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Where Shadows Dance (Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries) [Hardcover]

C. S. Harris
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library (1 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451232232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451232236
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 749,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
First Sentence: A cool wind gusted up, rustling the branches of the trees overhead and bringing with it the unmistakable clatter of wooden wheels approaching over cobblestones.

Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is surprised by an early morning visit from his friend Paul Gibson. Paul, surgeon who practices dissection and autopsies, received a body from the snatchers. The young man was said to have died of a heart attack but was murdered. Who better to turn then Devlin, an investigator with a staunch belief in justice? Complications and matters of international intrigue arise when it's learned that the deceased had worked for the Undersecretary of State for the Foreign Office. On a personal level, during an investigation two months prior, Devlin found himself in a life-threatening situation with Hero Jarvis, daughter of an enemy to his family. The situation resulted in the need for Devlin and Hero to marry. While neither father is happy about it, Devlin is learning Hero might make a better match for him than he'd have guessed.

Ms. Harris, without prologue or portent, draws you into a story from the first page and compels you to read on. Her dialogue reflects both the period and the economic status of each character, reflecting her attention to detail. Ms. Harris' use of humor, even black humor, brings light to the dark.

With well-written descriptions, Ms. Harris paints visual pictures and provides a very strong sense of time and place. This is enhanced by the elements of historical information which not only add veracity to the story, but are fascinating and evidential of the author's research on such things as the Bills of Mortality; information on deaths compiled by the elderly women in each parish for more than 200 years prior to 1812.
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I'm a "Johnnie Come Lately" to this fabulous series and right now I'm very regretful that, although I only began the series a few days ago, I made the mistake of reading all the books within a week, so now I must wait until March 2015 to get me some more Sebastian and Hero. I. Love. Sebastian. He is one of the most honorable regency Main Guys you will ever read about. Plus, he is sexy, can see in the dark and fights like a tiger.

His preoccupation with solving murder mysteries came to him initially because he was charged with murder in the very first book - "What Angels Fear." From that first book forward, he has become embroiled in the solving of other mysteries and now he has it "down pat" so to speak. It's very interesting how he consistently and persistently follows up on the slightest leads until he finds a little truth here and there and then goes back to the individuals he has previously questioned only to turn up more clues, etc.

In this 6th book, "Where Shadows Dance" - although struggling with truths previously revealed about his own heritage, he continues to harbor strong feelings for the actress he has loved since she was 16 and he was 21 - Kat Boleyn. However, in "What Remains of Heaven," he and Hero had some interpersonal action when they thought they had only a few minutes to live which has resulted in some serious complications to their respective lives. One phrase that has stood out over and over in my mind was when Sebastian was trying to persuade Hero to marry him and he said these words "I promise to never give you cause to regret marrying me." This from a man who has only had one true love in his life and has spent months drinking himself nearly to death because he can't see how to go on without Kat.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Continuing the enjoyable St.Cyr saga 5 Mar 2011
By LEP VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this series by CS Harris. The combination of the murder mysteries and the complex private and family life of Sebastian work well together. If a first timer to this series, you must read them in order to understand what has been going on in Sebastian's life.

Here, Sebastian is thrown into the midst of the complex diplomatic tangles of the era. With Britain being at war with Napoleon and his allies, almost at war with America and trying to protect Canada from America. Also being formally, but not actually at war with Sweden and heaven knows who else.

Sebastian's doctor friend buys a dead body to disect from the grave robbers. He particularly wants that body because it is of a very young man who has died, so it is reported, from a heart attack. The doctor wants to examine the heart in order to learn from in. Only, when examining the body he discovers that the man, who was a member of the Foreign Office, has been murdered. So he naturally contacts amateur sleuth, Sebastain St.Cyr. Then another dead body turns up, murdered in the same way, only this man is American. Soon Sebastian is up to his eyeballs in dead bodies, all linked to the Diplomatic Service and foreign diplomats.

Privately and as far as his family life is concerned, matters are strained with his father and Sebastian and Hero have decisions to make.

Very enjoyable book. I hope that C S Harris is going to continue with the series and not finish it here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A good escapist read for Regency period readers. 12 Mar 2013
By D.M.G
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoy this series as pure escapism. They are well written and the plots are involved enough to keep one guessing. I am a fan of detective novels and have enjoyed the Regency period style books ever since reading Jane Austen and from there Georgette Heyer , in my teens. So this is definitely my genre. I have tried other recommendations but they are not all as good writers as C.S.Harris.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  79 reviews
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story. I can't wait for the next one in the series! 4 Mar 2011
By LoveMyBooks - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The 6th book in the Sebatian St.Cyr series was as good as I hoped it would be. I had been practically counting the days till March 1st, to obtain this book & read it and was worried whether the author will be able to keep up her great work. After all even good authors have their "off" books. But I loved this segment of the story too. Small SPOILER ahead: Sebastian St.Cyr, Viscount Devlin continues his exciting life of solving murders and his complicated but very interesting relationship with Hero Jarvis does lead to their marriage at the end of the book. But what a story between the betrothal & the wedding.

