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Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman #2)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  1,458 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
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. W ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 16th 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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 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.

Richard Derus
Sep 19, 2011 Richard Derus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
May 27, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it
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 ...more
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
Mark Robertson
Apr 24, 2013 Mark Robertson rated it liked it
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 ...more
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
Cathy Cole
Jan 26, 2013 Cathy Cole rated it really liked it
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2013 Jacqie rated it liked it
Shelves: didnt-finish
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
Krisette Spangler
May 17, 2015 Krisette Spangler rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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 ...more
Apr 19, 2015 Louise rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jan 28, 2013 Shan rated it it was amazing
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.
Leslie Angel
Aug 05, 2015 Leslie Angel rated it really liked it
another installment--London setting is terrific.
Mar 27, 2011 Johanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I am loving this series! I can't wait for the third book!
Heloise West
Jan 04, 2017 Heloise West rated it it was amazing
so good, so addicting...!
Sep 30, 2013 Jean rated it it was amazing
While the first book feels exactly like what it is, a set-up, this book expands on the characters introduced and lets them fully stretch their legs. The mystery itself still seems rather arbitrary--I knew, pretty much from the beginning, who the spy was, though, exactly like the first book, very few clues are actually given as to motivation until the reveal, something that might drive the die-hard mystery lovers a little crazy--but where the series' strength lies is in the history and the charac ...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in July 2011.

Having enjoyed Robertson's first novel, Instruments of Darkness, I had high hopes for the sequel. These were, for the most part, realised. Her two detectives, naval wife Hannah Westerman and anatomist Gabriel Crowther, have become somewhat notorious as a result of the publication of lurid pamphlets describing the events of the first novel.

This means that towards the end of 1781 they are asked to look into a body found in the river Thames, a body
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. ...more
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
Petra Sýkorová
Lidé můžou tvrdit, co chtějí, ale ženy v mužské branži vždycky vzbuzují nejednu otázku a pozdvižené obočí. Když se to děje v dnešní době, jak to vůbec mohlo vypadat v takovém 18. století? A co potom žena, která se zajímá o vraždy?

Své o tom ví Harriet Westermanová, manželka váženého kapitána Westermana, který na své poslední plavbě utrpěl zranění natolik vážná, že musel být hospitalizován. Aby mohla být manželovi blíž, stěhuje se Harriet společně s dětmi i sestrou ke svým přátelům do Londýna. Pří
Kimberly Paulson
Feb 17, 2017 Kimberly Paulson rated it really liked it
Good mystery, interesting characters.
Lisa Ard
Feb 02, 2012 Lisa Ard rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther are solving a crime once again. In 'Instruments of Darkness' we met the captain's wife and the scientist in the English countryside, where a murder and mystery involved one of the great houses. In 'Anatomy of Murder' the duo are in London when a body is dragged from the Thames. Called to view the body by the local official and lend what knowledge they can, the two amateur detectives are drawn into a web of crime involving French spies, opera divas, and Capt ...more
Feb 02, 2013 Sallee rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is the second book in the Crowther mystery series. Crowther and Mrs. Westerman are in London as her husband, Captain Westerfield had to be taken to a private home for people suffering from mental issues. He had been hit in the head on board his ship, the Splendor and having a head injury changed his personality making him sometimes violent. He is improving very slowly. This story is about the murder of a man called Fitzhaven who is attached to His Majesty's Theatre and is suspected to be a ...more
Jun 09, 2013 Rawles rated it really liked it
I must admit, I have changed my mind about this series - I really like it! I have now read the second and third of the series and they just keep getting better and better. Lots of characters to keep up with and I wish the author would decide if she is going to call a character by their last name or their first name as it is confusing to keep switching, but that is such a minor complaint in a wonderfully written murder mystery series! Robertson combines complex plot, colorful characters, and a gr ...more
Jann Barber
May 18, 2012 Jann Barber rated it really liked it
I am not certain why it took me so long to get hooked into this book. Once I was hooked, it flew along.

While a person could probably enjoy this without having read "Instruments of Darkness," knowing the characters and events from that book definitely added to the understanding and enjoyment (if that is a work to be used with a murder mystery) of this second entry in the series.

As in "Instruments of Darkness," Robertson again switches between two stories that eventually merge as you know they wil
Apr 15, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, mystery
Another good Westerman/Crowther novel - though, I'm giving it a 3 simply because it was harder to get into than the first.

The main mystery - that of finding the murderer of Fitzraven, and what his death had to do with French spies - is the most compelling. Robertson does a good job at interweaving the different threads of the story together. Having said that, though, I felt that the plotline involving James Westerman was a bit awkward: the beginning is jarring, almost confusing (and the ending i
Sep 23, 2012 Naomi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this book on CD. I must admit that I have two ratings for this book.

First, for the content/storyline of the book itself I rated it 4/5 Stars. I found the story to be incredibly well written and entertaining. I love the setting set in Revolutionary War England and the incorporation of characters from the first book in the series into the second story. The main characters of Crowther and Westerman more developed and more inviting.

Now, on that note, I really needed a couple of days t
Lisa C
Nov 08, 2012 Lisa C rated it liked it
Quite a bit darker than the average Victorian mystery, I wasn't sure if I was going to like the series, but I enjoyed it. This is not a "popcorn" sort of series that you breeze through quickly, though much of the pace of the work is fairly standard for a mystery. I particularly liked the addition of details such as the naval battle at the beginning. Reminiscent of Patrick O'Brian's work (Aubrey-Martin series, e.g. Master and Commander), the historical details added an extra perspective. I partic ...more
Kerry Bridges
Nov 19, 2016 Kerry Bridges rated it liked it
Captain James Westerman captures a French Naval vessel carrying an important person who may be a spy but is unfortunately injured before he can tell anyone what has happened. Meanwhile, a body wrapped in a rug is found in the Thames and Captain Westerman's wife, Harriet, and her friend, the anatomist Gabriel Crowther, are summoned to give their opinion of the corpse. How is this murder related to what James saw, and can they get the information he has from him before it is too late?

This is the s
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Imogen Robertson grew up in Darlington, studied Russian and German at Cambridge and now lives in London. She directed for film, TV and radio before becoming a full-time author and won the Telegraph’s ‘First thousand words of a novel’ competition in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness, her first novel. Her other novels also featuring the detective duo of Harriet Westerman and Gabriel C ...more
More about Imogen Robertson...

Other Books in the Series

Crowther and Westerman (5 books)
  • Instruments of Darkness (Crowther and Westerman, #1)
  • Island of Bones (Crowther and Westerman, #3)
  • Circle Of Shadows (Crowther and Westerman, #4)
  • Theft of Life (Crowther and Westerman, #5)

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