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The Anatomy of Death [Paperback]

Felicity Young
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 8.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; 1 edition (May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425247295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425247297
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,227,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

From an early age, Felicity wanted to write. But it wasn't until the pet kangaroo ate her sheep pedigree notes - the final nail in the coffin of her unsuccessful ram breeding business - that she decided to do something about it.
Crème de la Crime published Felicity's first crime novel, A Certain Malice, in the UK in 2005. Since then she has written three novels in the Stevie Hooper series for Australian publisher Fremantle Press: An Easeful Death (2007) Harum Scarum (2008) and Take Out (2010).
Felicity's three adult children have fled, but her husband Mick has remained with her on the family farm. When not hunched over their laptops or looking after the menagerie, they are fighting fires with their local volunteer bush fire brigade.

Product Description

The Anatomy of Death "At the turn of the twentieth century, London's political climate is in turmoil, as women fight for the right to vote. Dody McCleland has her own battles to fight. As England's first female autopsy surgeon, not only must she prove herself, she must prove that murder treats everyone equally..." After a heated women's rights rally turns violent, an innocent suffragette is found murdered. When she ex... Full description

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars riveting read 27 Mar 2013
By yokel
Having read all Felicity Young's previous books, I approached this one cautiously as it was so different. A good author is one who can write books that people read. An excellent author is one who can completely switch themes and styles and write such a well researched book that is an enthralling read which can't be put down. Very much look forward to her next book in this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really excellent read 31 Oct 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure about trying this book as it's not the usual thing I read, but I would thoroughly recommend it. The plot holds weaves the themes together tightly, the main characters are well drawn and sympathetic, and it's generally "a good read". The well researched background details (backed up by an interesting note by the author at the end of the book) was the strength that set this book apart for me though. The writer really managed to create a flavour of the time, skilfully mixing fiction with fact. It made me want to read more about the period. It also made me want to read more of her books, which I will be doing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and entertaining - and begging for more 18 Oct 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Anatomy of Death Felicity Young has created two very engaging, three-dimensional leading characters in the shape of Dr Dody McCleland and Inspector Matthew Pike. Additionally, the setting of the inter-bellum period is rich with interest, given the changes which were taking place at that time, particularly concerning women's roles and their work outside the home. McCleland's younger sister was a less interesting character, and some of the suffragettes irritated me, although I'm quite sure that they were 'true to life' as Young has done an excellent job of historical research for this book. I'm told she has more in the series planned, and I (for one) await their arrival with eagerness.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner 15 May 2012
By L. Kitchens - Published on
This begins a new mystery/detective series set in the London of 100 years ago. The characters are engaging and the plot exciting. Filled with twists, you won't see the ending coming. Dr. Dody McCleland is a woman ahead of her time. Check it out as well as the other superb books by Felicity Young.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Anatomy of Death 14 Aug 2012
By Detective Girl - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I downloaded this book trying to find a few new authors to read. I always enjoy a period book and really enjoyed this book. Would buy again and am looking for more to come out to have a series. Would recommend this book if you like period pieces with a woman of that time being the main character..
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars, Promising start to new historical mystery series 29 May 2012
By CJ-MO - Published on
Dr. Dorothy "Dody" McCleland is employed as a doctor at a women's hospital and has recently returned home after a studying forensics for one year in Edinburgh. A female doctor is rare enough in London in 1910, but one who has specialized to become an autopsy surgeon is unheard of. Dody wants to prove herself and is eager to do well the first time she is called to duty when the usual examiner is on holiday. Dody is asked to examine three female victims of a riot occurring during a women's suffrage march. Professional ethics make it impossible for Dody to perform the autopsy on the third victim; Lady Catherine Cartwright is an acquaintance and a close friend of Dody's suffragette sister Florence. However, Dody ends up getting involved anyway when it appears members of the police force may have had a hand in Catherine's death, and Dody want to make sure this appalling crime isn't covered up. She may have an ally in Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Pike of Scotland Yard. Although Pike isn't sympathetic to women seeking the vote, he is furious to think policemen may have assaulted some of the female marchers. In spite of their differences, this unlikely team found common ground and "worked for the same ends - the discovery of the truth."