The story starts when Sebastian's friend, surgeon Gibson accidentally stumbles upon the body of a man who was believed to have died of natural causes, but was murdered and the investigation of it leads Sebastian into a plot filled with international intrigue. I completely agree with a previous reviewer that the body count in the story did seem extremely high. Spoiler again: In fact many of the new characters Sebastian spoke to ended up murdered. Every chapter had me going," another one!". But it wasn't in the nature of a cheap blood and gore story and there was some relevance for all the murders in the plot. Hero did pull a Lara Croft towards the end of the story as a previous reviewer said. What a woman! A true mate for Sebastian. Their marriage seems to have started up really sweet, in the last chapter.

I am a Hero fan and would have no regrets seeing Kat Boleyn disappear from the story. But as it is petty to want to see her as part of the body count, I will be content as long as Sebastian falls out of love with her :-)I really like Paul Gibson the surgeon, so commited to his science and a great friend to Sebastian. Sir Lovejoy the magistrate is another endearing character that interests me. In fact other characters in the storyline such as Lord Jarvis, Earl of Hendon are all such multi faceted characters, though they play only short parts in this book. Usually after book 6 in a series it is hard for an author to keep up so many mysteries to reveal in future books about the same characters. But there is still so much more we want to know about them that is still to be unveiled.

Basically this is a great historical murder mystery based in England with great strong characters that stay in your mind for a long time. Riveting hero and a heroine who is even more riveting in that she is an unusual woman of her times. C.S. Harris has a true fan in me. And I do hope we won't have to wait tooooo long for the next book in the series. If you haven't read the other books in the series, I highly suggest reading them in order: "What angels fear", "When Gods Die", "Why Mermaids Sing", "Where serpents sleep" and "What remains of Heaven. Those who like historical mysteries, mixed with a little bit of romance, which are nicely written might like this series.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where Relationships Heat Up and the Body Count Rises 19 Mar 2011
By lifewontwait - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been a devotee of C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries since the start of the series and found this book to be a very satisfying entry. I finished it in a day and it left me wishing that the next book would appear much sooner than currently scheduled!

Other reviewers have covered the complex plot in detail, so I will just say that there was an amazing amount of action and character development in this book. Usually after six books about the same protagonist, the reader comes to think they know just about everything there is to know about him, but Harris always has an intriguing revelation or two about St. Cyr and his family, and this book hints of even more to come.

It was good to find Sebastian and Hero reaching a point where hope for their future happiness as a couple seems realistic despite the inevitable complications that will arise with both their families, and I especially look forward to seeing how the author handles this. She has a real knack for bringing all the secondary and even peripheral characters to life, and I'm hoping that some of the new ones introduced here, such as Hero's younger cousin Sabrina Cox, will appear in subsequent books.

The body count was a bit of a surprise--if things keep up at this pace, Paul Gibson will never lack for dissection subjects as long as he knows the St. Cyrs! I had a good laugh over the scene where Sebastian, in full formal regalia, startles the second set of Resurrection men at 3 A.M. in the cemetery. They could have been justifiably wondering if they were being confronted by a noble vampire! The way things fell apart at the conclusion of the exhumation was entertaining too.

I didn't find the actions Hero took to escape her predicament to be out of place or out of character. She's a strong, capable, intelligent young woman with no illusions as to what would have happened if she hadn't fought back, not some milk and water miss who would cry "Oh!" as she fainted dead away and allowed her captors to do their worst.

