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The Anatomist’s Apprentice Audiobook

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

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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

3.8 (636 )
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4.2 (572 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael 05-25-13
    Michael 05-25-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Wilkie Collins meets Quincy"
    What did you love best about The Anatomist’s Apprentice?

    The way, just as you thought you knew where the story was going, it changed on you.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Doctor Thomas Silkstone.


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

    The true birth of CSI !


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 06-04-13
    Anne 06-04-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Good historical fiction and a murder to solve."

    This wasn't a great book, but it was a good book. The plot was interesting and, while I don't think the "murder mystery" was solvable by the reader, it was still intriguing. I liked the depth and breadth of the characters but was especially taken with the historical setting and the "old medicine" that is practiced. It is an interesting and entertaining look at medical practice and police procedure of the late 18th century.

    The narrator did a nice job, with a good range of voices. As is usually true, I find a male narrator does a less than great job with female voices, but his were less bad than most. I expect to look into more of the Silkstone Mysteries.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 07-02-14
    R. Pontiflet Fairfield, CA USA 07-02-14 Member Since 2015
    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 06-01-13
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 06-01-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "AMAZING STORY!"

    If you like Sherlock Holmes, you will be so glad to be able to "graduate" to the big league in forensic science. Dr. Thomas Silkstone does amazing things in medicine in the 18th century, before the microscope or any of the most basic tools that scientists relied on during Holmes" era. The book is great read with numerous twists and turn, keeping you guessing on who is good and who is bad. A good lesson on watching your back at all times!

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope 03-31-17
    Calliope 03-31-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "There are mistakes in the anatomy!!"

    I find it pretty sad that a book about and "starring" an anatomist has several mistakes in descriptions of anatomy. I bookmarked them and went back to listen again, just to make sure I wasn't mistaken. Apparently the author thinks the liver is in the lower abdomen, with the bowel above it. And that the aorta moves blood to the heart, instead of away from it.

    Wow. If she can't bother to ensure she gets the details of the protagonist's job right, maybe she should have given him a different job. Or she should care more about her writing and her book. I find that pretty sad.

    As for the story itself, somehow it manages to be both boring and melodramatic - everything seems drawn out like a bad soap opera. And a 12 year old servant girl in the 18th century getting pregnant? She probably wasn't even menstruating yet - most service-class women at that time in England didn't get their periods until they were at least 14 or 15. Again - bad research leads to an unsatisfying book. I can forgive little things like that if the writing and plot are good, but that's not the case here.

    I'm thankful I got this one on sale! This is the first of the series, and I definitely won't be listening to any others!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Robertson 09-23-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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?


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-05-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 05-21-13
    Taryn Suffern, NY, United States 05-21-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Forensics before DNA, computers, etc...."

    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.

    11 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kody Shaw 02-05-17
    Kody Shaw 02-05-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Sherlock Holmes would be impressed"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jana 02-03-17
    Jana 02-03-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Slow beginning but capturing!"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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