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Circle of Shadows Paperback – April 1, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.)
In this fourth installment of the series, Harriet and Crowther travel outside of England for the first time, when they are called to one of the German states to investigate a murder. Harriet's sister Rachel and her new husband, Daniel, had been touring Europe for their honeymoon when Daniel was arrested for killing a woman. Harriet and Crowther have to identify the murderer in order to free Daniel, but what they discover during their investigation is political intrigue and the handiwork of a madman.
One of the things that I love about Robertson's novels as a whole is how detailed her 18th century world is. She's obviously researched the period deeply. It pays off in the realistic feel of her descriptions of the physical setting of the story, as well as her descriptions of the manners and mores of the characters. The 18th century is not a period that is used often in historical mysteries, so it has benefit of novelty, too.
Another plus for me is the deep cast of characters. Harriet and Crowther show up in every novel, of course, as do their friends and family, but so do other people that they meet during their investigations. Individuals that other authors might treat as minor characters come to life in Robertson's novels.Read more ›
The true test of any novel, as I know I say over and over again, is how thoroughly the reader is drawn into the novel's world, and here you can hear the swish of Harriet's skirts over parquet as she prowls the gilt-encrusted halls of the Palace of Ulrichsberg. There are some great characters, like Daniel's engaging jailer, who says of his prisoner
If you whip him away I shall have to hope the duke finds some scribbler of seditious pamphlets to lock up here for a few months, or I shall be deprived of civilized company. No doubt some young man will publish something insulting for the wedding. I trust in that.
I'm not sure Robertson meant me to love the Duke as much as I do, but who wouldn't?
"Swann, the lovely Mrs. Westerman recommends mercy. Is your heart still of stone?"
Harriet saw a flash of irritation cross Swann's face. "Crime against a husband is a manner of treason, sire. If you will be merciful, do not agree to her breaking on the wheel, but she must certainly die."
The duke smiled lazily. "One would think after all these years, Swann, you would have learned not to say 'must' to me...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mrs. Westerman and Crowther must travel to Germany to save their friend, Mr. Clode, from being executed for a murder he did not commit. Read morePublished 3 months ago by K. Spangler
I love this author's writing but I found this episode too complicated to follow, unlike her other books.Published 7 months ago by Judy Wood
This was a great adventure through a fictional German duchy. The mystery was intricate and well-plotted. Read morePublished 9 months ago by ahammerquilts
Excellent book, I like Ms. Robertson's books very much but I would advise you read the first books that contains this cast of characters before reading "Circle of Shadows. Read morePublished 9 months ago by avid reader
Each book gets better😃 the story line is convoluted but clearly connected and very enjoyablePublished 9 months ago by Saundra Lawson
I love the Westerman and Crowther series, and am surprised it took me so long to find these books. The characters are enjoyable, and usually relatable, the author is wonderful at... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Stephen Stonebraker
Imagen Robertson is just a wonderful writer--I love all the characters as though I knew them. The plots are intricate but not convoluted. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Cheshire Iguana
Always on the edge of a situation, always a mystery to enrravel.
Brilliantly written, great rhythm and very good story