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Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman #2)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,177 ratings  ·  157 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, 400 pages
Published February 16th 2012 by Pamela Dorman Books (first published January 1st 2010)
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The Name of the Rose by Umberto EcoThe Alienist by Caleb CarrThe Historian by Elizabeth KostovaThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz ZafónMistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
Best Historical Mystery
259th out of 1,154 books — 3,122 voters
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Favorite Historical Mystery Series
337th out of 732 books — 801 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,309)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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 Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
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
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
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
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
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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
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
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
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 ...more
This is my new favorite historical mystery series. I read the further adventures of Mrs. Harriet Westerman and Mr. Gabriel Crowther with great pleasure. One thing I like is the recurrence of characters introduced in the first book of the series, Instruments of Darkness. In this book, there were duel storylines - that of Mrs. Westerman & Mr. Crowther and that of Jocasta Bligh, her dog Boyo, and a young boy named Sam. These two storylines intersect gradually, and in doing so unveil the mystery ...more
Honor Kelly
I usually start with the first book of a series, but accidentally ended up with this (#2) and no way to go backwards. (I do plan to read the first eventually.) I could follow the story well enough, but I think it does harm the reading experience to come in "late"--hints about the backgrounds of characters, or people who pop in and out as though we "should" care about them, made me feel like I was outside the popular crowd at times, failing to understand what they were gossiping about.

The histori
Popravdě řečeno, ze začátku mi to přišlo poměrně bizarní, hlavně použité výrazové prostředky - ale poměrně brzy jsem si na to zvykla. Jediná vada na kráse byl příšerný stav ebooku, který jsem sice dostala někde zadarmo (už nevím z jakého důvodu), ale přesto to byl legální a pokud vím úplně běžný ebook, který si člověk mohl jinak normálně koupit. A za tohle bych tedy platit nechtěla - trojtečky uprostřed řádku místo na jeho spodku, podivná interpunkce, odstavce (které měnily místo děje) bez vidit ...more
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.
Wow! I loved this book...I read the first one awhile back (it rather stunned me to look at my review of it only to discover that 'awhile back' means 3 1/2 years ago! LOL) When I re-read the review, I remembered that I thought the book was very slow going in the middle and I felt like I was slogging through it, which probably accounts for why I waited so long to get to this one. This second book had no such problem as far as I was concerned.

Love the writing style, and the characters were more ful
I might have liked this better if I had read the first book. There were a lot of references to things that had already happened and the backstory of some characters.

Also, I read the first two pages in the library before deciding to continue with the book and was disappointed that the story in the prologue chapter is not continued except as background. (The prologue is set on a ship and reminds me of the Horatio Hornblower and Aubrey/Maturin stories, but the remainder of the book is set in London
I am loving this series! I can't wait for the third book!
Leslie Angel
another installment--London setting is terrific.
Lisa C
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
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
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
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 Ard
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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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