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Anatomy of murder by Imogen Robertson
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Anatomy of murder (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Imogen Robertson

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1961657,794 (3.65)25
Member:rory1000
Title:Anatomy of murder
Authors:Imogen Robertson
Info:London : Headline Review, 2010.
Collections:Your library, Fiction, off the list, 2012 Fiction
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Anatomy of Murder by Imogen Robertson (2010)

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Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
This is the second book in a series of mysteries set in late 18th century England.
This time, Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther are in London and asked to assist in the investigation of the murder of a hanger-on of the Opera--a murder that appears to be associated with treason. Harriet and Crowther are friends whose personal characteristics compliment each other in looking into the mystery.
As in the first book, we follow their investigation, along with following a secondary story-line that parallels it. The colour of 1780's London adds to the enjoyment of the story.
Lots of twists and turns and since the reader is following two story-lines, we become aware of what is happening long before the protagonists, which makes things a bit tense. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
Robertson seems to have experienced a little bit of a sophomore slump. This story is very complex and hard to follow at times. My interest in the characters kept me going but it needed some editing.
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
Reading Anatomy of Murder has been a chore. There are some good qualities to the book. The main characters are not uninteresting. The story line had the makings of a gripping tale, but the pacing and author's shenanigans were deadly.The near constant weaving from the investigations of Harriet Westerman and Crowther with those of the tarot-reading Jocasta who is full of hocus pocus wisdom was fatiguing. And, why in the name of Tiresias would any author choose the name of Jocasta for a soothsayer. Jocasta, who unwittingly married her son thus bringing doom on Thebes? Geez, she couldn't even figure out the "Riddle of the Sphinx." Is Robertson trying to be funny? Another tiresome feature of the book is the persistent references to the previous novel. At times I was utterly clueless as to who was who as well as who they once were. I still haven't figured out who Uncle Eustache is or why he is learning his ABC's. I think I would have better luck sorting out the varied relationships of the Addam's Family than this crew's. Sometimes a tendency to heighten imagery led the author into singularly cringe-worthy writing - an apron is described as being "held together by grease and bad memories." At least that is evocative, if overreaching, but what am I to do with this as far as imagery goes, "he had a face that reminded her of a self-satisfied raisin pudding." Seems Harriet is familiar with this type. Since the fellow's face reminds her of said smug dessert she must have made the acquaintance of the likes at least once before. Me, I got nothin'. I would not know a self-satisfied raisin pudding from a lugubrious raisin pudding. I admit to having once looked upon the face of a churlish beignet. But then, who hasn't?

The basic plot runs along these lines : a not much liked fellow, one Fitzraven, is found afloat in the Thames. Soon there are questions abounding. At the crux there seems to be a whisper of treason and spying. The English are faring poorly against the colonies (truth be told they have already lost on land) and espionage seems to be in evidence. Meanwhile there is questionable goings on at the opera house which may be a sideline or... Meanwhile there are family tensions about Mrs. Westerman's detective tendencies (never avoid a cliche if you can work one in. If you were to go by the output of current novels, prior to 1930 a good 1/4 of English gentlewomen were scurrying about solving mysteries much to their families' chagrin) Meanwhile there is some romantic tension involving Graves, the guardian of the little Lord Sussex (shades of Little Lord F. ?) and a girl named Verity who has popped in for a brief visit from the previous book....Meanwhile... Capt. Westerman is in a madhouse after an accident at sea. Pity this accident came shortly after a conversation he had with a mysterious passenger from the French ship Westerman had besieged. All wish him a swift return to his former bonhomie and of his memory of the conversation with the odd prisoner. As everyone knows, the why and wherefore of a chap bobbing about in the Thames can most often be cleared up by knowing what was said months before off the coast of Newfoundland.
This is a ridiculously tiresome book. Perhaps one of the most vexing mysteries is why at the front of the book there is a map of London, 1871. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Reading Anatomy of Murder has been a chore. There are some good qualities to the book. The main characters are not uninteresting. The story line had the makings of a gripping tale, but the pacing and author's shenanigans were deadly.The near constant weaving from the investigations of Harriet Westerman and Crowther with those of the tarot-reading Jocasta who is full of hocus pocus wisdom was fatiguing. And, why in the name of Tiresias would any author choose the name of Jocasta for a soothsayer. Jocasta, who unwittingly married her son thus bringing doom on Thebes? Geez, she couldn't even figure out the "Riddle of the Sphinx." Is Robertson trying to be funny? Another tiresome feature of the book is the persistent references to the previous novel. At times I was utterly clueless as to who was who as well as who they once were. I still haven't figured out who Uncle Eustache is or why he is learning his ABC's. I think I would have better luck sorting out the varied relationships of the Addam's Family than this crew's. Sometimes a tendency to heighten imagery led the author into singularly cringe-worthy writing - an apron is described as being "held together by grease and bad memories." At least that is evocative, if overreaching, but what am I to do with this as far as imagery goes, "he had a face that reminded her of a self-satisfied raisin pudding." Seems Harriet is familiar with this type. Since the fellow's face reminds her of said smug dessert she must have made the acquaintance of the likes at least once before. Me, I got nothin'. I would not know a self-satisfied raisin pudding from a lugubrious raisin pudding. I admit to having once looked upon the face of a churlish beignet. But then, who hasn't?

