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Imogen Robertson grew up in Darlington, studied Russian and German at Cambridge, and now lives in London. She directed for TV, film and radio before becoming a full-time author, and also writes and reviews poetry. Imogen won the Telegraph’s ‘First thousand words of a novel competition’ in 2007 with the opening of Instruments of Darkness, her first novel.
Author photo © Rebecca Key
Shortlisted for the CWA Endeavour Historical Dagger, 2014 the electrifying new historical thriller from the acclaimed author of The Paris Winter.
London, 1785. When the body of a West Indies planter is found pegged out in the grounds of St Paul's, suspicion falls on one of the victim's former slaves, who was found with his watch on the London streets. As Harriet and Crowther begin investigate, however, they find the answer is not that simple. Together, they negotiate the interests of the British government, the secrets of the plantation owners, and a network of alliances stretching across the Atlantic. And they must confront the uncomfortable truth that some people are willing to do great evil when they believe their cause to be just.
A Maxim Jakubowski selected title. Set in Paris in 1909 at the heyday of La Belle Epoque, this historical thriller (and a stand-alone from Robertson, better known for her elegant Crowther and Westerman series) brings the city of light to life in all its decadent excesses, with opium-taking, stolen jewels and murder at the centre of the intrigue as a poor English portrait artist makes her way to the French capital and is drawn into a web of family intrigue. How our heroine turns from an initilly timid character into a strong, empowered woman as she strives to uncover mysteries and crime becomes a tale of adventure and self-development. Leisurely, evocative and rewardingly old-fashioned in the best sense of the term. Sarah Broadhurst's view... A tale full of drama and suspense in the winter of 1909-1910. It concerns a group of young ladies at the school of art in Paris. Central to the story is an impoverished English girl, Maud, who is befriended by a wealthy Russian, Tanya, ostensibly ‘finishing’ her education by acquiring drawing and social skills and improving her French and English. Maud is hoodwinked by a couple of confidence tricksters and Tanya rescues her. It’s a good, well constructed story.
April 2012 Book of the Month. Shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award 2011. This is the third in the series of historical crime novels that started with Instruments of Darkness and new readers should start there and have the pleasure of following the characters and their changing lives through the series. Others, like me, hooked on the series have only to wait till April to devour the latest, Circle of Shadows. These are long novels, rich in detail and incident, the lead characters immensely likeable, the historical background adding colour with Imogen Robertson using fact and fiction in her narrative to create a thoroughly satisfying picture of the Eighteenth Century. Like for Like ReadingMistress of the Art of Death, Ariana FranklinThe Talisman Ring, Georgette Heyer
April 2010 Debut of the Month. A rich historical novel, full of mystery, secrets and hidden identities which involve family inheritance, murder and some intriguing characters. It romps along at a good pace, gaining speed and complexity as it goes. Atmospheric and the most enormous fun, it is not the literary masterpiece the publishers would like us to believe, but a thoroughly good read. Comparison: Jed Rubenfeld, Mikkel Birkegaard, Robert Goddard.