The Anatomist's Apprentice

Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery

Book 1
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In the first in a stunning new mystery series set in eighteenth-century England, Tessa Harris introduces Dr. Thomas Silkstone, anatomist and pioneering forensic detective. . .

The death of Sir Edward Crick has unleashed a torrent of gossip through the seedy taverns and elegant ballrooms of Oxfordshire. Few mourn the dissolute young man--except his sister, the beautiful Lady Lydia Farrell. When her husband comes under suspicion of murder, she seeks expert help from Dr. Thomas Silkstone, a young anatomist from Philadelphia.

Thomas arrived in England to study under its foremost surgeon, where his unconventional methods only add to his outsider status. Against his better judgment he agrees to examine Sir Edward's corpse. But it is not only the dead, but also the living, to whom he must apply the keen blade of his intellect. And the deeper the doctor's investigations go, the greater the risk that he will be consigned to the ranks of the corpses he studies. . .

Advance praise for Tessa Harris and The Anatomist's Apprentice

'"Tessa Harris has delivered a deftly plotted debut. Just when you think the puzzle is solved, she reveals yet another surprising twist which leaves you marveling at her ingenuity." --Carol Carr, author of India Black

"CSI meets The Age of Reason with a well-drawn, intriguing cast of characters, headed by the brilliant Dr. Thomas Silkstone. Full of twists and turns, Tessa Harris's debut mystery can confound the most adept reader. Vivid details pulled me right into the world of early forensic sleuthing. A page turner!" --Karen Harper

"Tessa Harris takes us on a fascinating journey into the shadowy world of anatomist Thomas Silkstone, a place where death holds no mystery and all things are revealed." –Victoria Thompson, author of Murder on Sisters' Row

"From dissection table to drawing room, this visit to late eighteenth-century England is chock full of intriguing twists and turns. Along with the visiting surgeon from the colonies, Dr. Thomas Silkstone, readers will find themselves challenged by the who, the how, and the why of murder at an idyllic Oxfordshire manor house." --Kate Emerson
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About the author

Tessa Harris is the author of the acclaimed Dr. Thomas Silkstone mysteries, including Secrets in the Stones and The Anatomist's Apprentice. A graduate of Oxford University with a history degree, Tessa has also been a journalist and editor, contributing to many publications such as the Times and the Telegraph. She has also acted as a literary publicist for several well-known authors. Readers can visit her website at tessaharrisauthor.com.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Kensington Books
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Published on
Dec 27, 2011
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780758278029
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Historical
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Traditional
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The brilliant anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone returns in Tessa Harris's vivid and compelling mystery series set in 1780s London. . .

It is not just the living who are prey to London's criminals and cutpurses. Corpses, too, are fair game--dug up from fresh graves and sold to unscrupulous men of science. Dr. Thomas Silkstone abhors such methods, but his leading rival, Dr. John Hunter, has learned of the imminent death of eight-foot-tall Charles Byrne, known as the "Irish Giant," and will go to any lengths to obtain the body for his research.

Thomas intends to see that Byrne is allowed to rest in peace. Yet his efforts are complicated by concern for his betrothed, Lady Lydia Farrell, who breaks off their engagement without explanation. When Dr. Hunter is implicated in the horrific murder of a young castrato, Thomas must determine how far the increasingly erratic surgeon will go in the name of knowledge. For as Thomas knows too well, the blackest hearts sometimes go undetected--and even an unblemished façade can hide terrifying secrets. . .

Praise for The Anatomist's Apprentice

"Densely plotted. . . We await--indeed, demand--the sequel." --The New York Times Book Review

"An absorbing debut. . . Harris has more than a few tricks up her sleeve and even veteran armchair puzzle solvers are likely to be surprised." --Publishers Weekly

"Smart misdirection and time-period appropriate medical details make for a promising start to a new series. A strong choice for readers of Ariana Franklin and Caleb Carr." --Library Journal

"CSI meets the Age of Reason with a well-drawn, intriguing cast of characters, headed by the brilliant Dr. Thomas Silkstone. Full of twists and turns, Tessa Harris's debut mystery can confound the most adept reader. Vivid details pulled me right into the world of early forensic sleuthing. A page turner!" --Karen Harper

"Intricate forensic details and a host of intriguing characters drive the story. The author will have you flipping the pages at each unexpected turn in the plot. . .an absorbing read with a shocking twist at the end." --Historical Novel Reviews

