Instruments of Darkness by Imogen Robertson
A Novel

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Synopsis

The first novel in the Westerman and Crowther historical crime series that The New York Times Book Review called “CSI: Georgian England” and Tess Gerritsen called “chillingly memorable”

Debut novelist Imogen Robertson won the London Telegraph’s First Thousand Words of a Novel competition in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness. The finished work is a fast-paced historical mystery starring a pair of amateur eighteenth-century sleuths with razor-sharp minds. When Harriet Westerman, the unconventional mistress of a Sussex manor, finds a dead man on her grounds, she enlists reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer. Moving from drawing room to dissecting room, from dark London streets to the gentrified countryside, Instruments of Darkness is a gripping tale of the forbidding Thornleigh Hall and an unlikely forensic duo determined to uncover its deadly secrets.
 

About Imogen Robertson

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IMOGEN ROBERTSON is a former TV, film, and radio director. She won the London Telegraph's First Thousand Words of a Novel competition in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness, her first novel. She lives in London and has written a second novel featuring Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther, The Anatomy of Murder.
 
Published February 17, 2011 by Penguin Books. 386 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Instruments of Darkness

Kirkus Reviews

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London-based Robertson brings good humor and freshness to her story of sudden death and family intrigue, threading larger historical dimensions like the Gordon Riots and the American War of Independence into her rural mystery.

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The New York Times

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A historical novel of murder, bedlam and an unlikely forensic duo, set in late-18th-century England.

Mar 04 2011 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Set in West Sussex in 1780, Robertson's auspicious debut introduces the unlikely sleuthing team of anatomist Gabriel Crowther and independent-minded Harriet Westerman, mistress of Caveley Park.

Dec 13 2010 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

New York Journal of Books

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Were it possible to review Imogen Robertson’s debut historical mystery, Instruments of Darkness, through two separate lenses—first as a straight historical novel, and, secondly, as a straight mystery—then the reader would be presented with two starkly different reviews: One raving, and one raving...

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

Book Reporter

"It was a particularly handsome, particularly English summer's day, and the Sussex countryside was full of the pleasing and fruitful colors of the season."

Mar 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

The Washington Times

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And there is the current Lady Thornleigh, gorgeous in her gilded setting with “a sensuality that flowed from her that overpowered even the stench of gold.” A dancer and a streetwalker, she has become Lady Thornleigh almost as a gesture of social defiance on the part of Lord Thornleigh, and now sh...

Mar 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

The Bookbag

The central characters of Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther are strongly drawn, and if you like this book you will be pleased to hear that Robertson has already written a second story featuring the pair.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

The Seattle Times

"Instruments of Darkness" (Pamela Dorman Books, $26.95), by Imogen Robertson: In early June 1780, London was ravaged by anti-Catholic rioting, fueled by anti-Catholic sentiment sparked by a recent act of Parliament that eliminated previously imposed penalties and restrictions on the British Catho...

Feb 16 2011 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

Although this is not a top-tier novel—it is a bit too long and has too many subplots, including one about the bitter conflict between Protestants and Catholics—Instruments of Darkness will be of interest to readers who enjoy forensics and historical fiction with gothic overtones.

Feb 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

Lancashire Evening Post

All the clues lead to Thornleigh Hall where a bitter battle is taking place over the earl’s succession led by his second wife, a former dancer, and the scheming Hugh, a veteran of the bitter American War of Independence.

May 07 2010 | Read Full Review of Instruments of Darkness: A Novel

Reader Rating for Instruments of Darkness
80%

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