before this book to understand who all the characters are - but was not as suspenseful and well plotted as this one).

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