Review: The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris

Description (from cover):

‘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 greatest the risk that he will be consigned to the ranks of the corpses he studies…’

My thoughts:

I’ve been dying to read this one since I’ve heard it was published. It appears to be something that I would really enjoy. A murder mystery with a historical setting. Should be a fabulous read. Wrong! This book was just okay. I enjoyed some parts and then the parts I didn’t like seem to overwhelm me and take over the good parts of this book. The author informs us that Dr. Thomas Silkstone has come to England from America at the beginning of this novel and throughout the book she refers to him as the ‘New Worlder’ or the ‘Colonist’ and it drove me nuts. This was done quite frequently throughout this whole book. Okay I get that he comes from America but really do I need to be reminded of this all the time? Is it really that important to the story that he is a foreigner? No. So stop reminding me every five seconds. Gah.

I did like the setting 1780’s England in Oxfordshire. A country estate of the landed gentry where the Lord of the manor is hated by all and all alike. So when he turns up murdered no one really cares other than to spread rumors and speculate on who murdered him. There were several ‘suspects’ in this book and a lot was going on. I disliked the ending as it was so complicated. It makes sense, it just seems like overkill. Another thing that I disliked was the sex scenes were almost in bodice ripper style. Goodness..I really don’t need too much detail to get the point. Metaphors were thrown in throughout this novel like the author wanted the reader to understand that she knew how to use them, but they really didn’t fit in and stood out like an eyesore.

Needless to say, I was a tad bit disappointed in this one because I had been dying to read it. Then I actually read it and wasn’t all that impressed. Thomas Silkstone’s character seems well developed and possibly the series can gain some momentum, but if it stays on the same track as this one, I won’t be reading it. I’ll keep my ears open to see how the second book is received, but I’m skeptical about reading the next one. I hate when this happens!

Overall Rating: 2.5

Title:  The Anatomist’s Apprentice
Author:  Tessa Harris
Series:  Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery #1
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  December 27, 2011
Pages:  304
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Get It:  Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer: This book was selected from the library by myself and I reviewed this book without compensation of any kind. All thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

4 thoughts on “Review: The Anatomist's Apprentice by Tessa Harris

  1. I think I also prefer female protagonists, but I thought I would try something new. It wasn't so much the male protagonist that made me like this book, it was more the annoyances with the writing.Kimberlee


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