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)
The narration was as good as could be expected with this absolutely wretched prose. I decided I would give this a listen as I have quite enjoyed Simon Vance's readings. However, this book is just awful. The characters are flat, the plot is not remotely clever and again, the descriptions are ridiculous.
Just spare yourself. It's a cool concept, but someone other than Tessa Harris needs to execute it.
This book was enjoyable if you didn't think too hard about anything that happened. Obviously the writer did a lot of excellent research and knows her subject matter (early forensic science) very well. My big problems with this book are: some continuity errors (aka the doctor is beaten almost to death, but ten pages later injuries don't bother him and is never mentioned again) and some of the motivations for character's actions are a bit stretched. The romance seems quite forced. By the end of the book, it almost feels like the author is throwing in extra stuff just to make the book longer, or in an effort to make the plot twistier, which isn't necessary. Anyway, fun enough if you're on a long drive, but don't expect excellence.
Tell us about yourself!
Decent book. The story was well thought out and it moved but it wasn't great. Having listened to a lot of mysterys based in London, this one was a little different because of the time period - late 1700s.
Vance does a good narration, four starts for him.
Simon Vance has a wonderful voice. Fan girl!
The story was very intriguing. I will admit the romance angle threw me but I was super engrossed in the story. Good read for historical fiction and mystery lovers!
The summary of the story -- a period mystery, solved by a New World anatomist, some last minute twists and turns (I did not see the villain coming, the ending was great and unexpected) promises great things, BUT the execution leaves a lot to be desired. Liiiiike what exactly is the appeal of Lady Lydia? Why is he considered an Apprentice when he is already a university lecturer?
A great novel; I could hardly put it down. It may not be for those squeamish readers who cannot handle a few instances of detailed medical descriptions. The story was woven well, and could keep you guessing around every corner. The tone throughout was pretty even-keeled, emulating the logic and method of the doctor, but when action picked up it could really grip you in the suspense. The murder mystery was fantastic, suspicion thrown here and there, a red herring or two, and plenty of twists by the end. I dare say I had guessed a few of them, but not all of the means/motives. It felt solved once or twice, only to have something new come to light which altered the whole proceeding. By the last few chapters I had a pretty good idea about the bigger picture before the reveal. I rather pity the residents of that estate... so much treachery, debauchery and death. All because of some so-called gentlemen. Quite the only satisfactory wrap-up after all though. I am glad the doctor persevered despite the locals' ignorance. It was a very different game to find justice in the time before medical examiners and toxicology reports. I think my favorite characters were the old anatomists. Dr H was introduced so uniquely, and his demeanor endeared him to me instantly - straightforward and practical man of science, but warm and could read people, a good heart and good Schnapps. =)
Well read by Simon Vance, a veteran narrator who has never yet failed me, with his classic English dialects, dialogue voices always consistent and properly distinguishable.
The story was rich in detail, but lacking in suspense. Simon Vance has a nice voice.
He did. Simon's characters were diverse. I enjoyed listening to his voice more than the story.
I don't think I would cut any parts, but I would encourage the author to turn up the volume... it was a little stale.
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.
Report Inappropriate Content