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What Angels Fear: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery, Book 1

(Book #1 in the Sebastian St. Cyr Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

THE FIRST SEBASTIAN ST. CYR MYSTERY "The combined elements of historical fiction, romance, and mystery in this fog-enshrouded London puzzler will appeal to fans of Anne Perry."--Booklist It's 1811,... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

Welcome Debut of a New Author and Hero

Before I get to why you should read this book let me just say that if you enjoy literate historical mysteries of any era you'll want to read this book. It is well-written, perfectly paced, populated by interesting characters and has a murder mystery that is actually a mystery. C. S. Harris does a fine job of conveying period detail and developing her characters while telling a compelling story. Her hero, Sebastian St. Cyr, will remind readers of Kate Ross's Julian Kestrel with his wit, filmy past and talent for solving murders. This is high praise from me, I love Kate Ross's books. But I'm even more reminded of Dorothy Dunnett's Francis Crawford. Sebastian St. Cyr's disrepute, haunted past, and latent idealism cloaked in cynicism could give Crawford of Lymond a run for his money in the troubled hero sweepstakes. St. Cyr finds himself accused of one gruesome murder and the main suspect in an attempted murder. Not willing to risk his life to a justice system that is more intent on quieting the matter than solving the crime, he escapes to investigate the murder himself. His investigation takes him into the world of French spies, Jacobins and scandal. The secondary characters are interesting and Harris doesn't overdo the cockney dialect.(Written dialects and accents can really get on my nerves.) The first chapter starts a bit slow but the actions picks up considerably in the second chapter. After that the pages fly by. This is a great, fun read. The perfect escape after a hard day of work. Here's hoping that C. S. Harris has many more Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries to bring us.

First rate; well researched

Excellent work! Well researched, yet the author has cleverly made the historical aspect fresher and more contemporary than so many authors have done. There's no bogging down in dry detail and the story keeps one's interest. Excellent editing.

a wonderfully engrossing read

I am especially partial to historical mysteries set in England; and my interest was piqued when I noticed C. S. Harris' "What Angels Fear" on the bookstore shelves. But I was also a little wary -- after all I had heard nothing about this book -- no advance praise or early review blurbs in magazines/web sites heralding the book's upcoming publication. Fortunately, because I work at a bookstore, I was able to borrow the book, which turned out to be a really good thing 'else I'd have missed one of the most thrilling reads of the year. What an absolutely riveting and breathtaking read "What Angels Fear" proved to be! In 1811, George III is sinking deeper and deeper into the madness, as his politicians question the wisdom of carrying on England's war with France, as well as whether or not they should support the move to make the profligate Prince of Wales, Regent of England. But for the newly returned ex-soldier, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and heir to the powerful Earl of Hendon, the all important question is how he's going to survive an upcoming duel of honour without getting killed or killing his opponent. Having survived that ordeal however, the last thing Sebastian expected later that morning was to have a chief magistrate and a couple of constables at his doorstep, ready to arrest him for the brutal rape and murder of a young actress, Rachel York. Knowing full well that he had no hand in the young woman's murder and realising that the only way for him to clear his name is if he were to investigate the murder himself, Sebastian escapes from the constables and disappears into the bowels of London's poverty stricken streets. There, using his training as an intelligence officer, and the help of a few unorthodox allies, Sebastian begins his hunt for Rachel's killer, questioning her old friends and examining her past, sure that the key to her murder lies in her past, while evading the authorities. The last thing he expected though, was to discover that members of his own family had dealings with the late Miss York. Could one of them have murdered the actress and planted the evidence against him? As the days pass and as the constables begin to get uncomfortably close to arresting him, Sebastian begins to fear that he may never clear his name or discover the identity of the sadist who murdered Rachel York... I can only say that I'm looking forward to the next installment in this series (if there is one, that is) -- it could go in several different directions, but I'm hoping that the author will keep Sebastian in England no matter what. I thoroughly enjoyed "What Angels Fear" and would heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical mystery novels that possess a clever and engrossing plot that is full of interesting and vivid period details, and characters that engage. Also, the almost relentless pacing lent an air of immediacy and tension to novel, and gave it that edge-of-your-seat feeling and made the book practically unputdownable. "
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