I look forward to the continued adventures of Sebastian, Hero & Co.! Will Hero gain the Tiger's trust? Will Sebastian's relationship with Henton be restored? Will the couple find a balance in their relationships with Jarvis and Henton? Will more St. Cyr family members reveal themselves? I can hardly wait to find out!
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Bodies! But love that Hero! 2 Mar 2011
By Mass Consumer of Fiction in Arizona - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Clearly the fact that I've already read the latest installment in the Sebastian St. Cyr series means that I'm hooked on this series - I've bought it in hardback (no Kindle!) and read it in a day, even though I work fulltime and have a family! I adore these characters and the picture that Harris never fails to paint of this point in history. She even brings us a bit of Americana in Where Shadows Dance. But really, the body count in this one rivals a Quentin Tarantino movie and starts to stretch the limits of credibility. I realize that the streets of Regency London were rough, but honestly! Even our beloved Hero (and I don't mean St. Cyr, as beloved as I find him, but our emerging main female protagonist, Hero Jarvis) turns into a veritable Laura Croft at one point. I know she's tough, and I might be able to accept that as a tough broad she can defend herself, but...well, I won't spoil it for those who haven't read it yet, but Uma Thurmon in Kill Bill has nothing on Hero. I must also admit that the complex plot of international intrigue lost me at times. I always managed to catch up and in the end, got where Harris was going. I'm of a mixed opinion about the red herrings she throws about and who the "murderer" was, but it's a believable conclusion. Ultimately, I can't bring myself to give this a 5 star rating but can't give it a 3 either because in the end, the characters win out. If this was my first St. Cyr mystery, I'm not sure what my opinion would be. But it's not, and just like with the previous ones, I find myself mourning the fact that I'm going to have to wait an entire year before I see where our man Sebastian goes next. I adore his character, I adore Hero Jarvis (have since the first book when he kidnapped her!), I adore Tom the Tiger, I adore Gibson, etc. OK, I don't adore Kat Boleyn and have not since the first book. For all the poignant passion between her and St . Cyr she's rubbed me the wrong way and I don't think we've seen the last of her trouble. Yeah, I'm definitely in the Hero camp, but I appreciate the tension that Kat (and I'm sure her privateering husband) will play in future books. I do hope that Harris continues to develop what is clearly a promising partnership between Sebastian and Hero.
I wonder if the public's hunger for the next installment is part of the problem - I'm sure Harris is under pressure to turn out a new book once one is released. We might all be better served if a few extra months were allowed to polish and refine. Having said all this - the minute I can preorder the next installment, it's done!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still hooked on this. My favorite historical mystery series. 11 Mar 2011
By OLT - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is the sixth Sebastian St. Cyr mystery and I'm so glad the quality is as good as the first. What I especially appreciate is the historical context, as each mystery brings into it an aspect of life or politics in early 1800s England. Amazing to think that the first book took place in early 1811 and this sixth one in July of 1812. So much murder, mayhem and romantic turmoil in Sebastian's life in only 19 months or so.

The historical backdrop here is international intrigue, not just U.S./Great Britain (U.S declaration of war in June of 1812) but also Britain's complicated dealings with France, Russia, Sweden, etc. during the Napoleonic Wars, at about the time of France's invasion of Russia. This was more interesting to me than the actual murder mystery, which became a bit too convoluted.

We also have a continuation of the saga of Sebastian's romantic life with his longtime love Kat and with Lady Hero Jarvis, daughter of Sebastian's father's nemesis. The ending of this book satisfied the romance lover in me and I hope the romance continues in this vein.

The mystery and murders are particularly muddy and puzzling with so many possible villains. And the road to 'whodunit' was paved with a huge amount of dead bodies. This body count and the lack of remorse on anybody's (even the main characters) part to the taking of human life was a problem for me. Sebastian feels the injustice of murder but in the course of his detecting manages to commit quite a few of his own. Someone else surprised me with the ability to be violent without noticeable aftereffects.

However, Harris' writing is as good as ever, the main characters are continuing to evolve and, just in general, this series is extremely satisfying. Like all Sebastian's fans, I can't wait for the next book to come out.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great addition to the Sebastian St. Cry series 10 Mar 2011
By J. Jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries are some of my favorites and I have been waiting for almost a year for Where Shadows Dance[Image] to be released. It was worth the wait. C.S. Harris has used the history of the time to write an outstanding mystery and I think Where Shadows Dance is one the best books of the series. England in 1812 is dealing with problems with France, Russia, Sweden, and the United States. The events during this time are the backdrop for the story in Where Shadows Dance.

Sebastian St. Cry's friend, physician Paul Gibson, has just received the body of Alexander Ross from the resurrection men. Hiring someone to dig up the newly dead is the only way for a physician to get bodies to study. Paul wanted Alexander Ross because he was a young man who died in his sleep from a heart attack. However, when he examined the body he found that Ross had not died from a heart attact but had been stabbed in the neck by a stiletto. That is when he called his friend Sebastian to investigate. Then a second body is found with the same type of wound. What follows are more deaths and more questions.

Sebastian is dealing with more than the mystery of these deaths. His relationship with Hero Jarvis is continuing to develop. Hero has agreed to become his wife and she joins in helping him gain information needed to solve the cases. While they work well together both hide information from the other and trust is a big issue between the two.

Where Shadows Dance is filled with both internal and external conflict and is a perfect blend of mystery and romance. The relationship between Sebastian and Hero is a subtle dance. C.S. Harris shows that less is more in portraying the attraction between the two. The last chapter is the book is perfect. It answers one question while leaving much to the imagination and setting the stage for future books.

You can read Where Shadows Dance as a stand-alone but don't. So much of the overall plot is woven in each of the books that there is much you would miss by only reading this book. Start with the first book and watch as conflict results from secrets both know and unknown. The books in order are:

What Angles Fear, When Gods Die, Why Mermaids Sing, Where Serpents Sleep, What Remains of Heaven,

The next book in the series, book 7 titled When Maidens Mourn, went to the publisher on March 1st and will be released in March 2012. Book 8 is also under contract and is scheduled to come out 8 months after book 7. I will be among the first to buy both.

I had a hard time getting this written. Every time I started to write I ended up rereading parts of the book and this was after I had read it twice. Now I need to buy the two books I do not own so I can re-read the entire series any time I want. That will have to hold me until the next book comes out.

Obsidian Mystery published Where Shadows Dance by C.S. Harris in 2011
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