In the first in a stunning mystery series set in eighteenth-century England, Tessa Harris introduces Dr. Thomas Silkstone, anatomist and pioneering forensic detective.
The death of Lord Edward Crick has unleashed a torrent of gossip through the seedy taverns and elegant ballrooms of Oxfordshire. Few mourn the dissolute young man - except his sister, the beautiful Lady Lydia Farrell. When her husband comes under suspicion of murder, she seeks expert help from Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young anatomist from Philadelphia.
Thomas arrived in England to study under its foremost surgeon, where his unconventional methods only add to his outsider status. Against his better judgment, he agrees to examine Lord Edward’s corpse. But it is not only the dead but also the living to whom he must apply the keen blade of his intellect. And the deeper the doctor’s investigations go, the greater the risk that he will be consigned to the ranks of the corpses he studies.
Tessa Harris, born in Lincolnshire, holds a history degree from Oxford University, and after four years of working with local newspapers she set her sights on women’s magazines. She is regularly heard on local BBC radio and over the years has interviewed such people as Margaret Thatcher, Jeffrey Archer, Anthony Hopkins, Susan Hampshire, Alan Titchmarsh, Jackie Stewart, Boris Johnson, and Uri Geller. She lives in Berkshire with her husband and their two children.
©2011 Tessa Harris (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“CSI meets The Age of Reason…Welldrawn, intriguing cast of characters…Full of twists and turns…Vivid details…A pageturner!” (Karen Harper, New York Times best-selling author)
Such a contrived story.
His voice characterizations were distracting at times.
So disappointing because I love a good period piece and the subject sounded intriguing.
I loved the mystery and medicine in this book but the female love interest was very bland. She mainly batted her big doe-eyes and waited to be rescued.
Yes, it's interesting enough to listen to.
I would recommend with caveat or two. Those being; that the characters in this book seem oblivious to what information they know that they might need to tell someone else about. People were a little clueless to CSI type things, but I had a hard time swallowing that they were as oblivious as the Author painted them.
Voice acting true to characters.
The birth of CSI
It was interesting, but not as fast paced as the murder stories we are used to in the 21st century. Characters are also naive, but true to the times. Annoyingly clueless at times.
The author's historical research and detail are impeccable; the writing is highly competent. In her effort to heap up red herrings and plot twists, however, the author mostly succeeds in creating an unconvincing melodrama. Quite early in the book, I wanted someone to throttle the fair and frail Lydia, beloved of our hero only because she is a lovely lady in distress. She's a stock character, a non-entity. The so-brilliant Dr. Thomas Silkstone is reduced to cliché-spouting idiocy in her presence. He has to love her; otherwise he would have little motivation to work feverishly to solve the mystery. I have no doubt the series improves in later novels but this novel does not impel me to continue reading them.
I like history. I like mystery. This was right up my alley. Looking forward to next installment.
The way, just as you thought you knew where the story was going, it changed on you.
The book has the appropriate mixture of period information, without it becoming a largely historical fiction tale with only a slight dash of mystery. For a mystery fan, you want a true mystery, with a taste of history mixed in for fun, not the other way around. This book does it right.
Doctor Thomas Silkstone.
The true birth of CSI !
If you have read Wilkie Collins and enjoy his stories, you will enjoy this book. It is a Wilkie Collins-ish suspense tale, taking place in the 1780's in England. There is some CSI like work done by the main character mixed in for interest. Simon Vance is outstanding as usual, with his characterization of all the players right on the money. There is just the right amount of period detail to let you feel as if you are in the 1700's, without the boring minutiae of detail that I find in some historical mysteries. I will definitely be buying the next installment of Dr. Thomas Silkstone.
I am a fan of the genre but hesitated to pick up this book because of the bad reviews on goodreads - and they were unfortunately correct.
Each small piece of the puzzle was revealed to the audience long before the main character slowly and agonizingly groped his way to the truth. The characters lacked any kind of chemistry, in fact the romance was so forced it was nearly unbearable, making it all the more perplexing since it was completely unnecessary to the story unless it was a failed attempt by the author to raise the stakes. The depiction of the period was nonexistent, where it not for the occasional reference to a tricorn hat I would have forgotten where and when the book was set.
The narrator was good overall except for some instances where the main female character actually showed some backbone - "spoken through her teeth" somehow translated to annoying whine.
Atmosphere, Detail, Engaging
I usually know within the first few pages (5 min.) if a story will hold my attention - with Tessa Harris, I am locked in almost immediately.... and that doesnt happen very often
Simon has the gift of becoming part of the story.... his voice and inflections add color and detail. He allows the characters to speak through him; he doesn't try to speak for them.
Believe me, I tried...
Tessa Harris is an author I look forward to reading/listening to for a long time...
I enjoyed the mystery. The story held my interest. Thought tthe references to how the main character stumbled upon some of his solutions was interesting.
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