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)
Addicted to Audible!
Imagine a world without any of the basic medical tools we have today to diagnose and treat illness.Imagine having to use corpses of criminal for autopsies? Imagine the ignorance and superstition! As a nurse I always find these books fascinating. How did Physicians manage to treat their patients despite the lack of knowledge and lack of resources. How could murders ever be solved? It makes me thankful to live in the present century, and I find it fascinating to read (or listen in this case) to just how difficult everything was in those times.
Though starting a bit slow, it is an excellent story with a plot that becomes more complex with every chapter. Well performed, and overall an enjoyable mystery.
The beginning of this book can be very slow, but it quickly takes the readers/listeners attention. It is a very good mystery and will leave you guessing until the very end.
50ish retired public radio news broadcaster, female, rancher. I love good writing from historical fiction and interesting, off beat mysteries to history of religions and interesting biography coupled with excellent voicing. I have no use for poorly delivered reading. I'll suffer though so-so writing if the content is engaging, but if the narrator is bad, I'll buy the book and read it myself.
I love the idea of this early forensic doctor. Too bad the author had to resort to the "Man saves weak maiden" storyline. Honestly stomach turning.
Eclectic lifelong reader
To say more would involve spoilers . Let's just say that soap operas have nothing on this plot!
The performance was fine. I had no issues with the reader. My complaint is entirely about the book itself.
As the title of this review says, I wasn't sure if it would ever end. (To be honest, I'm not sure it ever does because I never finished it. I took a break to listen to another book and cannot bring myself to pick this one back up.) The book foreshadows events, then completely changes what the foreshadowing means. There are so many characters that it is difficult to keep track of who everyone is. Scenes drag on much longer than they should.
I had hoped that the book would discuss the forensics of the case, but that is barely touched on. The times when it is brought up are interesting, but those are very few and far between. I wanted to get to know the characters, but they are just as vague in my mind as when I started listening. (I made it about 75% of the way before giving up.)
Just skip this book. There's too many good audiobooks to waste space on your listening device.
I had such I hopes for this series - I love the genre and the reviews were good, but I just cannot listen one more minute. I was hoping to find another author in the same league as Louise Penny or Laurie R. King, but this is not the case. The characters are poorly developed, many just broad stroke caricatures (grossly obese coroner carrying food into courtroom, meek petite fragile wife, handsome brutish ex-military scheming husband, mild mannered but brilliant and handsome doctor who falls for fragile female, etc) with predictable lines and dialogue that is like watching a tennis match with unsurprising and uninspired give and take. The excessive use of flowery adjectives and gratuitous descriptors made it saccharine. Granted, I stopped at chapter 25 (~ half way), but I cannot imagine any plot twists, character development or sudden epiphany could occur that would give this book a reprieve.
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!
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.
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