"Tessa Harris has delivered a deftly plotted debut. Just when you think the puzzle is solved, she reveals yet another surprising twist which leaves you marveling at her ingenuity." --Carol Carr, author of India Black and The Widow of Windsor

A READING GROUP GUIDE

Discussion Questions

1. What are the parallels between the powerful physicians in the novel and the multinational drug companies of today?

2. How does Thomas develop as a character in this, the second book in the series?

3. Does the course of the War of Independence affect any attitudes toward Thomas in this book?

4. Anatomists in the eighteenth century found corpses so hard to come by that they were forced to turn to grave robbers for a regular supply. Nowadays, more people donate their bodies to science. Would you?

5. Should organ donation be made compulsory?

6. Freak shows have long been considered an affront to human dignity, but in an age with little social welfare, what was the alternative for the severely disabled?

7. Charles Byrne and Count Boruwlaski both have major disabilities but are treated in very different ways. Why is this so, and how would they be treated today?

8. How far do revelations about Lydia's past go to explain her submissive character?

9. Was John Hunter a medical visionary or an evil obsessive?

10. Charles Byrne's skeleton remains on display in the Hunterian Museum in London to this day. Should he be given a proper burial?
Eighteenth-century anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone travels to the English countryside to unravel a tangled web of mystery, medicine, and murder—in this captivating new novel from Tessa Harris. . .

A man staggers out of his cottage into the streets of Oxfordshire, shattering an otherwise peaceful evening with the terrible sight of his body shaking and heaving, eyes wild with horror. Many of the villagers believe the Devil himself has entered Joseph Makepeace, the latest victim of a "great fog" that darkens the skies over England like a Biblical plague. When Joseph's son and daughter are found murdered—heads bashed in by a shovel—the town's worst suspicions are confirmed: Evil is abroad, and needs to be banished.

A brilliant man of science, Dr. Thomas Silkstone is not one to heed superstition. But when he arrives at the estate of the lovely widow Lady Lydia Farrell, he finds that it's not just her grain and livestock at risk. A shroud of mystery surrounds Lydia's lost child, who may still be alive in a workhouse. A natural disaster fills the skies with smoke and ash, clogging the lungs of all who breathe it in. And the grisly details of a father's crime compels Dr. Silkstone to look for answers beyond his medical books—between the Devil and the deep blue sea. . .

Praise for The Dead Shall Not Rest

"Outstanding. . .well-rounded characters, cleverly concealed evidence and an assured prose style point to a long run for this historical series." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Populated with real historical characters and admirably researched, Harris's novel features a complex and engrossing plot. A touch of romance makes this sophomore outing even more enticing. Savvy readers will also recall Hilary Mantel's The Giant, O'Brien." —Library Journal

Praise for The Anatomist's Apprentice

"Densely plotted. . . We await—indeed, demand—the sequel." —The New York Times Book Review

"An absorbing debut. . . Harris has more than a few tricks up her sleeve and even veteran armchair puzzle solvers are likely to be surprised." —Publishers Weekly

"Smart misdirection and time-period appropriate medical details make for a promising start to a new series. A strong choice for readers of Ariana Franklin and Caleb Carr." —Library Journal
Only a woman with an iron backbone could succeed as an undertaker in Victorian London, but Violet Morgan takes great pride in her trade. While her husband, Graham, is preoccupied with elevating their station in society, Violet is cultivating a sterling reputation for Morgan Undertaking. She is empathetic, well-versed in funeral fashions, and comfortable with death's role in life--until its chilling rattle comes knocking on her own front door.

Violet's peculiar but happy life soon begins to unravel as Graham becomes obsessed with his own demons and all but abandons her as he plans a vengeful scheme. And the solace she's always found in her work evaporates like a departing soul when she suspects that some of the deceased she's dressed have been murdered. When Graham's plotting leads to his disappearance, Violet takes full control of the business and is commissioned for an undertaking of royal proportions. But she's certain there's a killer lurking in the London fog, and the next funeral may be her own.

Equal parts courage, compassion, and intrigue, Christine Trent tells an unrestrained tale of love and loss in the rigidly decorous world of Victorian society.

