Genre: Historical

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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four-stars
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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.


Where Serpents Sleep by C. S. Harris

Where Serpents Sleep by C. S. Harris

Posted September 13, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 2 Comments

    Hero Jarvis was interviewing Rose, one of the former prostitutes taking refuge at a home sponsored by the Quakers when the house is besieged and everyone is murdered. Hero narrowly escapes and enlists Sebastian St. Cyr’s help in finding the killers and discovering their motives.   Another outstanding story in an extraordinary series. What first appears to be a simple murder investigation leads down so many varying paths that expose sexual abuse, a criminal conspiracy and class injustice. We also learn a lot more about Hero and her complicated relationship with her father and her evolving one with Sebastian.   This has become one of my most favorite series.


Audio Review: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Audio Review: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown

Posted September 6, 2016 by Jonetta in Book Review | 4 Comments

         This is a bit more than the story of the 1936 Olympic crew challenge by the team from the University of Washington. Using one of the crew members as the focus, it combines his personal experience against the backdrop of the important historical events of that era (the 1929 stock market crash and resultant depression, the dust bowls, the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich, etc.). It made for a richer story with the added context.   While the backgrounds and histories of the other members of the 9-man crew team were also provided, Joe Rantz’s story was the main focus. His was symbolic of the boys who became men even before they started college given the challenges of that time. By […]