February 16, 2012 by imogenrobertson
My second novel, Anatomy of Murder, comes out in America today. The hardback looks beautiful; I love the feel of American books. To mark the occasion I thought I’d gather a few things about the book together.
First of all, here’s the blurb:
London, 1781. Harriet Westerman anxiously awaits news of her husband, a ship’s captain who has been gravely injured in the king’s naval battles with France. As London’s streets seethe with rumor, a body is dragged from the murky waters of the Thames.
Having gained a measure of fame as amateur detectives for unraveling the mysteries of Thornleigh Hall, the indomitable Mrs. Westerman and her reclusive sidekick, anatomist Gabriel Crowther, are once again called on to investigate. In this intricate novel, Harriet and Gabriel will discover that this is no ordinary drowning-the victim is part of a plot to betray England’s most precious secrets.
The critics raved about their first adventure, comparing them with the characters of Tess Gerritsen in period clothes. Fans of Instruments of Darkness will find the smart and spirited pair’s second outing just as riveting.
Well, I hope so. The inspiration for Anatomy of Murder actually came from extending some of my research from Instruments of Darkness. I read something about opera in the 18th century which set my brain ticking over, then my cello teacher he mentioned the castrato singers of the period, and that sent me to the library with a spring in my step. I had an idea of Harriet and Crowther meeting an old castrato singer in a room filled with the souvenirs of his days of glory, as it happened that scene didn’t appear. My castrato singer, Manzerotti, turned into a very different character. A powerful and famous man, beautiful and a master of his art. Around the same time I also came across accounts of the trial and execution of the spy called Francois Henri de la Motte
, and something clicked.
I remember reading Patrica Highsmith’s book
on writing suspense fiction; she says stories often come from two separate ideas or inspirations rubbing up against each other. That was certainly the case for me.
Want to know more?
is the Publisher’s Weekly review of Anatomy
My UK Publishers, Headline, have done a reading guide for Anatomy of Murder, which you can find here
You can find a video of some of the locations in the See and Hear section of this blog.
For a taste of the music that inspired the book, and Manzerotti, you can listen to extracts from Iestyn Davies’ new recording here
is the link to Anatomy on amazon.com