The Anatomist's Apprentice (Dr. Thomas Silkstone Series #1)

The Anatomist's Apprentice (Dr. Thomas Silkstone Series #1)

by Tessa Harris

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The Anatomist's Apprentice 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 93 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read about this book in the New York Times and was glad I read it. It's the first in a new series and introduces us to Dr Thomas Silkstone, a young American surgeon who is studying in London. Full of twists and turns, it had me totally hooked. Its prose is quite unusual and very 'period', which I loved and there are some really interesting passages about early forensics. There is a romance in it too, although the female character of Lady Lydia needs to be brought out a bit more. It would be good for a book club, I think. I'm already looking forward to the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read and I enjoyed it much more than I expected. Good character development and more than a few surprises I did not see coming. Recommended.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Karen P. for Readers Favorite "The Anatomist's Apprentice" by Tessa Harris is a wonderful "period book" for those who like mysteries. Sir Edward Crick has died a mysterious death and several suspects emerge. Enter Dr.Thomas Silkstone, a colonialist from Philadelphia, who has come to England to study under a renowned surgeon. Thomas is drawn into doing an autopsy on Edward's corpse and this further entangles him in the family dynamics of the Crick family. The deeper Thomas goes into the mystery, the more he puts himself and others at risk. The deceased's sister is of special interest to Thomas and he is inexplicably drawn to her even though she is married to the new Lord of the house. The story is set in eighteenth century England and those who like historical fiction will love the character development which is skillfully woven into the plot itself. Unlike many other mysteries, this story is not finished until it is finished, a delight to the thousands of mystery buffs who usually find that the end is predictable right in the second chapter. Harris is a skilled writer and she has a knack for taking us into the minds of the character via her dialogue. The story is one which will stay with the reader long after the mystery of Edward's death is finally solved. And then, the reader might ask, "What next of this likeable sleuth Thomas?" Perhaps Harris will treat the reader to that answer in the near future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was full of twists and is an excellent read.
DivineMissW More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book. Great storytelling. I am ready for the next one!
exerciseat63 More than 1 year ago
Great read. Keeps moving. So many twist. Can't wait for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a very enjoyable tale.Every time I thought I had it figured out there was another twist and turn.Highly recommended!
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed By~Marissa Review Copy Proivded By~ARC from Publisher This is a first book from Tessa Harris and she has done a brilliant job! It is also the first in a mystery series featuring Dr. Thomas Silkstone. For those of you who like period mysteries featuring forward thinking men, this is the book you need to read. I liken it to the Sarah Woolson Mysteries by Shirley Tallman or the Lady Julia Grey series by Deanna Raybourn, both of which feature progressive women sleuths in historical references. Taking place in 1780 England, our hero, Dr. Thomas Silkstone, is a doctor practicing dissection and autopsy to help him understand diseases and the causes of death. When Lady Lydia Farrell approaches him to perform an autopsy on her brother, he immediately falls in awe of her. While this book is strictly a mystery there is an aura of romance about it that begins so subtly it is almost non-existent. One thing I loved about Silkstone is his tendency to think in terms of dissection. For example, when first riding into Oxford, his thought was that it looked “…like a gleaming necklace of cream-colored knuckle bones threaded on a tendon of river…” Contradictorily, he also speaks of the human body and its organs in terms of landscapes: “From the gray, spongy marsh of the inner cerebrum, from the undulating hills of the cerebellum to the boggy lowlands of the hypothalamus, the trails and routes of the brain were chartered territories inasmuch as explorer surgeons had traversed their silent landscapes many times.” Harris’ writing is intelligent and eloquent. She puts together words that do more than bring together a story; they evoke the true speech and culture of 1780. I learned several new words and phrases during my reading and, after using an on-line dictionary for the first few chapters, discovered a glossary in the back of the book to help with the lingo. Cock a snook may not mean quite what you’re thinking while phapian translates to prostitute. The mystery is well-plotted and weaves the story with CSI-like investigations, LA Law-like courtroom dramatics, and a Sherlock Holmes-like integrity in digging for the truth, no matter how the truth wills out. I am highly anticipating the second book in this series and can’t wait to see where it leads Silkstone.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was somewhat enjoyable, but would make a better movie. Lots of twists an turns, with an interesting plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I probably overcorrected this rating in reaction to my annoyance at the glowing reviews that misled me into ordering this book. It is not a bad book, just not by any extent of the imagination a 5 star narrative. The storyline is interesting until the plot twists become so ludicrous you can't help but realize you've fallen into the clutches of a jumped-up gothic. The writing aspires to more than the author's abilities can support. Her use of imagery is particularly clumsy. Perhaps she is striving to emulate the language of her time period; if so, she does not succeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I began reading this book there was something off about the writing - then I realized that is reads like a romance novel, which I rarely read. But the story was good and I loved the science and forensics from 1780 England. Another reviewer said it was a cross between Arthur Conan Doyle and Harlequien Romance and was right. If Ms. Harris could drop the romance dialogue I would love to read more - but I have trouble with the fancy words, vapid dialogue and waiting for Lydia to have an attack of the 'vapors'. But a fun story non-the-less.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay, I would have only given the book one star, but I was interested enough to find out how it ended.  I disagree that the writer did a good job with character development; I found the characters to be flat.  The writer was quite morbid with the extreme detail in relating the various autopsies and dissections.   If it were a bit better written, it would have been a most excellent read because the author did put plenty of twists in the plot.  But all-in-all, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