Dody is an appealing character and is the best part about this book. I really admire Dody's tenaciousness in her life, career, and the investigation. Dody longs to be a bone surgeon, but that option is not an option for women at this time in history. Therefore, she furthers her studies in the only specialty open to her and then sets out to be the best she can be. She doesn't give up when facing challenges in her career and uses this same determination to find out the truth about Lady Catherine's death.

Dody comes from an unconventional family with servants dining at the same table as the family and calling each other by their first names as well as co-ed games of cricket after dinner. Their background helps explain how different Dody and Florence are from many women from this time period. Florence seems fairly self-centered at the beginning of the book, but she proves to have her sister's best interests at heart and gives Dody some very sound advice in the romance department which gained my respect.

I loved Dody, came to like Florence, and was very interested in the way Dody carries out the investigation using her knowledge of forensics. However, some of the political details in the book, including the storyline with the Irish terrorists, slows the pace of the story and takes away from the book as a whole. Unfortunately, Florence takes a liking to one of the terrorists, Derwent O'Neill, so he plays a much larger role in the book that I would have preferred. Although the actions of Derwent and his brother Patrick are related to the main plot, I just didn't enjoy this aspect of the book.

In a note at the end of the book, the author explains that some of the events in the book are based upon true events, and the character of Dody is based on one of the author's ancestors, which makes the story even more interesting to me. Although there are parts of the book I didn't enjoy, the promise of such a unique character intrigues me enough that I would definitely read more about Dody if there are follow-up books to this novel. Readers who enjoy Anne Perry may want to give this book a try.

This review was originally written for The Season EZine. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Historical Fiction! 2 Mar 2014
By NinerFan - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I was really impressed with this book. The writing was interesting and well-done. Dr. Dody McCleland is a female autopsy surgeon in 1910 England. She is relegated to splitting thorax and examining brain tissue, since a female physician is not allowed to be employed by a hospital. She is called upon to perform an autopsy on three victims of an out of control Women's Suffragette protest. One of the victims happens to be a best friend of Dody's sister.

The police are much maligned by the suffragette group- the force feeding of hunger strikers in jail being a contentious issue. Rumors fly that a bobby smashed the best friend's skull. The good doctor finds herself delving unofficially into the mystery with archaic CSI methods. She forms a somewhat tenuous alliance with Chief Inspector Pike (mutual admiration is evident and hopefully cultivated in later books). The solution to the mystery was NOT predictable, in my opinion. I was so satisfied with this author's work, I immediately downloaded the 2nd and 3rd in the series!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unconventional "Female" 16 Nov 2012
By L. M Young - Published on
The suffragette movement in Great Britain forms the backdrop to this story about a young woman who has just overcome great odds to graduate medical school and who arrives in London to serve as that city's first female coroner. Dody McCleland comes from an unusual family in which women are encouraged to defy conventions to achieve their goals, and her younger sister Florence is as militant a suffragette as Dody is a dedicated physician. But when a prominent noblewoman is discovered to have been murdered at a suffragette rally where the police have been witnessed beating the participants, all want to know: is a law enforcement officer to blame? Inspector Matthew Pike, lame from a battle wound, is given the case, and begins to trust this "odd woman" who has defied convention and also wants to discover the truth.

This is a fast-moving story which painlessly imparts some history along with its plot, although I dare anyone to get through the chapter about the force-feeding of jailed women hunger-strikers without queasiness--plus admiration for the women who fought for their rights when all were against them, even others of their sex. It doesn't have the depth of one of Anne Perry's Victorian novels, but the characters are enjoyable. It probably can be read by older teens who enjoy a good mystery as well as adults who want a glimpse of past social evils and the people willing to try to change them.
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