Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-21
- Reviewer: Staff
Set in 1780, Harris’s absorbing debut introduces anatomist Thomas Silkstone, an American living in London, whom the author credits with a number of firsts, including recording the stages of decomposition of corpses and observing insects on a cadaver to determine time of death. When the sudden demise in Oxfordshire of Lord Edward Crick, after violent convulsions, arouses the suspicions of his brother-in-law, Capt. Michael Farrell, Crick’s sister and Farrell’s wife, Lady Lydia, asks Silkstone to determine the truth. Silkstone’s attraction to Lady Lydia motivates him to go beyond merely identifying the possible poison responsible for the nobleman’s end and to explore the viability of various suspects. He proves a dogged investigator, even after several attempts to warn him off the case. Harris has more than a few tricks up her sleeve, and even veteran armchair puzzle solvers are likely to be surprised. Agent: Melissa Jeglinski. (Jan.)