The “rich period detail [and] riveting action”* C. S. Harris delivers in her Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series reaches new heights as the aristocratic sleuth navigates dangerous political waters to bring a murderer to justice…
Regency London: July 1812. How do you set about solving a murder no one can reveal has been committed? That’s the challenge confronting C.S. Harris’s aristocratic soldier-turned-sleuth Sebastian St. Cyr when his friend, surgeon and “anatomist” Paul Gibson, illegally buys the cadaver of a young man from London’s infamous body snatchers. A rising star at the Foreign Office, Mr. Alexander Ross was reported to have died of a weak heart. But when Gibson discovers a stiletto wound at the base of Ross’s skull, he can turn only to Sebastian for help in catching the killer.
Described by all who knew him as an amiable young man, Ross at first seems an unlikely candidate for murder. But as Sebastian’s search takes him from the Queen’s drawing rooms in St. James’s Palace to the embassies of Russia, the United States, and the Turkish Empire, he plunges into a dangerous shadow land of diplomatic maneuvering and international intrigue, where truth is an elusive commodity and nothing is as it seems.
*The New Orleans Times-Picayune
An overly convoluted plot mars this otherwise solid historical set in 1812, Harris's sixth featuring aristocratic London detective Sebastian St. Cyr (after 2009's What Remains of Heaven). When surgeon Paul Gibson finds a cadaver that he bought for anatomical study with a stab wound at the base of the skull, Gibson brings the matter to St. Cyr's attention. The corpse is identified as that of Alexander Ross, who worked for the Foreign Office. Several other murders follow, at least some of which may be linked with the political turmoil roiling the Continent in the wake of Napoleon's invasion of Russia. Meanwhile, Hero Jarvis, the independent daughter of St. Cyr's archenemy, accepts his marriage proposal, but this dramatic personal development compensates only in part for the failure of the disparate narrative threads to come together neatly enough. Series fans will hope the intriguing lead character will return to form in the next installment.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book series and this was no exception!