Praise for the novels of Christine Trent

"Genuinely engrossing. . .with a rare Regency heroine who loves her work and does it well." Publishers Weekly on By the King's Design

"Exuberant, sparkling, beguiling. . .brims with Dickensian gusto!" --Barbara Kyle, author of The Queen's Lady on The Queen's Dollmaker

"Winningly original. . .glittering with atmospheric detail!" --Leslie Carroll, author of Royal Affairs on The Queen's Dollmaker
In 1780s London, American anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone is plunged into a swirling cauldron of sorcery, slavery, and cold-blooded murder . . .

When the sole survivor of an ill-fated scientific expedition to Jamaica goes missing upon his return to London, Dr. Thomas Silkstone--entrusted with cataloging the expedition's New World specimens--feels compelled to investigate. There are rumors of a potion that has the power to raise the dead--and the formula is suspected to be in the private journal that has disappeared along with the young botanist.

As Dr. Silkstone searches for clues to the man's whereabouts, he is drawn deeper into a dark and dangerous world of vengeance, infidelity, murder, and the trafficking of corpses for profit. Without the support of his beloved Lady Lydia Farrell--from whom he has been forcibly separated by law--he must confront the horrors of slavery, as well the very depths of human wickedness. And after a headless corpse is discovered, Dr. Silkstone begins to uncover the sinister motives of those in power who would stop at nothing to possess the Lazarus potion. . .

Praise for The Dead Shall Not Rest

"Outstanding. . .well-rounded characters, cleverly concealed evidence and an assured prose style point to a long run for this historical series." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Populated with real historical characters and admirably researched, Harris's novel features a complex and engrossing plot. A touch of romance makes this sophomore outing even more enticing. Savvy readers will also recall Hilary Mantel's The Giant, O'Brien." --Library Journal

Praise for The Anatomist's Apprentice

"Densely plotted. . . We await--indeed, demand--the sequel." --The New York Times Book Review

"An absorbing debut. . . Harris has more than a few tricks up her sleeve and even veteran armchair puzzle solvers are likely to be surprised." --Publishers Weekly

"Smart misdirection and time-period appropriate medical details make for a promising start to a new series. A strong choice for readers of Ariana Franklin and Caleb Carr." --Library Journal
Ensconced in the woods of rural England, 1784, American anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone hunts for justice amid a maelstrom of madness, murder, and social upheaval.  .  .

In the notorious mental hospital known as Bedlam, Dr. Thomas Silkstone seeks out a patient with whom he is on intimate terms. But he is unprepared for the state in which he finds Lady Lydia Farrell. Shocked into action, Thomas vows to help free Lydia by appealing to the custodian of her affairs, Mr. Nicholas Lupton. But when Silkstone arrives at the Boughton Estate to speak to Lupton, he finds that another form of madness has taken over the village.  .  .

Sweeping changes to the Boughton Estate threaten to leave many villagers, who are rightfully angry, destitute. After a single shot rings out and a man dies in the woods, it appears that the desperate villagers have turned to murder to avenge their cause. But for Thomas, a post-mortem on the victim raises more questions than answers. Although he manages to save an innocent man from the gallows, a second murder warns him of his potentially fatal situation. Soon he discovers a conspiracy far more sinister than anything he has ever faced. But who it leads to is the last person he suspects.  .  .

Outstanding praise for Tessa Harris and her Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mysteries!

The Devil's Breath

"Excellent.  .  .Both literally and figuratively atmospheric, this will appeal to fans of Imogen Robertson's series during the same period." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Stunning.  .  .perfect book club fodder." --Library Journal

"A fascinating series.  .  .Harris is at her vivid best describing in precise, fearsome detail the ‘Great Fogg'." --The New York Times Book Review

The Dead Shall Not Rest

"Highly recommended." --Historical Novel Reviews

"Outstanding.  .  .well-rounded characters, cleverly concealed evidence and an assured prose style point to a long run for this historical series." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Populated with real historical characters and admirably researched, Harris's novel features a complex and engrossing plot.  A touch of romance makes this sophomore outing even more enticing. Savvy readers will also recall Hilary Mantel's The Giant, O'Brien." --Library Journal

The Anatomist's Apprentice

"Densely plotted.  .  . We await--indeed, demand--the sequel." --The New York Times Book Review

"An absorbing debut.  .  . Harris has more than a few tricks up her sleeve and even veteran armchair puzzle solvers are likely to be surprised." --Publishers Weekly

"Smart misdirection and time-period appropriate medical details make for a promising start to a new series. A strong choice for readers of Ariana Franklin and Caleb Carr." --Library Journal

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