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The Anatomist’s Apprentice: The Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, Book 1 | [Tessa Harris]

The Anatomist’s Apprentice: The Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (349 )
5 star
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3.6 (310 )
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4.2 (307 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Joel MILWAUKEE, WI, United States 04-26-12
    Joel MILWAUKEE, WI, United States 04-26-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Probably worth a credit"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Robertson 09-23-14
    ratings
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    5
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    Story
    "And why is he interested in Lady Lydia?"
    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    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?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 08-19-14
    Jennifer 08-19-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Doctor turned Detective"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 08-05-14
    Anna 08-05-14 Member Since 2014
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    Story
    "Meh..."
    Would you try another book from Tessa Harris and/or Simon Vance?

    The story was rich in detail, but lacking in suspense. Simon Vance has a nice voice.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Not sure...


    Did Simon Vance do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He did. Simon's characters were diverse. I enjoyed listening to his voice more than the story.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Anatomist’s Apprentice?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 07-02-14
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 07-02-14 Member Since 2013

    retired writer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Lord Crick is Dead! Was He Murdered?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Anatomist’s Apprentice to be better than the print version?

    Never read the printed version... please do not ask this question. we are here for the audio versions.....


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The anatomist


    Which scene was your favorite?

    No favorite scene, but an unusual scene is when Lord Crick's body exhumed and opened, a storm of flies comes out and catches everybody by surprise.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.....


    Any additional comments?

    There is not much to be said about this story... it is pretty much one dimensional in that a man (Lord Crick) is dead and buried, his death ruled natural causes, but the town gossipers says that he was murdered and Lady Farrell's husband is the suspect. Lady Farrell calls on the best anatomist to investigate and -- you guessed it! -- somebody else killed him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gabrielle Culver City, CA, United States 10-29-13
    Gabrielle Culver City, CA, United States 10-29-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Not a fan..."
    What disappointed you about The Anatomist’s Apprentice?

    Such a contrived story.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His voice characterizations were distracting at times.


    Any additional comments?

    So disappointing because I love a good period piece and the subject sounded intriguing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-05-13
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    "Great Period Mystery"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ecko Khamillien 07-15-13

    -Ecko K.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining, and true to the times..."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, it's interesting enough to listen to.


    Would you recommend The Anatomist’s Apprentice to your friends? Why or why not?

    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.


    What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

    Voice acting true to characters.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The birth of CSI


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wobbly WNC USA 06-05-13
    wobbly WNC USA 06-05-13 Member Since 2011
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    "OK book - probably great for Sherlock fans."

    Not a favorite, but I remained interested throughout. I doubt I will continue with the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 05-28-13
    sherry Kirkland, WA, United States 05-28-13 Member Since 2004
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    "If you love melodrama"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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