cover image The Anatomy of Death

The Anatomy of Death

Felicity Young. Berkley, $15 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-425-24729-7

Fans of Maureen Jennings’s Murdoch novels will welcome Australian author Young’s promising debut, inspired by an actual riot in 1910 London. When the police brutally break up a suffragette rally, Lady Catherine Cartwright ends up dead amid the chaos. Her allies are convinced it was murder, while the authorities are eager to pass it off as an accident. That places Dr. Dody McCleland, just back from training in Scotland to serve as an assistant to the legendary Dr. Bernard Spilsbury, between a rock and a hard place. While her personal connection with the victim precludes conducting the autopsy herself, she isn’t satisfied by its conclusion. Dody’s quest for the truth leads her to an unlikely ally, Det. Chief Insp. Matthew Pike, who lost his wife to a Fenian bombing. While Young telegraphs some of the plot’s non-whodunit aspects, she delivers a truly surprising reveal of the murderer’s identity. Agent: Lisa Grubka, Foundry Literary + Media. (May)