The Anatomy of Ghosts by Andrew Taylor

ghostsEngland in the 18th Century

During one year John Holdsworth loses both his son and wife in tragic drowning accidents. Shortly thereafter his economy is so strained that he is forced to sell both his bookstore and his home. John now gets to experience the alienation and vulnerability that poor people deal with every day.

One day when life seems really dark he is contacted by the wealthy widow Anne Oldershaw, who offers him a strange assignment in exchange for a hefty fee. The assignment is to help the widow’s son, Frank, who is said to have become crazy after having seen a ghost at Cambridge University. To not draw attention he gets a cover assignment. With the excuse to catalogue the university library, John stays at the principal’s residence. From the heart of the school he can keep an eye on everything that goes on in the university world.

John was convinced that he would not find a ghost and it does not take long for him to conclude that there is a connection between Frank’s psychological state, a mysterious society with esoteric customs, and the woman who is found dead in the university pond.

How Did I Miss Andrew Taylor?

I have seen the name Andrew Taylor in bookshelves for years without paying much attention. What a mistake! I had no idea that the man writes historical crime novels. Crime novel and history in one package, could it be any better?

A Living Story worth Reading

This is a wonderfully well-written story, the characters are believable and the author engages his readers. Taylor makes me wish that there were a way to visit 18th century Cambridge and the magical surroundings he describes.

Previously on TheCrimeHouse

Sara’s review of The Anatomy of Ghosts

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