The Anatomy of Death (Dr Dody McCleland, #1)
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The Anatomy of Death (Dr. Dody McCleland #1)

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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  59 reviews
"At the turn of the twentieth century, London's political climate is in turmoil, as women fight for the right to vote. Dody McCleland has her own battles to fight. As England's first female autopsy surgeon, not only must she prove herself, she must prove that murder treats everyone equally..."
After a heated women's rights rally turns violent, an innocent suffragette is fo...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Berkley (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jill

Mortui vivos docent - the dead teach the living.

With few positions available to a trained female surgeon in early twentieth century, Dr Dody McCleland turns to the Beastly Science of autopsies. After a women's march turns violent and three women are killed, Dody is asked to perform the autopsy on a body whose death is suspicious. However, Dody excuses herself from the autopsy as she knows the woman, Lady Catherine Cartwright.

Chief Detective Inspector Matthew Pike of New Scotland Yard is in char...more
Tara Chevrestt
LOVED this book. I have nothing bad to say about it. It has everything a strong woman could possibly desire in a fiction book.


Suffragettes. Dody's sister Florence is a suffragette becoming further embroiled in the militant movement. There's riots, force feedings, passion for the cause, foiled attempts to make a statement...

A rule-breaking heroine. It's pre 1910 and we have a lady medical examiner. She even works at a women's clinic free just to get experience because back then hardly a soul woul...more
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Against the backdrop of the suffragette movement in turn of the century Britain, Felicity Young introduces Dr Dody McCleland, the first female autopsy surgeon. Fresh from training with the preeminent surgeon of the time, she is eager to start her job at St Thomas Hospital but finds she must recuse herself from her very first case for the corpse is an acquaintance, a suffragette, who has died in a vicious riot sparked during a peaceful demonstration calling for women's right to vote. Despite bein...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
This is a solid start to a promising mystery series that takes CSI-ish police procedural and puts a historical twist to it, with a great heroine, interesting class nuances, and a focus on the big political issues of Victorian Britain.

Set in November 1910, the novel follows Dr. Dorothy 'Dody' McCleland, the UK's first female autopsy surgeon. Newly returned from university in Scotland, Dody finds herself immediately plunged into work, assisting in an autopsy almost the second she gets off the tra...more
Cheryl A
After checking this title out three(!) times at the library, I finally got around to reading it, having continually been put off by the artwork on the front cover and the synopsis on the back cover. Both hinted at a more romantic bent to the novel, rather than a forsenic storyline. I was right and wrong at the same time.

Dr. Dorothy McCleland arrives back in London as a specialist in the "beastly science" - autopsy, the only speciality open to women doctors in 1910. She is quickly called to her f...more
Sarah
What is better than a work of historical fiction in which the history is well-researched and powerfully presented? .... Nothing, I tell you! Young's first mystery novel about Dr. Dorothy McCleland and Chief Inspector Matthew Pike is a gem.

Dody is not an entirely original leading lady as far as personality and moral fiber goes, but Young has managed to present her as a heroine we can both enjoy hearing from and admire. Her quick mind and capable demeanor give us the strength we like to see from...more
Bev Hankins
The Anatomy of Death is the first in a new series by Felicity Young. It features Dorothy (Dody) McCleland, a young woman who has gone into the medical field at the turn of the twentieth century. Denied the chance to become a surgeon for the living (because of her sex), she trains as an autopsy surgeon and becomes England's first female doctor of this type. She has just returned to London from her studies in Scotland--all set to take up her post as an assistant to Bernard Spilsbury--Scotland Yard...more
Veronica
Not bad for a debut book at all. Dr. Dody McLeland is one of the first female anatomists in London and the story kicks off with her returning home after being gone for a year studying for and training in her craft. The author notes at the end that she fudged the history by a decade as the firt records of female anatomists in England don't occur until 1820. That suits me fine because I'm primarily looking to be entertained - as opposed to getting a completely accurate history lesson - and this bo...more
Lesezeichen
Well, I also finished the book and I am just as enthousiastic as hazeleyes. One of my favourite historical mysteries of all time. Of course I loved the (subtle) MK references, I think my favourite one was the remark regarding the height regualations.

