Graverobbing-Angie Dicken's The Yellow Lantern Summer Blog Series

It’s release month and I am excited to share about grave-robbing…uh, well, excited is a strange word to use! HAHA!
When I started this project, grave-robbing was a very unknown topic to me—one that I considered with great caution as I am a pretty sensitive person when it comes to anything really graphic. I took care to consider how I might write this story for someone like me, but without glossing over the subject. My main goal was to root a redemption story into the true-crime of graverobbing.

During my research, I came across some interesting facts about this true crime in Massachusetts. as well as in history at large. Graverobbing was not just a practice of the 19th century, but a practice that has been employed throughout history.

I’d like to share some made-up headlines that popped into my head as I researched, along with links to websites that elaborated on the subject during my studies.

“Dig in” to this topic of my newest release, and then let me know what you found most surprising about this true crime.

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HEADLINES (by Angie Dicken):

Spunker Club: Medical Society Desperate For Bodies!

What elite medical school could have possibly been thick in the practice of graverobbing long ago?

Families of the Dead Demand Protection!
The Act of the Sepulchers of the Dead, 1815

Finally, the governor listens to angry family members who discover their deceased have been stolen away.

And, here are some possible headlines Josie Clay might have read after her own encounters with grave-robbers:

What in The World is Burking?

Burking was the term for killing someone to use their body for medical research. This was after William Burke was tried and convicted in 1829 for suffocating an individual for the purposes of medical research.

Finally, We Can Dissect in Peace.
1831 Massachusetts Anatomy Act

In 1831, anatomical dissection was legalized in Massachusetts after being lobbied for by Dr. John Collins Warren who donated his own body for dissection in efforts to expand medical knowledge.

To enter:

Forced to Spy for Grave Robbers
True Colors - Fiction Based on Strange-But-True History
In 1824, Josephine Clayton is considered dead by everyone in her Massachusetts village—especially the doctor she has assisted for several months. Yet, she is still very much alive.
After the doctor's illegal dealing with his body snatcher to obtain her body, Josephine awakens, positioned as the next corpse for his research. To cover up his crime, the doctor tries to kill her, but Josephine begs to be spared. They strike a deal--Josephine will leave her village and work at a distant cotton mill. All the while, she'll await her true mission--posing as a mourner to help the body snatcher procure her replacement.
At the mill though, Josephine is praised for her medical remedies among the other female workers, gaining attention from the handsome factory manager, Braham Taylor. Yet, when Braham's own loved one becomes the prey for the next grave robbing, Josie must make a choice that could put her dark past behind her or steal away the promise of any future at all.
What price will Josie pay for love when her secrets begin to unravel?

About Angie

Angie Dicken credits her love of story to reading British literature during life as a military kid in England. Now living in the U.S. heartland, she's a member of ACFW, sharing about author life with her fellow Alley Cats on The Writer's Alley blog and Facebook page. Besides writing, she is a busy mom of four and works in Adult Ministry. Angie enjoys eclectic new restaurants, authentic conversation with friends, and date nights with her Texas Aggie husband. 

Connect with her online at


  1. Oh My! When I read the title with grave robbers I pictured people taking jewels and precious stones from things that were buried with bodies and my mind went immediately to archeology! I never considered anyone stealing the actual body (unless it was a famous body) and hadn't thought about this being a business. Now I have a completely new image in my mind! Sounds like a fantastic story!

    1. Angie Dicken has a great way of capturing her reader's interest. Her newest novel was wonderful, hope you get a chance to read it soon, Barbara. Thank you for your comments! Happy reading!

    2. It is shocking, isn’t it? Such a strange piece of history. I really enjoyed writing this story! Thanks so much for commenting Barbara, and thanks for hosting, Stacy!


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