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Island of Bones: A Novel (Crowther and Westerman) [Hardcover]

Imogen Robertson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

More than three decades after leaving his family estate in 1751 and taking a new name, anatomist Gabriel Crowther is back—thanks to the discovery of a body. The corpse in question is found atop a fifteenth-century tomb being relocated, and Crowther, formerly Charles Penhaligon, Lord Keswick, returns to Cumberland, along with colleague Mrs. Harriet Westerman, to examine the remains. The venture also reunites him with the younger sister he sent away as a young child after their older brother was hanged for killing their father. As other murders ensue, Crowther must reexamine his family history as he seeks answers about killers past and present. The forthright Mrs. Westerman, still grieving 20 months after her husband’s murder, is aided by her young son, Stephen, as she frequently cuts to the heart of matters. Local “cunning man” Casper Grace adds a touch of the supernatural to the political and familial intrigue. In the third entry in this series (after Anatomy of Murder, 2012), subplots can become confusing, but the well-drawn protagonists carry the day. An altogether satisfying historical mystery. --Michele Leber

Review

Praise for Island of Bones:

“Robertson's superior third historical featuring anatomist Gabriel Crowther and widow Harriet Westerman (after 2012's Anatomy of Murder) makes the most of its revelations about Crowther's backstory . . . First-rate prose and the deepening relationship between the two leads bode well for the longevity of this series.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Set aside quality time to fully enjoy this richly layered, engaging historical series; a great suggestion for fans of Anne Perry, Charles Finch, and C.S. Harris.”
Library Journal

“An altogether satisfying historical mystery.”
Booklist

“[An] audacious mix of cultural gloss and uncomplicated, straight-ahead storytelling. The multi-layered nuance of Peter Ackroyd and the buttonholing narrative grasp of Stephen King are stirred into the mix.”
The Independent (UK)

"A new Imogen Robertson book is fast becoming something of an event. ...this follow-up does not disappoint.  As ever, the characters are enticing and the plot absorbing. If you've not read the previous books, do not despair--they each stand alone. But if you have time on your hands, now is your chance to catch up."
The Daily Mail (UK)


Praise for Anatomy of Murder:

“Memorable prose, strong and unusual leads, a sophisticated plot with several unexpected turns, and an accurate portrayal of the period all make this a winner.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Robertson's language is spry . . . her scene-setting broad and detailed, her prose gracefully pressed into the service of a serpentine plot."
Financial Times (UK)

“In the overcrowded field of historical fiction, Robertson has the smarts comfortably to outpace most of her rivals.”
The Independent (UK)


Praise for Instruments of Darkness:

“A sensitive melodrama. . . . Robertson’s enjoyment of the period and her characters is infectious.”
The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)
 
 “A thoroughly engaging novel, with rich prose and an intricate, suspenseful plot, with melodramatic, Gothic touches in perfect keeping with the historical period. Robertson has already written another Westerman/Crowther mystery. . . . let us hope for many more.”
Associated Press
 
“Every so often I encounter a book that makes me think with envy: ‘How I wish I could have written this story!’ Instruments of Darkness is just that book—poetic, enchanting, and chillingly memorable. Imogen Robertson is an exquisite writer, and this is an extraordinary novel.”
Tess Gerritsen, author of The Silent Girl
 
“Mayhem runs amok in this period thriller. [Robertson] pulls out all the stops. . . a roaring soap opera of a novel.”
The Washington Times
 
“Impressive . . . A ripping homage to Dickens, Austen and Conan Doyle, Instruments of Darkness will keep you up at night, and then, like me, waiting for the sequel.”
Seattle Times
 
“The book works splendidly as a period thriller, with complicated leads and informative details that illuminate 18th-century England for modern readers.”
Publishers Weekly
 
“This debut is getting some play and should well serve lovers of historical suspense.” 
Library Journal

About the Author

Imogen Robertson worked as a television, film, and radio director before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of four Westerman/Crowther novels: Instruments of Darkness; Anatomy of Murder; Island of Bones, which was short-listed for the 2011 Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Historical Award; and forthcoming from Pamela Dorman Books, Circle of Shadows. In 2012 she was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger in the Library. She lives in London.
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