Like Anne Perry’s mysteries, this menacing story set in Georgian London explores the complicated motives driving every character involved to act as they do while pulling together a colorful array of subplots. The death of Fitzraven, former musician and suspected spy, is just the beginning of a string of dark deeds. A large cast of characters makes it difficult to keep names straight, though key players are fully drawn. Some are dear, like little Stephen Westerfield; some vaguely threatening, like Jocasta the fortune-teller; and others are definitely up to no good. Seasoned mystery readers may guess who is behind the killings at the opera house, though few will realize the extent of others’ involvement. This second adventure starring Mrs. Westerman, stubborn and independent society matron, and ascetic anatomist Gabriel Crowther connects some of the dots from Instruments of Darkness (2011) and hints of further adventures to come. The melodramatic final scenes nearly destroy the mood, but by then, momentum will keep those pages turning. Readers interested in early autopsy practices will also want to try The Anatomy of Deception(2008), by Lawrence Goldstone. --Jen Baker
About the Author
Imogen Robertson studied Russian and German at Cambridge University and has worked as a TV, film, and radio director. In 2007, she won The Telegraph's First Thousand Words of a Novel competition with what would become Instruments of Darkness. She currently lives in London and has finished a second novel about Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther entitled Anatomy of Murder.