Why Kings Confess by C. S. Harris

Posted October 4, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 2 Comments

Why Kings Confess by C. S. HarrisWhy Kings Confess by C. S. Harris
Series: Sebastian St. Cyr #9
Published by Penguin on March 4, 2014
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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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 Sebastian’s 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 London’s 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-law’s 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 Dauphin’s 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 Hero’s 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....


Icon MURDER MYSTERYicon historicalicon well written

Sebastian St. Cyr is greatly challenged with this most recent crime. French physician Damion Pelletan is found murdered in the alley of St. Katharines, a poor section of London. His mutilated body was discovered by Paul Gibson after first encountering Damion’s unconscious companion, Alexandrie Sauvage, lying nearby.

The course of the investigation was pretty complicated as it was entangled with French history and politics, as well as English interests and Lord Jarvis. As usual, while there were many suspects, none seem to completely fit when other seemingly related murders entered the fray. I must admit it got too complicated and repetitive at times.

Meanwhile, Sebastian’s relationship with Hero was a highlight of the story. They continue to be an interesting, well-suited couple who enliven the story. There’s also a surprise development involving Paul that I found delightful.

While the investigation felt a little protracted, the superior writing and historical elements still made this an outstanding story. My memory is weak on Napoleonic history and the resurrection of the Bourbons so this was an interesting education. Be sure to read the author’s notes at the end.

This continues to be one of my favorite series.

About C. S. Harris

Candice Proctor, aka C.S. Harris and C.S. Graham, is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than a dozen novels including the Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series written under the name C.S. Harris, the new C.S. Graham thriller series co-written with Steven Harris, and seven historical romances. She is also the author of a nonfiction historical study of the French Revolution. Her books are available worldwide and have been translated into over twenty different languages.

Candice graduated Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude with a degree in Classics before going on to earn an MA and Ph.D. in history. A former academic, she has taught at the University of Idaho and Midwestern State University in Texas. She also worked as an archaeologist on a variety of sites including a Hudson’s Bay Company Fort in San Juan Island, a Cherokee village in Tennessee, a prehistoric kill site in Victoria, Australia, and a Roman cemetery and medieval manor house in Winchester, England. Most recently, she spent many years as a partner in an international business consulting firm.

The daughter of a career Air Force officer and university professor, Proctor loves to travel and has spent much of her life abroad. She has lived in Spain, Greece, England, France, Jordan, and Australia. She now makes her home in New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, retired Army officer Steve Harris, her two daughters, and an ever-expanding number of cats.

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2 responses to “Why Kings Confess by C. S. Harris

  1. I listened to the first book in this series and was surprised with how much I ended up liking it. I’ve been meaning to continue on in the series so hopefully I’ll get to the rest soon.