In addition to the Murdoch mysteries it made me think a little bit of Casualty1900 and Bramwell, two series I absolutely adored. But don't get me wrong it stands very much on its own.

Please tell me that this is the beginning of a series. I would so l...more
Greg Barron


A Dissection of Murder is a nuanced, well-written novel, vivid with historical detail and peopled with interesting characters. I really liked Dody and Pike, the two main characters, and they came fully to life for me - I can picture them in my head as if they're standing in front of me.

Perhaps because of the sympathetic 'voice' of Dody, A Dissection of Murder had a gentle feel to it, surprising considering the pathological details, description of a hanging and the harrowing scene where hunger-st...more
Aliss
This is a great book - one that not only entertains you with plot and character but always makes you feel like you are learning something along the way. In this case it is about the Suffragettes and the different ways in which they sought the right to vote. I was very impressed by Young's specific attention to historical detail - at the end she describes the many different real events and characters which feature throughout the story - and I looked up a few things as I was reading.
I liked the V...more
Janece
Well done first in a series. It captured the multifaceted sides of the suffrage movement very well. All the women seemed to agree on equal rights, but not all agreed on how to go about getting those rights. The characters were interesting, even though there were many, so some were more superficial than some readers may have liked. I enjoyed meeting the main few. most especially Dr. Dody And Chief Detective Pike and will read the next book in this series.
Blakekegg
A wonderfully readable, enjoyable and overall engaging book - I couldn't put it down. Whether you're interested in the suffragette movement, the Edwardian era, (on both counts the novel was thoroughly researched) or a good old fashioned who dunnit - this truly is one of those books that maintains the readers interest throughout. I can't wait for the next in the series to be released!
Linda
The plight of the suffragette both in and out of prison, the role of women in 1910 and a brilliant storyline are all portrayed with expertise and knowledge. I couldn't put this book down and I learned so much. Definitely one of my favourite books. I see that the next Dody McCleland is due next year and I can hardly wait.
Gary Lipsfield
A Dissection of Murder by Felicity Young is one novel that I could eulogize about forever. A skillfully written mystery-cum-romance novel it gripped this reader’s attention from the very first sentence and held it, enthralled, to the last sentence. A must read!
Pippa
A perfect combination of suspense, history and sexual tension with a surprise twist.. A very enjoyable read!
Attentive
A competently written novel in a genre I don't really like or read very often.

I read the first fifty pages over several days, but then polished the rest off in three hours on a long haul flight. It's very readable, but the serviceable detective thriller plot is still a bit thin and has an unlikeable final twist. The romantic and political elements are sweet but cliché-laden, and there isn't an extremely close engagement with the nevertheless interesting historical milieu in which the book is se...more
Lesley
loved it. I can't wait for the next one
Karen
A DISSECTION OF MURDER is the first in a series of books from Western Australian author Felicity Young. Set in London at the turn of the twentieth Century, featuring Dr Dody McCleland, the first female autopsy surgeon, the action in this book takes place in the midst of the Suffragette struggle, with the crime being investigated the death of a prominent suffragette during a rally that turned particularly violent.

More historical crime fiction, in other words. Not so long ago I'd have been dodging...more
Kerryn Whiteside
Dr Dorothy McCleland returns from her training in Edinburgh to a London in the throes of a minor revolution. Frustrated by their lack of progress, the more militant members of the women's suffrage movement (her sister Florence among them) have begun to advocate violence and terrorist activity to draw attention to their cause. A well known socialite and suffragette has been killed in one of the riots and Dody is called on to perform her autopsy. The police are keen on a finding of accidental deat...more
Christine
Dr. Dorothy “Dody” McCleland is employed as a doctor at a women’s hospital and has recently returned home after a studying forensics for one year in Edinburgh. A female doctor is rare enough in London in 1910, but one who has specialized to become an autopsy surgeon is unheard of. Dody wants to prove herself and is eager to do well the first time she is called to duty when the usual examiner is on holiday. Dody is asked to examine three female victims of a riot occurring during a women’s suffrag...more
Barbara
Well, this is not a first book, but it does read like one. The author really crammed too much into this--so much so that I was confused about the focus of the book.
Dr.Dorothy (Dody--unfortunate nickname)McCleland has just won the privilege of being an autopsy surgeon for the London police in 1910. But, we hardly see her at work at all, so don't get too excited about that.
Her younger sister Florence is a militant suffragette, so we get a lot about the suffrage movement. Indeed, at least half of t...more
Jennifer
Liked the book, hated the cover (it was a little too earnest, like some of the inspirational fiction novels I try to stay away from).