The basic plot runs along these lines : a not much liked fellow, one Fitzraven, is found afloat in the Thames. Soon there are questions abounding. At the crux there seems to be a whisper of treason and spying. The English are faring poorly against the colonies (truth be told they have already lost on land) and espionage seems to be in evidence. Meanwhile there is questionable goings on at the opera house which may be a sideline or... Meanwhile there are family tensions about Mrs. Westerman's detective tendencies (never avoid a cliche if you can work one in. If you were to go by the output of current novels, prior to 1930 a good 1/4 of English gentlewomen were scurrying about solving mysteries much to their families' chagrin) Meanwhile there is some romantic tension involving Graves, the guardian of the little Lord Sussex (shades of Little Lord F. ?) and a girl named Verity who has popped in for a brief visit from the previous book....Meanwhile... Capt. Westerman is in a madhouse after an accident at sea. Pity this accident came shortly after a conversation he had with a mysterious passenger from the French ship Westerman had besieged. All wish him a swift return to his former bonhomie and of his memory of the conversation with the odd prisoner. As everyone knows, the why and wherefore of a chap bobbing about in the Thames can most often be cleared up by knowing what was said months before off the coast of Newfoundland.
This is a ridiculously tiresome book. Perhaps one of the most vexing mysteries is why at the front of the book there is a map of London, 1871. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
Reading Anatomy of Murder has been a chore. There are some good qualities to the book. The main characters are not uninteresting. The story line had the makings of a gripping tale, but the pacing and author's shenanigans were deadly.The near constant weaving from the investigations of Harriet Westerman and Crowther with those of the tarot-reading Jocasta who is full of hocus pocus wisdom was fatiguing. And, why in the name of Tiresias would any author choose the name of Jocasta for a soothsayer. Jocasta, who unwittingly married her son thus bringing doom on Thebes? Geez, she couldn't even figure out the "Riddle of the Sphinx." Is Robertson trying to be funny? Another tiresome feature of the book is the persistent references to the previous novel. At times I was utterly clueless as to who was who as well as who they once were. I still haven't figured out who Uncle Eustache is or why he is learning his ABC's. I think I would have better luck sorting out the varied relationships of the Addam's Family than this crew's. Sometimes a tendency to heighten imagery led the author into singularly cringe-worthy writing - an apron is described as being "held together by grease and bad memories." At least that is evocative, if overreaching, but what am I to do with this as far as imagery goes, "he had a face that reminded her of a self-satisfied raisin pudding." Seems Harriet is familiar with this type. Since the fellow's face reminds her of said smug dessert she must have made the acquaintance of the likes at least once before. Me, I got nothin'. I would not know a self-satisfied raisin pudding from a lugubrious raisin pudding. I admit to having once looked upon the face of a churlish beignet. But then, who hasn't?

The basic plot runs along these lines : a not much liked fellow, one Fitzraven, is found afloat in the Thames. Soon there are questions abounding. At the crux there seems to be a whisper of treason and spying. The English are faring poorly against the colonies (truth be told they have already lost on land) and espionage seems to be in evidence. Meanwhile there is questionable goings on at the opera house which may be a sideline or... Meanwhile there are family tensions about Mrs. Westerman's detective tendencies (never avoid a cliche if you can work one in. If you were to go by the output of current novels, prior to 1930 a good 1/4 of English gentlewomen were scurrying about solving mysteries much to their families' chagrin) Meanwhile there is some romantic tension involving Graves, the guardian of the little Lord Sussex (shades of Little Lord F. ?) and a girl named Verity who has popped in for a brief visit from the previous book....Meanwhile... Capt. Westerman is in a madhouse after an accident at sea. Pity this accident came shortly after a conversation he had with a mysterious passenger from the French ship Westerman had besieged. All wish him a swift return to his former bonhomie and of his memory of the conversation with the odd prisoner. As everyone knows, the why and wherefore of a chap bobbing about in the Thames can most often be cleared up by knowing what was said months before off the coast of Newfoundland.
This is a ridiculously tiresome book. Perhaps one of the most vexing mysteries is why at the front of the book there is a map of London, 1871. ( )
  lucybrown | Sep 27, 2015 |
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The streets of London seethe with rumor and conspiracy as the King's Navy battles the French at sea. And while the banks of the Thames swarm with life, a body is dragged from its murky waters. In another part of town, where the air seems sweeter, the privileged enjoy a brighter world of complacent wealth and intoxicating celebrity. But as society revels in its pleasures, a darker plot is played out. Yet some are willing to look below the surface to the unsavoury depths. Mrs Harriet Westerman believes passionately in justice. Reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther is fascinated by the bones beneath the skin. Invited to seek the true nature of the dead man, they risk censure for an unnatural interest in murder. But when the safety of a nation is at stake, personal reputation must give way to the pursuit of reason and truth. -- Amazon.com
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Amateur detectives in Georgian England, Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther investigate the drowning of a man in the Thames and discover that he may have been part of a plot to betray England's secrets to France.

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