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Anatomy of Murder (Crowther and Westerman #2)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,575 Ratings  ·  183 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.

Hardcover, 400 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 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 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 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
Mar 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Aug 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: florence
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
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 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 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 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 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
Janet Martin
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In her second book, Robertson visits the London opera scene in 1781--wonderfully rich detail enhances a murder investigation that follows the recovery of the body of an opera house employee found floating in the Thames. Espionage, treachery, and the murder of several street children compound the evil, as the main body count grows. A spectacular historical mystery with compelling characters and masterfully constructed plot. I can hardly wait to read more!
Jan 28, 2013 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.
Matt B.
Nov 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The two sleuths, Westerman and Crowther, return to pry loose the villians hidden in the fabric of British society in 1871. Historical detail convincing. Captivating read.
Leslie Angel
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
another installment--London setting is terrific.
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I am loving this series! I can't wait for the third book!
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy good historical fiction.
This is a good follow-up mystery to "Instruments of Darkness," but on a more serious note and without the dry humor that marked the former book, the first in the Westerman-Crowther series.
I especially enjoyed the Prologue scenes which take place on Captain Westerman's ship, HMS Splendor. The writing is witty, captivating and moves at a spanking pace. It is unfortunate that there won't be more of these kinds of scenes in future books.
The central core of the book concerns a spy ring in London whi
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book mostly accidentally, but I quite enjoyed it. There are a lot of references to the previous book in the series, but it's not necessary to read it to understand this one, everything is introduced well enough. I always enjoy historical novels and murder mysteries, so this combination worked very well for me. I liked the characters and the plot was complex enough to interest, but not so convoluted as not to make sense anymore.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Aside from the too late reintroduction of the two children of protagonist, Harriet Westerman, the second of Robertson's 18th century English novels is a terrific read. Historically sound and created with care to the themes of espionage and of music, the partnership of Crowther and Westerman has a particularly intricate mystery to solve. The introduction of Jocasta Blyth along with the return of Molloy from the first book are artfully woven into the plot. Afraid I must continue the series.

Diane Heath
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
An enthralling story. One can wish for more in the series
Heloise West
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
so good, so addicting...!
Sep 30, 2013 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
May 24, 2013 rated it did not like it
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
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 rated it really liked it
Good mystery, interesting characters.
Lisa Ard
Feb 02, 2012 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
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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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“ 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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