Anyway, the novel was based on Dody McCleland, who is supposed to be one of the pioneering medical woman at the turn of the 20th Century, She is assigned to work with the Home Office in London with autopsies and forensics. This set-up seemed rather realistic, so her working relationships with others in Scotland Yard were easy to accept. The storyline also made sen...more
Kristen
I enjoyed this. Early twentieth century London, social issues of the time, strong female characters and a murder to solve. What's not to like?

When Dr. Dody McCleland returns home to London from her medical training in Edinburgh - as one of the first women to be trained as an autopsy surgeon - she learns her sister Florence's dedication to the cause of female sufferage has increased in a major way. The group has become militant and is beginning to consider violence along with demonstrations and d...more
Sam Still Reading
Dec 08, 2012 Sam Still Reading rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with an interest in historical crime fiction
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: saw it at the bookshop
The Dissection of Murder is the first in a new series of historical crime fiction written by an Australian author, Felicity Young. I can’t say that I’ve read a great deal of historical crime fiction (bar the Colleen McCullough Detective Carmine Delmonico mysteries), but it’s a genre I’m beginning to enjoy more and more. It’s lovely to see crime solved the ‘old-fashioned’ way before DNA, mobile phones and the internet.

This series should also be marked because of its ground-breaking protagonist. D...more
Shomeret
I learned about the suffragist movement in England and the attempts to suppress it. I also found out about a George Bernard Shaw play called Press Cuttingswhich was banned by the authorities. You can download it for free from Project Gutenberg.

I appreciated Felicity Young writing about a pioneering female autopsy surgeon. I will definitely want to read more of this series.
Lizzie
Lots of promise here, but the writing was clunky enough that this never really hit the detail-saturated, atmospheric historical/romantic mystery zone I was hoping for. Certainly this was nowhere close, to, say, Anne Perry's Hester and Monk. It almost felt like a spot of YA (is it YA?). I loved the choice to set the book in Downton Abbey London (definitely jonesing for 1900-1918 set fiction right now) and the promise of a female forensic patholigist lead. Pike was endearing enough, and his daught...more
Judith
4.25 out of 5. A tale well calculated to keep you riveted with the look into the struggles of women in 1910, especially through the eyes and experience of Dody McCleland, a woman attempting to gain a foothold in medicine as Britain's first autopsy surgeon. Add in the efforts of women to gain the vote, a few Irish whose anger against the British occupation of Ireland, and you have a cauldron of political stew that is more than fit for consumption by those who love a good mystery seasoned with the...more
Juliet
I enjoyed this historical mystery, first in a series based on Dr Dody McCleland, an autopsy surgeon at a time in history when women are still struggling to be given the vote. Dody's opposite number is Chief Detective Inspector Matthew Pike, a man with issues of his own.

A Dissection of Murder begins with the death of a suffragette during a women's rights rally. Dody is pretty sure the obvious explanation is not the true one, and sets about assembling a case while also attempting to gain Pike's t...more
Tarran
I was given an ARC of this book and it was quite interesting. I found it a bit slow to start off with, but once the characters and story started flowing, then the pace picked up. You meet Dody - a woman who is practicing the art of an autopsy surgeon in a time when female doctors were rare. She is assigned to the autopsy of three women who were killed in a riot for the female vote.

The story is in London where the forensic sciences are new and the police can be corrupt. Dody must find away to wo...more
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511220
I was born in Germany and educated at an English boarding school while my parents travelled the world with the British army. I think the long boring plane trips home played an important part in helping me to develop my creative imagination.

I settled with my parents in Western Australia in 1976, became a nurse, married young and had three children. Not surprisingly, it took ten years to complete an...more
More about Felicity Young...
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