Mary Miller's Reviews > Instruments of Darkness

Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson
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Apr 07, 12

bookshelves: historical-mystery
Read from March 15 to April 07, 2012

"Instruments of Darkness" is a historical mystery set in London and Sussex in June, 1780, with the Gordon Riots as a background element. Harriet Westerman, a well-to-do ship captain's wife, finds a dead body on a walk through the woods and asks a neighbor, Crowther, a mysterious gentleman of scientific bent, to help her investigate the crime. Nobody else, including the coroner, seems curious about why a stranger would be killed by a knife in the woods. Once the string is pulled, a connection with the nearby lord of the manor, Lord Thornleigh, is soon discovered. This satisfying mystery ties together a lost heir, poison, blackmail, and music in a cogent package. The ending seems a bit rushed, but all-in-all, it was a good read.
Imogen Robertson not only has written an interesting mystery, she has succeeded in capturing the voice of the 18th century--formal in tone and differing speaking styles for the characters of different classes. She integrates knowledge of the state of medical science into the murder investigation.
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