by C.S. Harris
Series: Sebastian St. Cyr #12
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Historical, Mystery
London, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is no stranger to the dark side of the city, but he's never seen anything like this: the brutalized body of a 15-year-old boy dumped into a makeshift grave on the grounds of an abandoned factory. One of London's many homeless children, Benji Thatcher was abducted and tortured before his murder—and his younger sister is still missing. Few in authority care about a street urchin's fate, but Sebastian refuses to let this killer go unpunished. Uncovering a disturbing pattern of missing children, Sebastian is drawn into a shadowy, sadistic world. As he follows a grim trail that leads from the writings of the debauched Marquis de Sade to the city's most notorious brothels, he comes to a horrifying realization: Someone from society's upper echelon is preying upon the city's most vulnerable. And though dark, powerful forces are moving against him, Sebastian will risk his reputation and his life to keep more innocents from harm.
Please welcome Sophia Rose to the blog today. She is here to share a review of WHERE THE DEAD LIE by C.S. Harris. This is a cunning historical mystery that will transport you to 1839 London. Grab a cup of your favorite caffeinated beverage and enjoy!
For those not in the know, I have annual standing book dates with certain authors or series that are truly an event for me where I clear the calendar for several hours and set up in a cozy spot with my beverage of choice and the latest shiny installment of my favorite series. The Sebastian St. Cyr series makes the cut, and I gladly was lost in the dark underworld of Regency Era London along with Sebastian on his latest detecting adventure.
WHERE THE DEAD LIE is book twelve in the series and would work as an entry to the series out of order, but it is best read in order. The series has a new murder in each book, but there are ongoing series plot threads that move in the background for several of the characters particularly Sebastian.
This installment grabbed my heart and left me near tears a few times because Sebastian’s latest case involves the street children. Back in those times, there were many reasons a child could end up alone and on the streets and even fewer resources available to care for them. Those who survived worked as hard as adults and had to develop a strength and cunning that broke my heart to see in children as young as five. And this story was particularly poignant because the murders were perpetrated against this vulnerable population that had no voice to cry out for justice. And the murderers were using the original Sadist, the Marquis de Sade, as their inspiration.
So yes, the thematic elements hit me hard, but they hit Sebastian, too. The detecting in this book and the others in the series has a combo of cozy style with lots of exciting and gritty moments, too. Sebastian crosses and recrosses the city interviewing and grinding it out hunting clues and digging out what secrets are part of the case and which are irrelevant even as others come after him because of what he is learning.
Alongside the mystery, there is the ongoing simmering bunch of situations within Sebastian’s extended family circle. Though, no worries, he and his wife are as stalwart a marital team as ever. I really hope the next book pursues that curious matter of his wife’s cousin because I think that lady is so much more than she seems. And wow, his niece choosing with eyes open to marrying an evil reprobate and poor Sebastian knowing the arrogant Lord is smug and toying with him over this. Hope there’s more about that, too.
All in all, WHERE THE DEAD LIE, was fantastic with its attention to authentic historical details, a cunning mystery, and colorful well-drawn characters. Anyone who loves historical mystery must give this series a go.Where The Dead Lie by C.S. Harris was a cunning historical mystery #guest review Click To Tweet
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