Instruments of Darkness (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Harriet Westerman spent the early years of her marriage traveling
with her husband, Commodore Westerman. 
Those years aboard his sailing vessel honed her independence, intelligence
and sense of adventure.  These days she
is mistress of Cavely Park in West Sussex, mother to Stephen and Anne, and
guardian of her younger sister Rachel while her husband is  sailing half a world away.  Probably not a bad place for him as he surely
would not approve of the actions she is about to undertake.  In the shrubbery of Cavely Park a body is
found.  Harriet heads to the abode of the
newest member of their community, Gabriel Crowther.  He is an anatomist, a man versed in the art
of death.  Harriet wants justice, she
feels the dead man is connected to the powerful family at Thornleigh Hall, her
nearest neighbor, and his murder will be swept under the rugs rather than
challenge the wealthy landowners.  Being
aware of Gabriel’s reputation as a man of science, she wants him to examine the
body and determine if it was murder. There is something unsavory going on at
Thornleigh Hall, the Earl’s firstborn son left many years past and has not been
heard from since.  Captain Hugh
Thornleigh, the second son, returned from fighting the upstart Americans in the
Revolutionary War with grave injuries. Crowther stays away from society and out
of public scrutiny.  Still he is intrigued
by his intelligent headstrong neighbor, finds her friendship intellectually
stimulating, and is soon involved in solving the puzzle.

— Deon Stonehouse

March 2011 Indie Next List

“Shades of Jane Eyre meets Sherlock Holmes, circa 1776: two murders near a country manor in West Sussex; a Lord accused; and insanity, fire, orphans. Attempting to solve the mystery are an early forensic doctor, Gabriel Crowther, and his neighbor, Mrs. Westerman, the unconventional mistress of Caveley Park. This is the first in what I hope will be a long series featuring two fabulously appealing detectives.”
— Karen Corvello, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT


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 the Author

Imogen Robertson studied Russian and German at Cambridge University and has worked as a TV, film, and radio director. In 2007, she won "The Telegraph's" First Thousand Words of a Novel competition with what would become "Instruments of Darkness." She currently lives in London and has finished a second novel about Harriet Westerman and Gabriel Crowther entitled "Anatomy of Murder."

Praise For…


“Robertson’s enjoyment of the period and her characters is infectious.”—The New York Times Book Review (Editor’s Choice)

“Every so often I encounter a book that makes me think with envy: ‘How I wish I could have written this story!’ Instruments of Darkness is just that book—poetic, enchanting, and chillingly memorable. Imogen Robertson is an exquisite writer, and this is an extraordinary novel.”
Tess Gerritsen, bestselling author of Last to Die

“Mayhem runs amok in this period thriller. [Robertson] pulls out all the stops . . . [a] roaring soap opera of a novel.”
The Washington Times

“Impressive . . . Robertson has a wicked way with suspense. A ripping homage to Dickens, Austen, and Conan Doyle, Instruments of Darkness will keep you up at night, and then, like me, waiting for the sequel.”
Seattle Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780143120407
ISBN-10: 0143120409
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: December 27th, 2011
Pages: 373
Language: English