The Lazarus Curse: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery (Printed Copy)


by Tessa Harris
ISBN: 9780758293374
Publish Date: 7/29/2014
Format: Trade Paperback
Categories: Historical Mystery, Kensington



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In 1780s London, American anatomist Dr. Thomas Silkstone is plunged into a swirling cauldron of sorcery, slavery, and cold-blooded murder . . .

When the sole survivor of an ill-fated scientific expedition to Jamaica goes missing upon his return to London, Dr. Thomas Silkstone--entrusted with cataloging the expedition's New World specimens--feels compelled to investigate. There are rumors of a potion that has the power to raise the dead--and the formula is suspected to be in the private journal that has disappeared along with the young botanist.

As Dr. Silkstone searches for clues to the man's whereabouts, he is drawn deeper into a dark and dangerous world of vengeance, infidelity, murder, and the trafficking of corpses for profit. Without the support of his beloved Lady Lydia Farrell--from whom he has been forcibly separated by law--he must confront the horrors of slavery, as well the very depths of human wickedness. And after a headless corpse is discovered, Dr. Silkstone begins to uncover the sinister motives of those in power who would stop at nothing to possess the Lazarus potion. . .

Praise for The Dead Shall Not Rest

"Outstanding. . .well-rounded characters, cleverly concealed evidence and an assured prose style point to a long run for this historical series." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Populated with real historical characters and admirably researched, Harris's novel features a complex and engrossing plot. A touch of romance makes this sophomore outing even more enticing. Savvy readers will also recall Hilary Mantel's The Giant, O'Brien." --Library Journal

Praise for The Anatomist's Apprentice

"Densely plotted. . . We await--indeed, demand--the sequel." --The New York Times Book Review

"An absorbing debut. . . Harris has more than a few tricks up her sleeve and even veteran armchair puzzle solvers are likely to be surprised." --Publishers Weekly

"Smart misdirection and time-period appropriate medical details make for a promising start to a new series. A strong choice for readers of Ariana Franklin and Caleb Carr." --Library Journal

About Tessa Harris:

Since leaving Oxford University with a History degree, Tessa Harris has been a journalist and editor, contributing to many national publications such as The Times and The Telegraph. She has also acted as a literary publicist for several well-known authors. Winning a European-wide screenplay writing competition led to the optioning of a screenplay, set in 18th-century England. Using her researches into the period, she wrote The Anatomist’s Apprentice.

Maureen McLean Photography

Shadow of the Raven Q&A

At the end of The Lazarus Curse you left your readers hanging on a cliff. Is that situation resolved in Shadow of the Raven?

Yes. In fact a few readers asked me to tell them what happens next! Obviously I’m not going to let on, save to say that while the course of true love does not run smoothly in Shadow of the Raven, it comes a little closer to a resolution.

Romantic Times said: “The twists and turns never stop, making Shadow of the Raven impossible to put down”. How do you keep your plots boiling?

There’s some careful planning, but there’s also an element of chance, too. A word, a phrase or a situation may trigger something completely different in my mind. The plot has sometimes turned on a sixpence and gone off in another direction. I very often start off with a murderer, only to change the identity of the culprit at the end. It certainly makes the writing process exciting for me and, I hope, it keeps the reader guessing all the time, too.

Each novel seems to have a different theme or backdrop. What is it in Shadow of the Raven?

The latter half of the 18th century was a time of incredible social upheaval in the countryside. In England it also saw the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. The villagers and commoners on the Boughton estate face eviction in this novel, as well as having to deal with the fall-out from at least one murder deep in the woods, as well as being rocked by some shattering news.

Your research appears very detailed. How do you go about it?

Most authors of historical novels will tell you that the research is absolutely the best bit! For ‘Shadow’ I visited some wonderful open air museums that focused on rural crafts and traditions. I talked to people who practice the ancient crafts of coppicing and charcoal making, too. I also went on a tour of mills in the Cotswolds, as well as trawling through lots of old documents. Fascinating stuff!

What’s next for Dr Silkstone?

I’m currently working on the sixth novel in this series. The past comes back to haunt Thomas and Lydia in this one. Fans of The Anatomist’s Apprentice will recognize some of the characters and it’s going to get very nasty!


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Customer Review

To Arise Again! (Sunday, August 17, 2014)
Reviewer: Kathy Jund

The Lazarus Curse is the next installment in Tessa Harris's Thomas Silkstone mystery series! Thomas is called by the Royal Society to identify and catalog the most curious plants and animals retrieved from an expedition to the Island of Jamaica, but Thomas will soon find himself discovering more than flora and fauna of the exotic location. Strange dealings to Thomas, commonplace on the far away land place Thomas in a precarious situation as he strives understand not only the customs of it's native peoples but the English landowners who rule over them. Added to the mix the courier and only survivor of the expedition has mysteriously gone missing and Thomas needs to find him to aid in his work. Fortunately, unbeknownst to Thomas, Dr. Carruthers has some valuable insight as to the exotics of Jamaica and can barely contain his excitement as to what the crates delivered to his home contain. While back at Boughton Hall, Lady Lydia Farrell is interviewing a new candidate for estate manager after the incident with Gabriel Lawson. The arrival one one Mr. Nicolas Lupton though highly recommended leaves Lydia at cross purposes and without Thomas to weigh in will soon prove to upset a delicate balance. An intriguing path of twists and turns that will have you seeking a way to place your own curse upon a most vile character.


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