Welcome to the Friday blurbs, Book Beginnings and the Friday 56. This is a fun way to try out a book before reading. We share blurbs from the beginning and page 56 of a book. Last week I had a really interesting novel The Book of Speculation by first-time author Erika Swyler. It was one of those books that flips back and forth between the present and the past, telling two stories that are part of one big tale. I’ve posted my review if you’re interested in reading more about it. Today I am sharing Anatomy of Murder by Imogen Robertson. It is the second historical suspense novel in her Westerman and Crowther mystery series.
You can find Book Beginnings at Rose City Reader with Gillon.
Thursday, 3 May 1781 sixth year of the American Rebellion, third year of the Franco-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce
Captain Westerman was in his cabin reading the letter from his wife for the fourth time when he heard the officer of the morning watch ring Six Bells. At the last double clang the door opened and his servant, Heathcote, came in with the coffee. Westerman did not have to go on deck to know they were having a good run on a fine day. [I am already impressed that readers are given the date and some historical context which will help those unfamiliar with the era.]
“Also,” Harriet added with a smile, “after he was throttled, Mr. Fitzraven was left on his back for some hours before being thrown into the river.” Justice Pither’s jaw worked uncomfortably for a few moments. “”But how can you possibly know such things?” Crowther settled back into his seat to explain, but was cut off by a wave from Mrs. Westerman. “No sir, please allow me. You shall say everything in Latin and in detail that would stop a decent man from enjoying his dinner.” [We already know that this book is the second in a historical murder mystery series from the cover. Now we know that Westerman in the partnership is a woman who doesn’t mind anatomical discussion and speaks her mind to the man with whom she works and he follows her lead in this particular situation. An equal partnership that is a huge anomaly, historically.]
Well, these make me interested to see how Westerman and Crowther are connected, seeing as a working partnership would have been so unusual in the late eighteenth century. Maybe he’s her brother or cousin? From the page 56 quote I think Crowther is a doctor because she says he will describe things in Latin and too much disgusting detail. Plus the word anatomy is in the title. I am eager to read Anatomy of Murder and learn about the early days of autopsy procedures.