Instruments of Darkness

Instruments of Darkness

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
11
Rate this:
An intricate historical page-turner about a forbidding country estate and the unlikely forensic duo who set out to uncover its deadly secrets.

In the year 1780, Harriet Westerman, the willful mistress of a country manor in Sussex, finds a dead man on her grounds with a ring bearing the crest of Thornleigh Hall in his pocket. Not one to be bound by convention or to shy away from adventure, she recruits a reclusive local anatomist named Gabriel Crowther to help her find the murderer, and historical suspense's newest investigative duo is born.

For years, Mrs. Westerman has sensed the menace of neighboring Thornleigh Hall, seat of the Earl of Sussex. It is the home of a once- great family that has been reduced to an ailing invalid, his whorish wife, and his alcoholic second son, a man haunted by his years spent as a redcoat in the Revolutionary War. The same day, Alexander Adams is slain by an unknown killer in his London music shop, leaving his children orphaned. His death will lead back to Sussex, and to an explosive secret that has already destroyed one family and threatens many others.

Instruments of Darkness combines the brooding atmosphere of Anne Perry with the complex, compelling detail of Tess Gerritsen, moving from drawing room to dissecting room, from coffee house to country inn. Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther are both razor-sharp minds and their personalities breathe spirit into this gripping historical mystery.
Publisher: New York : Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, 2011.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780670022427
067002242X
Branch Call Number: X
Characteristics: 373 p. ; 24 cm.

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

s
SusanAdams
Mar 24, 2016

A very good read. As historical mysteries go this author shows great promise. It is refreshing to have a heroine who doesn't seem like a 21st Century woman plunked down in the past and explained as being peculiar to her time. This lady heroine is independent and in charge because she must run her estate and family in the absence of her seagoing husband who is away most of the time. Her take-charge characteristics are believable and her wit and humour are well drawn by the author. The relationship that develops between Crowther and Westerman is based on respect and genuine friendship and as such is refreshing and uncluttered by sexual tension. The mystery is complex and quite well drawn. The characters are believable and engaging. Definitely on my "read more from this author list".

d
dinkthecat
Feb 26, 2012

I have read a lot of historical fiction/murder mysteries but this one from Robertson is superb! Brilliantly written, with an excellent feel for the social mores, I truly felt the 18th century sesibilities in the characters and their actions. I am looking forward to reading her other books but know that must pace myself as such pleasant reads do not come by often.

s
shapjul
Nov 23, 2011

I found it a little hard to get into this book--took me two attempts, in fact--but it was worth it in the end. Particularly because I think the main characters (described by many others) are intriguing and will return in other books, I found my investment of time worthwhile.

The period detail is very good and she's got a nicely complicated plot with many twists and turns. I think it's a very promising start and I am eager to see if she can develop the series.

w
wsbooklover
Oct 27, 2011

Hard to believe this is written by a contemporary author because it reads so much like Sherlock Holmes. Bravo Imogen Robertson! Keep writing!

annelibnyc Oct 01, 2011

Set in 1780, this has all the elements I like in a historical mystery: a sinister plot, great characters and plenty of historical details. Harriet Westerman is the wife of a naval officer, who lives with her younger sister and small children back in England. Something of a local busybody, when she discovers a dead body on her property she gets the local reclusive anatomist, Mr. Crowther, to help figure how he died. However, one dead body leads to another and pretty soon the dark family secrets of the local aristocracy begin to come out. This is well done and it sets up the series perfectly. Cannot wait to read the second book.

e
emerge
Aug 15, 2011

An intriguing murder mystery from the 18th century. The main protagonists.....a young proper lady & a middle aged anatomist.....make an excellent team as they try to discover who is doing away with some of the inhabitants of an English village.

hgeng63 Aug 13, 2011

Superior historical mystery! Can't wait for the 2nd one!

m
mpot
Jul 13, 2011

A great first novel. Have added her to my list of authors. Reminds me of the Crocodile on the Sandbank author.

r
ready2read
Jul 07, 2011

This is a historical mystery suspense involving a pair of sleuthing neighbours in late 18th century England. She is a sea captain's wife and he is a wealthy recluse and together they investigate a murder. She has given up her beloved life at sea to become- well - a stay-at-home-mom circa 1780 (this includes wet nurses and servants) and he is a recluse because....no I cannot tell, it is a secret and you'll just have to read the novel! Grand country estates, colouful locals, and self-serving politicians add to the flavour of the novel. This is the first of the series followed by "Anatomy of a Murder" which is confusing since this is dated 2011 and the other 2010. This may possibly be explained because this is one of those authors first published in th U.K.

mesopotamia32 Apr 16, 2011

fascinating & carefully researched. The characters did engage me, esp the independent Harriet Westerman & rather refreshing that instead of the ususal love interest, the two connect on an intellectual level.
Interesting too to have the British perspective on the American Revolution--abt as popular with their soldiers as Viet Nam must have been to ours.

View All Comments

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SLPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top