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Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman #2)

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3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,225 Ratings  ·  161 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
262nd out of 1,206 books — 3,203 voters
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Favorite Historical Mystery Series
344th out of 761 books — 831 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,430)
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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. http://affairedecoeur.com.

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
Karen
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
Barbara
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
...more
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
Jerelyn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jacqie
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
...more
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
...more
Louise
May 12, 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
Krisette Spangler
Aug 13, 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
Susie
May 09, 2012 Susie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 11, 2014 Honor Kelly rated it liked it
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
...more
Quanti
Jan 15, 2015 Quanti rated it really liked it
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
Shan
Feb 21, 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.
Spuddie
Jun 12, 2015 Spuddie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Beverly
Jan 20, 2016 Beverly rated it liked it
The second book in the Westerman and Crowther series. I liked this book but I have to say that it was so intricately told that I had a difficult time keeping all the names straight, let alone trying to figure out who was a spy. The setting is London in the late 1700's and Harriet Westerman's husband has been injured during a navel battle. He has come back a completely different man. In the meantime, a dead body is retrieved from the river. The anatomist, Gabriel Crowther, and Mrs. Westerman team ...more
Beth
Jan 30, 2016 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Alethea White-Previs
Jan 21, 2016 Alethea White-Previs rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller
I enjoyed this novel, but not as fully as I did its predecessor. I enjoy the teaming up of Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther. They are an unlikely pair, but one that knocks along quite well given society at the time and their rejection of its mores. This novel, however, instead of being just about murder and its mystery, involved spies, etc., and I admit to being a bit confused at times as to which person was doing what, and I even occasionally forgot who the initial victim was whose murder they w ...more
Julia
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
...more
Johanna
Apr 21, 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!
Leslie Angel
Oct 07, 2015 Leslie Angel rated it really liked it
another installment--London setting is terrific.
Lisa C
Aug 31, 2014 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
Lisa
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
Albert
Mar 14, 2012 Albert rated it really liked it
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
...more
Naomi
Oct 19, 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
...more
Lisa Ard
Apr 03, 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
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
...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
...more
Sallee
Feb 08, 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
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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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“...music does not mean anything at all. You cannot ask it to speak to you in such concrete terms. It can evoke, affect, cajole and persuade, but it's language is not that of speech. Indeed, if a composer can say in literal terms what his music means, he had much better write prose than notes... Let music, when you hear it, work on you in its own way...let it flow around you and find its own way to touch you. It is not something you must translate moment by moment. Give it your attention. If it fails to speak to you in its own manner then, well, it is a failure of the music, not in yourself.” 3 likes
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