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When Maidens Mourn (Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries)by C S Harris
Synopses & Reviews
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.
Meanwhile, Sebastian must confront the turmoil of his personal life. Hero Jarvis, daughter of his powerful nemesis Lord Jarvis, finally agrees to become his wife. But as their wedding approaches, Sebastian can’t escape the growing realization that not only Lord Jarvis but Hero herself knows far more about the events surrounding Ross’s death than they would have him believe.
Then a second body is found, badly decomposed but bearing the same fatal stiletto wound. And Sebastian must race to unmask a ruthless killer who is now threatening the life of his reluctant bride and their unborn child.
* The New Orleans Times-Picayune
The gruesome murder of a young French physician draws aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his pregnant wife, Hero, into a dangerous, decades-old mystery as a wrenching piece of Sebastians past puts him to the ultimate test.
Regency England, January 1813: When a badly injured Frenchwoman is found beside the mutilated body of Dr. Damion Pelletan in one of Londons worst slums, Sebastian finds himself caught in a high-stakes tangle of murder and revenge. Although the woman, Alexi Sauvage, has no memory of the attack, Sebastian knows her all too well from an incident in his past—an act of wartime brutality and betrayal that nearly destroyed him.
As the search for the killer leads Sebastian into a treacherous web of duplicity, he discovers that Pelletan was part of a secret delegation sent by Napoleon to investigate the possibility of peace with Britain. Despite his powerful father-in-laws warnings, Sebastian plunges deep into the mystery of the Lost Dauphin,” the boy prince who disappeared in the darkest days of the French Revolution, and soon finds himself at lethal odds with the Dauphins sister—the imperious, ruthless daughter of Marie Antoinette—who is determined to retake the French crown at any cost.
With the murderer striking ever closer, Sebastian must battle new fears about Heros health and that of their soon-to-be born child. When he realizes the key to their survival may lie in the hands of an old enemy, he must finally face the truth about his own guilt in a past he has found too terrible to consider....
Fifth in the critically acclaimed mystery series.
London 1812. When the controversial reform-minded Bishop of London is found bludgeoned to death in an ancient crypt beside the corpse of an unidentified man murdered decades before, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, reluctantly agrees to investigate. As his search for the killer leads him from the back alleys of Smithfield to the power corridors of Whitehall, Sebastian must confront the well-guarded secrets of his own family's past—and a devastating truth that could ultimately force him to question who—and what—he really is.
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About the Author
C.S. Harris graduated with a degree in Classics before earning a Ph.D. in European history. A scholar of the French Revolution and 19th-century Europe, she has lived in Europe and various far-flung parts of the old British Empire. She now lives in New Orleans with her husband, a retired Army Intelligence Officer, and two daughters.
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