TITLE: INSTRUMENTS OF DARKNESS
AUTHOR: IMOGEN ROBERTSON
Details: no. 1 Crowther & Westerman Historical Mystery
Set in 1780 this stories start when reclusive Gabriel Crowther,a student of Anatomy, is raised from his bed by Harriet Westerman. The body of a man has been discovered on Westerman lands in rural England, and Harriet recruits Crowther to help her discover the manner and reasons for the man's death.
At more or less the same time a man named Alexander Adams, a seller of sheet music, is killed in London in front of this two young children. The murderer is about to kill the children too when he's interrupted and flees.
Harriet Westerman is not a typical lady of her times, her husband is a sea captian and away and she is fiercely independent, and is determined to find out why the man was killed on her land, who he was and who killed him. Gabriel Crowther is a man who has his reasons for not mixing with society and knows better than most that it may be best to keep his own council, but still finds himself persuaded by Harriet to get involved.
As they delve deeper into the mystery, and more deaths follow it becomes clear that they are dealing with a ruthless opponent, and decades old secrets which somebody is desperate to keep.
This was an intriguing story and rather dark. The description of the times was very interesting and made the story come alive.
I did have the guilty party identified long before the main characters did, but that didn't lessen my enjoyment of the story since I didn't quite guess at the motives and it was fun to see how the mystery was solved in a time before fingerprints and other forensic evidence. I will definitely read more by this author.