Where Serpents Sleep (Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries (Paperback)) Mass Market Paperback – 3 Nov 2009
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Praise for the Sebastian St. Cyr Series "Best historical thriller writer in the business! Sebastian St. Cyr is...uncannily clever, unwaveringly reserved, and irresistibly sexy. The entire series is simply elegant."--"New York Times "bestselling author Lisa Gardner "Deftly combines political intrigue, cleverly concealed clues and vivid characters."--"Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review) "A crescendo of suspense and surprise."--"Library Journal" (Starred Review) "Thoroughly enjoyable...kept me enthralled."--Deanna Raybourn "A ripping read...captivated me to the final page."--Will Thomas "Harris crafts her story with the threat of danger, hints of humor, vivid sex scenes, and a conclusion that will make your pulse race."--"The New Orleans Times-Picayune" "Harris delves deep into the mores of Regency England..."--"Kirkus Reviews" (Starred Review)
Praise for the Sebastian St. Cyr Series
"Best historical thriller writer in the business! Sebastian St. Cyr is uncannily clever, unwaveringly reserved, and irresistibly sexy. The entire series is simply elegant. "New York Times "bestselling author Lisa Gardner
Deftly combines political intrigue, cleverly concealed clues and vivid characters. "Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review)
A crescendo of suspense and surprise. "Library Journal" (Starred Review)
Thoroughly enjoyable kept me enthralled. Deanna Raybourn
A ripping read...captivated me to the final page. Will Thomas
Harris crafts her story with the threat of danger, hints of humor, vivid sex scenes, and a conclusion that will make your pulse race. "The New Orleans Times-Picayune"
Harris delves deep into the mores of Regency England "Kirkus Reviews" (Starred Review)
Praise for the Sebastian St. Cyr Series
"Best historical thriller writer in the business! Sebastian St. Cyr is...uncannily clever, unwaveringly reserved, and irresistibly sexy. The entire series is simply elegant."--New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner
"Deftly combines political intrigue, cleverly concealed clues and vivid characters."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A crescendo of suspense and surprise."--Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Thoroughly enjoyable...kept me enthralled."--Deanna Raybourn
"A ripping read...captivated me to the final page."--Will Thomas
"Harris crafts her story with the threat of danger, hints of humor, vivid sex scenes, and a conclusion that will make your pulse race."--The New Orleans Times-Picayune
"Harris delves deep into the mores of Regency England..."--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
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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Top customer reviews
Following a trail of clues from London's seedy East End to the Mayfair mansions of a noble family, the two must race against time to stop a killer whose ominous plot threatens to shake the nation to its very core?
Another beautiful crafted Sebastian St. Cyr mystery by C. S. Harris.
If you have never read any of the Sebastian St. Cry mysteries, you are missing out.
They are well crafted, plotted, with a great set of characters set in the historical Regency London.
Hero Jarvis is a reformist working on a theory as to what drives women to prostitution. She is also daughter to a cousin of the Prince regent. While interviewing one of the women, Rose, who had clearly been a gentlewoman, men break into Magdalene House, a shelter for women trying to escape the life, with Rose the object of the search. Rose and Hero escape the house, but Rose is shot and killed.
Hero appeals for help in finding out who Rose really was and why she turned to prostitution, to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin. When Devlin learns all the women in the house had been murdered and the house burnt down and any investigation stopped, he agrees to help her
Each time I start a new book, I hope for the best and I certainly got it here. As with all of Harris' books, this was a don't-bother-me-I'm- reading, one-stop read.
The characters are wonderful. Hero is an intelligent, gutsy, independent and appropriately named. Devlin is a former soldier, recovering from heartbreak and in need of a new challenge. Then there is Tom, 14-year-old former pickpocket now Devlin's `tiger' who takes care of the horses, James Calhoon, the son-of-a-prostitute valet, and Paul Gibson, invalid ex-army doctor who conducts autopsies. All the characters are well done and actual historical characters are used in realistic, appropriate ways.
Harris provides a detailed view into both the ballrooms and the back alleys of Regency England. Devlin may be fighting for his life in the afternoon and heading off to Almak's in the evening. Both events are handled with style and panache.
I love good dialogue. Ms. Harris does provide good dialogue. There's a wonderful scene where Devlin is talking with a Calhoun's mother, who has a thick Gordie accent and there are times Calhoun has to translate for him. The story is very well done.
At one point, I was having trouble seeing how everything fit together, but Harris brought it all together in a way that made sense without at all stretching credulity. Even the romance made sense to the story and the ending was so well done. Now my only regret is having to wait another year for the next book.
Sebastian St. Cyr is one of those "gentleman" sleuths who wandered about Regency London in search of a puzzle to solve. Except that doesn't even begin to describe what actually happens in this story. C. S. Harris has written a wonderful novel with so many layers to her characters that I felt at times as if I had jumped in at the deep end of the pool. It probably would have been better to have started with the first book, just to get all the characters into their proper pigeonholes. Since I made a mistake and read the fourth book first I just had to try a little harder to catch up. And catch up I did. This book can be a stand-alone. Kat and Sebastian ended their relationship eight months previously. The revelation for why that relationship ended is something I've never encountered before in a period mystery. I was actually shocked when I first realized what had happened. Kat has since married someone else and Sebastian has been trying to drown his sorrows by staying drunk. When he is first presented with the question of whether or not to help Hero Jarvis uncover the reason for the brutal murders of the prostitutes in a safe house he doesn't want to become involved. However, the temptation to use any means possible to get back at Hero's father is just too tempting for him to resist. He will use the daughter to get to his sworn enemy.
My main reason for giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 comes from the sheer number of victims. After a while I actually lost count of how many people died during the telling of this story. I love to read mystery stories, I especially love to read period mystery stories. This is a superb example of the genre. But, I found myself thinking, "Oh no, not another one!" This is not a mystery for the faint of heart, nor someone with a vivid imagination and a stomach easily made queasy. Yet, even after saying all of that I would highly recommend this book to a friend. I would just make sure they know it contains quite a bit of detail which might make them uncomfortable. The descriptions of the London streets and neighborhoods were vivid and colorful. I could almost smell the fish market, the alleyways. The prostitutes and other characters came alive in my imagination because of the word pictures painted by Ms Harris.
This author took some chances. She dealt with two controversial subjects in this book and handled them both very well. Even though I know what caused the break up of Kat and Sebastian I will still go back and read the first three books. Now that is the sign of good writing!
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