By Catherine Johnson

“Gentlemen!” William McAdam addressed the room, a knife in each hand. “Your watches, please! I guarantee you the fastest amputation ever performed anywhere in the world…”

Sixteen-year-old Ezra McAdam has much to be thankful for: trained up as an apprentice by a well-regarded London surgeon, Ezra’s knowledge of human anatomy and skill at the dissection table will secure him a trade for life. However, his world is turned on its head when a failed break-in at his master’s house sets off a strange and disturbing series of events that involves grave robbing, body switching … and murder. Sparky, persuasive young Loveday Finch, daughter of the late Mr Charles Finch, magician, employs Ezra to investigate her father’s death - and there are marked similarities between his corpse and the others. The mystery takes Ezra and Loveday from the Operating Theatre at St Bart’s to the desolate wasteland of Coldbath Fields; from the streets of Clerkenwell to the dark, damp vaults of Newgate Prison; and finally to the shadowy and forbidding Ottoman Embassy, which seems to be the key to it all…

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 12+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781406340570
  • Published: 03 Oct 2013
  • Price: £7.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 240

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Customer reviews


'Catherine Johnson has penned a clever historical novel that provides a fascinating insight into an aspect of the 18th century'

'Both thought-provoking and accessible, this is an impressive historical adventure.'

'Both original and informative . . . the wealth of detail never slows what is a tightly woven plot' Historical Novel Society

'[Reminiscent of] Jamila Gavin’s Coram Boy' The Independent

'Historical fiction with a gruesome twist.' The Independent supp.

'An enjoyable tale.' Books for Keeps

'Cleverly constructed, rich in atmosphere and truly exciting.' The School Librarian

'Her best thus far…an exciting and satisfying read' Carousel

'It was a wonderful setting in terms of location and era and Catherine Johnson really captures the more gruesome elements of body dissection and life in the 18th century. I loved the fiery nature of Loveday and her enthusiastic nature that was sort of infectious as I read. . . A great read for fans of historic style novels and a real mystery adventure that I truly enjoyed' Sister Spooky

'Often gory and gruesome, this tale is perfect for readers who love crime stories.' The Week Junior

'Catherine Johnson is the master of historical fiction for children; her prose is warm and wise and utterly gripping' Katherine Rundell

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