I like Harriet and Crowther a great deal, but in this novel other characters play larger roles as well. The infamous castrato Manzerotti appears at court, causing Harriet much personal distress, but his character is fascinating. I liked District Officer Krall, Jacob Pegel (the young man employed and mentored by Manzerotti in his spy operation), and the brothers who produce the marvelous automata for the Duke and other wealthy clients. A series featuring Manzerotti and Pegel would be interesting.
The plot is a little fantastic, but the characters carry the show. This is the 4th novel in this series, but I missed the second one and will be checking my library. It is not necessary to begin this series with the first novel; each novel can stand on its own. That said, my favorite is Instruments of Darkness, the first novel, that establishes the relationship between Harriet and the reserved and antisocial Gabriel Crowther.
The Westerman/Crowther Series in Order:
Instruments of Darkness
Anatomy of a Murder (TBR)
Island of Bones
Circle of Shadows
NetGalley/Penguin Group, Viking.
Mystery/Historical fiction. June 13, 2013. Print version: 384 pages.
- ISBN-10: 0143120409