Circle of Shadows
A Westerman/Crowther Mystery
By Imogen Robertson
(Pamela Dorman Books, Hardcover, 9780670026289, 384pp.)
Publication Date: June 13, 2013
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A grisly murder among the German aristocracy propels this tale of eighteenth century forensics and historical crime solving
The forthright Mrs. Harriet Westerman and her reclusive companion, anatomist Gabriel Crowther, tackle their first case outside of England in the fourth installment of Imogen Robertson’s heralded historical suspense series.
As Germany’s elite are celebrating Shrove Tuesday of 1784 with a masked ball, the beautiful Lady Martesen is murdered. Daniel Clode, brother-in-law to Mrs. Westerman, is found near the body. All evidence points to him as the killer. As Daniel awaits execution, Westerman and Crowther arrive and quickly encounter a court full of opulence, intrigue, and deadly secrets—but no one who will talk.
With Anne Perry’s eye for period detail and Tess Gerritsen’s forensics knowledge, Robertson is emerging as a major author of highbrow suspense.
Imogen Robertson worked as a television, film, and radio director before becoming a full-time writer. Her previous novels in the Westerman/Crowther series include Instruments of Darkness, Anatomy of Murder, and Island of Bones. She lives in London.
Praise for CIRCLE OF SHADOWS
"The best yet in [Robertson's] late-18th-century historical series. . . The puzzle is intricate enough to satisfy fair-play fans, but it's the perfect prose that puts this in the first rank of the subgenre."
—Publishers Weekly, (starred review)
“Dramatic intrigue and painstaking detail combine smoothly in this robust historical thriller. While this is the fourth series entry (after the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award nominee Island of Bones), Robertson does a particularly good job of filling in the backstory for new readers. Sure to be a treat for Anne Perry fans; try also with forensic investigation readers who like an ensemble cast.”
—Library Journal, (starred review)
"The fourth entry in this series mixes shamanism and alchemy with court intrigue and conspiracy, plus a dash of undying love and insanity, as all plot strands come together. With well-drawn characters, sharp dialogue, and distinctive settings, this is a winning historical mystery; Westerman and Crowther continue to shine."
“Delightful . . . Robertson is a virtuoso at capturing the nuances and customs of the period and culture.”
"The combination of unusual historical nuggets, a taxing mystery and good writing will please many."
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.”
“[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)