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Imogen Robertson Books In Order

Publication Order of Crowther and Westerman Books

Instruments of Darkness (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Anatomy of Murder (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Island of Bones (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Circle of Shadows (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Theft of Life (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Paris Winter (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Imogen Robertson is a British author that hails from Darlington. She is best known for the Crowther & Westerman series of novels set in Georgian Era England. Imogen Robertson spent most of her childhood in Darlington, before she left as a teen to study German and Russian at Cambridge. She lives in London. Before her big break into the writing of historical thrillers, she worked as a director for radio, TV, and film. In 2007, she was one of the five winners of the First 1000 words Daily Telegraphs Novel in a Year Competition. Her 1000 word draft is what would later become her highly popular debut, Instruments of Darkness. She has always been interested in writing and has great interest in poetry. As a published poet, the shelves of her house are full of slim irregularly shaped volumes of poetry that she reads almost religiously. In 2005, she wrote a poem about the danger of suicide bombers on the London Underground that was feted by the 2005 National Poetry Competition. Imogen is peculiar in that she is a novelist and a poet, which is perhaps a result of her education. Imogen grew up in Darlington where she attended the local comprehensive school before she moved to a boy’s public school that took in girls in the sixth form. It was a big culture shock intermingling with the privileged girls in the school, but it molded her thinking, making her an author that can write from different perspectives. The four novels in the Crowther and Westerman series have been translated into more than 10 languages around the globe and won Robertson several awards. Her most significant achievement was making the shortlist for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award on two occasions. Her husband is a freelance cheesemonger.

Imogen Robertson had always loved to read about murder mysteries and has a fascination with the social history of the 18th century. Some of her favorite writers from the period include Bernard Cornwell, Patrick O’Brian and CJ Sansom, who are some of the most highly regarded writers of historical English literature. She also found a lot of inspiration for her work from The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England by Amanda Vickery. For Robertson the 18th century while seemingly distant, remains a very vivid part of the present through aspects such as Georgian music and architecture. Just like Amanda Vickery, Robertson is interested in portraying the lives of the ordinary people and their roles in the society. Similar to some of her favorite writers such as O’brian or Cornwell, she brings to the fore the lives of people that may be deemed to have been in the background of history. Given that she is a connoisseur of murder mysteries that is interested in 18th century social history, writing novels that combined the two seemed a no brainer. In a recent interview, Imogen asserted that modern detective fiction is too constricting hence her preference for historical fiction, where police work seemed to be less institutionalized and more personal.

The novels are set in 18th century locales such as Sussex, London, and even across the Atlantic in Massachusetts during the American Independence War. The novels address the wider social concerns of the times with a light touch from the perspective of two amateur sleuths Mrs. Westerman and Mr. Crowther. Mrs. Western is a strong-willed independent woman that is the total opposite of what would be expected of a woman in her time. Unlike many women of the 18th century that lived the experience of the dutiful country wife or daughter, Harriet is the wife of a Royal Navy commander. Her characterization gives her the opportunity to live outside the small world presented to many women of the 18th century. Mr. Crowther is the typical male detective of the time, more reflective and impersonal as compared to the more impulsive Westerman, which makes for quite a distinctive and fresh feel to the novels. With two complementary detectives, not only is the dialogue better but the action is also more pronounced and effective. Furthermore, Imogen is an expert at making a serpentine plot that has enough distractions and red herrings, which make for quite a good mystery.

Instruments of Darkness, the first novel of the Crowther and Westerman series is an intricate page-turner that combines some of Tess Gerritsen’s compelling detail with Anne Perry’s brooding atmosphere in the quest for uncovering a deadly secret. The story begins with Harriet Westerman, the landlady of a Sussex country manor house finding a dead man on her grounds. The man has only one identification, a ring in his pocket engraved with Thornleigh Hall’s crest. Never one to walk away from adventure or stick to convention, she enlists the services of local anatomist and recluse, Gabriel Crowther to help find the murderer. For several years, Mrs. Westerman always felt that Thornleigh Hall, the home of the Earl of Sussex had a certain menace that she could not quite put a finger on. The home seemed to stagger along as an invalid, weighed down by a whoring wife and a son given to drink. The very same day, reports filter back from town that an unknown killer had slain Alexander Adams in his London-based music shop. The two amateur detectives believe that the death may have something to do with the body discovered in Sussex and set out to investigate. What they find is an explosive secret whose tentacles just destroyed one family and is likely to do the same to many others.

Anatomy of Murder the second novel of the Crowther and Westerman series of novels is just as riveting as the first. Set in 1781 London, the novel opens to Westerman anxiously waiting for news about her husband, the captain of a ship that has reportedly been seriously injured fighting the French. With London streets awash with rumors, a body is found floating in the River Thames. Having made a name for themselves for unraveling the mysterious happenings at Thornleigh Hall, Westerman and Gabriel Crowther her sidekick are the natural pick to investigate the mysterious floater. They soon find out that this is no accidental drowning; the victim is just one piece of a wide conspiracy to leak some of England’s most precious of secrets.

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