cjmaine More than 1 year ago
Didn't care very much for this book and never finished it. I found a lot of mistakes about things... Like cinnamon doesn't grow in England and a few other minor statements that took away from the book... like the writer didn't care enough to find out the truth. The book just didn't flow.
maximin More than 1 year ago
Imagine Conan Doyle writing a Harlequin Romance. Our protagonist/detective suffers frequent attacks of the vapors as he contemplates the woman he has encounters. The frequent anachronisms do provide some humor. A servant is instructed to, "Call the Doctor!" In the 1770's one only called someone who was within earshot. The protagonist declares, "I am a scientist." a term that lay at least 50 years in the future. Forget it! Read Conan Doyle again.
Michelle1948 More than 1 year ago
...and I truly enjoyed this book. It had great characters, a good story and a decent mystery. Every time you thought you knew who the murderer was there was a new twist. Some mystery readers may find that annoying but I found it really kept the story going. Lots of different motives going on among the characters. A lot of veiled deception. I'm not sure that I would recommend it to a book club because some of the details seem almost gory while slightly boring. But I would recommend it to the cozy mystery readers that enjoy historical fiction (the setting is the late 1700s) It was a great mystery!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There's no suspense here at all - you can see what's going to happen next well before the doctor does.
Bukgoddess More than 1 year ago
The Anatomist’s Apprentice is the first installment in what promises to be an exciting new mystery series from debut English author Tessa Harris. In the Anatomist’s Apprentice Ms. Harris introduces us to her main character, Dr. Thomas Silkstone. Dr. Silkstone is a young American doctor of Anatomy originally from Philadelphia who travels to 18th Century London to garner additional training from the world famous surgeon who holds court in England’s most prestigious teaching college. Through a twisted turn of events, Dr. Silkstone finds himself embroiled in determining the cause of what appears a questionable death of a member of the aristocracy. In a race against time, Thomas’s analytical mind and hunger for the truth drives him on an exciting journey to unearth the clues that will lead him in identifying the true cause of death. Dr. Silverstone’s unyielding search, which contains both a personal as well as a professional reasoning to determine whether natural causes or foul play is at hand, finds himself drawn to look for answers outside of what the body is telling him. Thomas’s unrelenting inquiries find him the target of someone who means to put an end to his investigative pursuits at any cost. Dr. Silverstone’s actions considered beyond the traditional scope of his duties as an anatomist provide us with an early glimpse of the field that will soon evolve into modern day Forensic Science Investigation. A fast-paced story with many twists and turns that will keep you enthralled until the final pages. The accolades for this book speak the truth; you will not be able to put this book down. As we find ourselves captivated by Ms. Harris’ first installment, one can only wait impatiently for the next chapters in the investigative adventures of Dr. Thomas Silkstone!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Enjoyed this love, mystery, murder novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very interesting historical mystery with an interesting twist
Twink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Anatomist's Apprentice is the first (and debut) book in Tessa Harris's new series featuring Dr. Thomas Silkstone. I initially picked up the book based on the description - 18th century, London, England, mystery, early forensic detection, as it seemed to fall into one of my favourite genres - historical mysteries. Lady Lydia Farrell's brother dies a horrible death in his own bed. Was he the victim of some unknown condition? Or was helped along the way to his Maker - by her husband? She seeks the advice of a well known anatomist - Dr. Silkstone - hoping he can shed light on what really happened to her brother. Silkstone uses his medical skills, but also seems to have a keen eye and ear for ferreting out details about situations and people that may reveal the truth. The Anatomist's Apprentice is a period piece and as such, it does move at a more leisurely pace in terms of plot, development and language. I sometimes wanted to hurry things along. Harris's historical research was very well done and showed in the details. Where the book fell down for me was the whole romantic entanglement between Silkstone and Lady Lydia. It started to fall into bodice ripper territory for me (a place I try not to go). Once I found out who the publisher was - Kensington Books - it made sense. Harris does deliver a good twist at the end. She has two further books planned for Silkstone. This will appeal to readers who would enjoy, in the words of the author "...a cracking yarn interwoven with a love story, set against a fascinating historical backdrop."
ashmolean1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book...the setting, the plot, the subject,the atmosphere and the characters. Great historical mystery.
jvandehy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For all the interesting elements of this story, I was disappointed. Basically, a really smart American solves a murder in England using chromatography, which he sort of invents about half way through the story. A couple of twists which were lightly telegraphed. Not enjoyable - luckily a fast read.
bhowell on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book but was not going to write anything until I saw the review by Twink. I had a good laugh because I had the same reaction. I thought it was veering towards soppy romance or bodice ripper territory as Twink puts it and then i looked at the publisher. Kensington books, well what did I expect?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting look into 1780s lifestyles, medical practices, and the beginnings of crime scene investigation. Plus there's a romance involved.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago