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Circle of Shadows Paperback – April 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0755372077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755372072
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,357,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A cry for help from the Continent sends Harriet Westerman and her colleague, anatomist Gabriel Crowther, to the German Duchy of Maulsberg in 1784. Here Daniel Clode, husband of Harriet’s younger sister, Rachel, is charged with murder after being found disoriented in a locked room near the body of a popular lady of the court at a masked ball. As an agent of the Earl of Sussex, who holds Maulsberg bonds, Clode escapes quick execution, giving Westerman and Crowther time to investigate his puzzling case and leading to their uncovering of other recent murders of members of the court. In the process, Westerman comes face-to-face with her nemesis, the beguiling castrato and spy-for-hire Manzerotti, who was responsible for the murder of her husband but here proves an ally. The fourth entry in this series mixes shamanism and alchemy with court intrigue and conspiracy, plus a dash of undying love and insanity, as all plot strands come together. With well-drawn characters, sharp dialogue, and distinctive settings, this is a winning historical mystery; Westerman and Crowther continue to shine. --Michele Leber --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

'Chillingly memorable...an extraordinary thriller' Tess Gerritsen This series, launched after Robertson won a Telegraph writing competition, continues to excel' Daily Telegraph

More About the Author

British author Imogen Robertson grew up in Darlington, studied Russian and German at Cambridge and now lives in London. She directed for film, TV and radio before becoming a full-time author and won the Telegraph's 'First thousand words of a novel' competition in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness, her first novel. Her other novels also featuring the detective duo of Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther are Anatomy of Murder, Island of Bones and Circle of Shadows. The Paris Winter, a story of betrayal and darkness set during the Belle Époque will be published in the US in November 2014. She has been short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger twice.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 33 customer reviews
I heartily recommend it!
Victoria Campbell
Well defined characters, great writing, engaging story.
AT
Strong historical mystery.
plum9195

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Cross on April 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
Considering the pressures to produce a-book-a-year, Imogen Robertson has become one of my favorite writers of historical mysteries and her most recent, CIRCLE OF SHADOWS, was a great pleasure and possibly her best-written to date. I never find her padding her stories or letting her characters drift even as she meets her deadlines - they always seem to develop and flourish. Unless you've started with "Instruments of Darkness," our introduction to Gabriel Crowther and Mrs. Westerman, it would be hard to appreciate how delicately the relationship between a noble anatomist with deep secrets and the wife of a British Navy captain, both shrewd investigators of murder, could be so satisfying, but it is. Similarly, her plots are never humdrum, while there is a hint of romance, she never drowns us in it, like a wet salad dressing. Her adventures become both more complex and more satisfying. Every book, thus far, has added to the sense of creating a three-dimensional world in late 18th century England (and elsewhere) while retaining a cast of familiar characters we can genuinely watch grow and develop. I many times read "what pleasures lie in store for you!" in various blurbs for historical mysteries, and they are not always right - but in this case, they are.

Circle of Shadows travels, for the first time, outside of England and does it with authority. One of our favorite characters has committed an unthinkable murder - except that he remembers nothing about it. Set it a small German princedom a few years before the French Revolution, Crowther and Mrs. Westerman are once again on the trail of probably the most bizarre murderer yet, although I didn't guess it until the very end. Lovely writing, fun plots, spies, alchemists, good development, and an exotic flourish. Well done! I already wish I knew what adventures lie ahead with the next adventure.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bella Rosa VINE VOICE on April 30, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the 4th book in the series featuring Mrs. Harriet Westermann and anatomist Gabriel Crowther. Harriet's sister, Rachel, is on her wedding tour with her new husband, Daniel Clode, when the couple runs into trouble on a visit to the dukedom of Maulberg. When Daniel is accused of murder, Rachel summons Harriet to help clear his name. What follows features alchemy, radical Freemasons, court politics, automatons and the return of the castrato Manzerotti.

Characterization is a strength of Robertson's, and she's deftly expanding her ensemble. My favorite is still Island of Bones, but this is a strong entry in a wonderful series. I'm already waiting impatiently for the next.

(A note on the Kindle edition - several sentences were dropped in the formatting of the prologue, but I saw no other problems in the rest of the text.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Viviane Crystal VINE VOICE on June 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is the fourth in a series of historical suspense novels by this author and it's quite unusual. It involves two sleuths who are British and here attempt to solve their first criminal mystery outside of England, in Germany in 1782. Harriet Westerman is an intelligent, fearless gal whose past history with murder has left some pain and a bit of shadow about her public image. Gabriel Crowther is a bit of a recluse who speaks his mind at all times, no matter how offensively it is taken, but he is also bright and an anatomist, fascinated with the scientific properties of the body for criminal analysis and healing as well. Now they learn that a good friend, Daniel Clode, is accused of murdering Lady Martesen. They immediately leave for the Duchy of Maulberg in German!
First, they discovered that Daniel Clode has been acting like someone who is insane and then they are shocked to find that Lady Martesen was probably killed not by smothering, as originally thought, but by drowning. But how can someone be drowned and have no sign of water anywhere on the clothing or body? Westerman and Crowther are surprised by the fairness of the investigation in Maulberg, a place that is rather an enigma since it is ruled by an absolute dictator who allows them room for investigation perhaps with a slightly hidden financial motive.
Meanwhile other characters such as the brilliant mathematician Pegel appear on the scene and discover the presence of a secret group that is equated with the Free Masons but is not anything like them in reality. in fact, the plot that begins to unfold turns out to be one that could change the face of European governments, one country at a time and not in a healthy productive way!
Read more ›
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LBM on July 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Imogen Robertson's books are always enjoyable, but I think this novel was a distinct improvement on the last book in the series, which featured too much traveling hither and thither and less focus on the (very engaging) characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Divascribe VINE VOICE on August 31, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Circle of Shadows continues the Crowther/Westerman mystery-solving duo. This time they had for the Continent to help a dear friend beat a murder charge. There's plenty of skullduggery as Crowther and Westerman do their usual fine job of getting at the truth. This is a satisfying read that advances the series well. I'm looking forward to the next one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Victoria Campbell on November 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent series, with believable, delightful characters. The setting is wonderfully descriptive but the mystery is engaging and unusual. Not a boring moment in the whole book! I heartily recommend it!
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