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Hardcover Where Serpents Sleep Book

ISBN: 0451225120

ISBN13: 9780451225122

Where Serpents Sleep

(Book #4 in the Sebastian St. Cyr Series)

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Hero Jarvis, reform-minded daughter of the Prince Regent's cousin, enlists Sebastian St. Cyr's help in investigating the brutal murders of eight prostitutes. Following a trail of clues from London's... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Master Class in Progress

It's not every day I find myself doing this: buying extra copies of a book and giving them to friends with entreaties to "read this, you'll love it." Lately I've bought four extra copies of C. S. Harris first book, What Angels Fear, and gifted them to fellow mystery fans. It's my version of doing the Lord's Work. There are many reasons to read this latest entry in the series: excellent evolving characterizations, a smart central mystery and the sort of edge-of-your-seat action dozens of thrillers promise every year yet so few actually deliver. After four books it's clear that C. S. Harris is qualified to teach a master class on a number of topics. Take her ability to start a thriller out with a bang - just the right amount of set up and then right into the action. Where Serpents Sleep starts with Hero Jarvis in the midst of one of her blue stocking studies having a conversation with a prostitute when all hell breaks loose. It's nothing short of brilliant and the tension never lets up without once seeming forced. Harris packs in a few twists in both the central mystery and the on-going interactions of the recurring characters. I'm a fan of mystery series though I always get antsy when the recurring characters take up too much of the narrative - call me shallow but I'm in it for the mystery. Harris always strikes just the right balance between delivering the mystery goods and involving the reader in the lives of her recurring characters. (Martha Grimes and Elizabeth George, take note!) If you love mysteries or thrillers or historical fiction, if you're a fan of Kate Ross or Dorothy Dunnett (or even Georgette Heyer), give C. S. Harris a try. Start at the beginning with What Angels Fear, if you can, but you won't lose too much by starting with this excellent entry. If you still aren't convinced and you have a Kindle, take an advantage of the free sample chapter. What have you got to lose, right? And you can look forward to joining me in all but stopping strangers on the street and urging them to read these books. The Sebastian St. Cyr series is that good - read one book and you may find yourself giving copies to your friends.

well worth the wait!

Like previous reviewers, I've been a huge fan of this series from the beginning. Sebastian St. Cyr is easily one of my favorite historical mystery heroes: he's smart and witty, but extremely human in that he has to combat his demons from the past and his feelings of inadequacy around his father. He also has freakishly keen senses, which makes him even more interesting! In the last installment, Why Mermaids Sing, he had something extremely traumatic happen to him, and I was anxious and excited to see how he would deal with it in Where Serpents Sleep. We find out right off that he's been drinking and gambling himself into oblivion, and it's a request from his arch enemy's daughter, Hero Jarvis, to help solve a string of murders at a Magdalene House that pulls him out of his vicious cycle to destroy himself. The mystery takes the reader into the underworld of prostitution and exposes the utter indifference that the upper classes felt for those women, despite the fact that one of the murdered prostitutes was well born. It also touches on a possible conspiracy behind the assassination of Spencer Perceval and an England desperately trying to hold itself together while clashes with both France (under Bonaparte) and the U.S. threaten to unravel everything. Sebastian is as well written as ever. He's battling a lot more in this book than usual, but it only drives him to work harder at solving the case. When he does get lost in those dark and traumatic thoughts, it's heartbreaking. I had a sneaking suspicion that, after the events of Why Mermaids Sing, Hero Jarvis would be brought to the forefront. She and Sebastian were very evenly matched and perfectly aware of how to use each other and drive each other crazy. I loved watching them work together, and I hope to see some more of that in the next book. I could not put down this book, and now I'm kicking myself for finishing it so fast, because though Harris is working on the fifth book, there's no indication yet of when it will be available. I need to know what happens! Now!

Page-turning, exciting, twisting, historical mystery...

In this fourth book featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin (previous: WHAT ANGELS FEAR, WHEN GODS DIE, WHY MERMAIDS SING), Sebastian is still shaken by the personal events that occurred in the previous book, drinking too much, sleeping too little and unable to forgive his father for the last episode in a long-troubled relationship. Hero Jarvis, the very independent daughter of Sebastian's enemy, the manipulator behind the scenes of Regency power and politics, Lord Jarvis, comes to Sebastian to ask him to look into the deaths of eight prostitutes--murders that the authorities are not interested in pursuing. One of the dead was a prostitute who was obviously of gentle birth. It is her situation that intrigues Hero. She and Sebastian investigate her past, separately and together, in hope it will lead to the killer or killers. Hero was introduced in the earlier books, but never played more than a small part until now, but she was always intriguing. She and Sebastian have a charged relationship, with more elements of dislike than like, which makes their pairing interesting. Sebastian has his dark side, but his interest in solving murder mysteries and finding some sort of justice for the victims remains foremost in his life, no matter what else is going on, which happily keeps him from ever seeming to mope or become angst-ridden. The main characters, as well as the secondary characters, are all well-drawn and fascinating. The mystery is also involving, with glimpses into the London underworld of prostitution houses and procurers and patrons, and also into private lives of the well-to-do that could lead a woman to fall into the life. There are also plenty of action scenes and threats of death and bodily harm. Amazing that the characters could be at Almack's or a Picnic at some time in the day and then battling for their lives in the taverns and deserted roads only hours later. The historical details are all convincing and the overall writing quality is excellent. I found this book less intense and complex than the last book (which remains a favorite), but it was still a page-turner. I adore this series and hope it continues for a long, long time.

This Series is Addictive!

I was so hooked by the first two books in the St. Cyr series that I made a highly unusual (for me) hardcover purchase of the latest installment - I just had to know what happened next. I have the sheepishly admit that this one was the best one yet. Sheepishly? Yes, because I realize at the end that the motive for the murder(s) was at worst, absurd, at least, not set up very well. And the whole situtation for the victim was also a bit difficult to believe, despite Harris' brilliant writing. Even with these weaknesses, it was still a book I could not put down! Harris keeps things moving along, her dialog is believable and crisp. And the characters she creates are, despite what I've written earlier, utterly believable. Hero is as complex, maddening, brilliant, and funny as Sebastion. The secondary characters (and I fear in this book that Kat has been relegated to a secondary character, I'm sure that will change!) are richly developed as well. I am not looking forward to the long drought that I'm now facing, waiting for the next book!

Best yet

I have been a fan since the first St. Cyr mystery, but this one is by far the best in my opinion. Sebastian finally seems to be moving beyond the tragic relationship with Kat, and by the end of this book, appears to be re-establishing his relationship with his father. And Hero! What a terrific character she is! The parallel between both these protagonists and their fathers tied the whole book together, along with the motive for the main victim's actions, for me. I read it in one day and highly recommend it.
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