Cover image for
Island of bones
Robertson, Imogen, 1973-

Personal Author:
First American edition.
Physical Description:
367 pages : map ; 24 cm
Reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther investigates an ancient tomb where an extra body and clues about Crowther's haunting past are discovered.
Bibliography Note:
Includes bibliographical references (pages 365-367).
Pub Date:
Pamela Dorman Books, [2012]



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Henington-Alief - Houston Public Library Adult Mystery Fiction Book ROBER
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"Robertson has a wicked way with suspense." -- Seattle Times

Imogen Robertson's first two historical suspense novels featuring the forthright Mrs. Harriet Westerman and reclusive anatomist Gabriel Crowther have earned both glowing praise and a growing readership.

England, 1783. In Island of Bones , Crowther's haunting past is at last revealed. For years he has pursued his forensic studies--and the occasional murder investigation--far from his family estate. But an ancient tomb there will reveal a wealth of secrets.  When laborers discover an extra body inside, the lure of the mystery brings Crowther home at last.

Fans of both historical fiction à la Anne Perry and the intricate forensics of Tess Gerritsen will be delighted by Robertson's latest.

Author Notes

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.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

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.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. The powerful opening, set in 1751 London, shows Crowther (whose real name is Charles Penhaligon) on the eve of his brother Adair's execution for the stabbing murder of their father. Despite his sibling's denials, Crowther cannot credit them, given the circumstances--Adair was found with the fatal weapon in his hand and initially confessed. After the hanging, the action flashes forward to 1783 Cumberland, where an extra corpse has been found in a tomb on the Penhaligon family estate. That discovery comes to the attention of Crowther, who, in the interim, has studied anatomy abroad and tried unsuccessfully to live out his days as a recluse. His investigation into the cadaver's provenance turns up a wealth of secrets that may shed new light on his family's dark history. First-rate prose and the deepening relationship between the two leads bode well for the longevity of this series. Agent: Jason Bartholomew, Headline Publishing Group. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

On February 4, 1751, after his brother's execution, Charles Penhaligon should have become Lord Keswick. Instead he renounced the title, sold the family estate, and continued his studies at the College of Anatomy under the name Gabriel Crowther. But ties to his previous life are not completely severed. When the partially mummified remains of an unknown victim are found on Keswick lands, Crowther and Harriet Westerman, along with her son and his tutor, set off for the Lake Country, searching the present for clues to the past. For new readers, this third series entry (Instruments of Darkness; Anatomy of Murder) can be read alone; it balances revelations from Crowther's early life against the steady development of a well-constructed mystery. Elaborate details produce a strong sense of place, while thoughtful interior dialog and complex connections explore personal relationships. Multiple characters relate events from their perspective, allowing readers to see how various pieces fit together. -VERDICT 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. [See Prepub Alert, 7/5/12.]-Stacey -Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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