The Dead Shall Not Rest

Written by Tessa Harris
Review by Vicki Kondelik

In this second mystery featuring Dr. Thomas Silkstone, the Philadelphian anatomist living in 1780s London investigates the murder of a castrato singer whose larynx has been torn from his body.  Although another castrato is arrested, Thomas suspects that Dr. John Hunter, a surgeon who employs grave robbers to supply him with human organs for his collection of exotic specimens, is responsible. Meanwhile, Thomas’ fiancée Lydia rescues an eight-foot-tall giant, Charles Byrne, from a freak show and brings him to London.  Thomas soon realizes that Charles is dying, and he and his friends are determined to keep him out of the clutches of Hunter, who plans to dissect Charles’ body.

Thomas is an attractive, engaging protagonist, and the story of Charles, Hunter, and Charles’ companion, the dwarf Count Josef Boruwlaski–all historical figures–is compelling.  The excellent glossary provides fascinating information about them, and about details of 18th– century medical history.  Highly recommended.