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It's 1811 and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England Then a beautiful young woman is found raped and savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey A dueling pistol discovered at the scene and the damning testimony of a wi. Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says It s 1811 and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III s England Then a beautiful young woman is found raped and savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey A dueling pistol discovered at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man Sebastian St Cyr Viscount Devlin a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic WarsNow a fugitive running for his life Sebastian calls upon his skill as an agent during the war to catch the killer and prove his own innocence In the process he accumulates a band of unlikely allies including the enigmatic beauty Kat Boleyn who broke Sebastian s heart years ago In Sebastian s world of intrigue and espionage nothing is as it seems yet the truth may hold the key to the future of the British monarchy as well as to Sebastian s own salvationMy Review BOOK ONE OF ADDICTIVE SERIESYou ve been warnedIt s amazing how involving I still find the Regency even after many and various outrages perpetrated on its remnant mummy corpse People with ultramod unprejudiced tudes bearing titles like Lord Shavingrazorden and the Duchess of Murkwatterentertaining People traveling to far points without seeming to spend the reuired months I mean seriously how did all those East Indiamen get to Fort Thingummy in Malaya in a twinkling Ye Olde ConcordeahemThis book does its share of anachronism perpetuating Devlin our hero is a straight in all senses ahead 21st century romance hero Doesn t make him unappealing it makes me a little impatient I guess What makes this book so appealing to me is the atmosphere the evocation of the London that one writer characterized as diamonds gleaming in the manure pile Rich was better than poor by right titles better than all the masses by right royalty FuhgeddabouditThe characters around Devlin are all very clearly delineated and several recur no spoiler in that since it s a series mystery with evolving storylines that tie them into a unit in some unexpexcted and honestly some surprising and upsetting ways Of course the female characters are single emotion placeholders I say of course because a first mystery usually has this minor and female character flaw giving them shorter shrift than is advisable early onWithal the book is very worthy of your shelf space the series is high uality reading and the price of entry paltry compared to the pleasures you ll get

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What Angels Fear

E accumulates a band of unlikely allies including the enigmatic beauty Kat Boleyn who broke Sebastian's heart years ago In Sebastian's world of intrigue and espionage nothing is as it seems yet the truth may hold the key to the future of the British monarchy as well as to Sebastian's own salvati. The Sebastian St Cyr series is one I ve meant to get around to reading for ages I like historical mysteries especially when there s an intelligent handsome damaged hero on offer so these sounded like they d hit the spot There are eleven books in the series now and there s no way I m going to be able to catch up with them all in print so I did what I usually do in this situation and turned to the audiobook version instead Narrator Davina Porter is someone I ve listened to before and enjoyed so I knew I was going to be in safe hands so to speakThis first book in the series introduces our hero a former soldier whose wartime experiences continue to haunt his dreams and his waking moments Now Viscount Devlin he is the heir to the Earl of Hendon Chancellor of the Excheuer confidante of the Prime Minister and thus an extremely important figure in the government of the day Father and son do not have an especially cordial relationship for a number of reasons some of which are strongly hinted at in this story and which I am sure will play out in future books Since his return Sebastian has been reckless and has acuired himself a reputation as a bit of a ladies man both of which annoy his father who wants him to settle down and take a seat in ParliamentAs the story is a mystery I m not going to say much about the plot save that it begins when a young woman a beautiful actress named Rachel York is discovered to have been raped and brutally murdered in the Lady Chapel of St Matthew s of the Fields church Lying beside the body is a pistol that bears the insignia of Viscount Devlin making him the prime suspect and naturally the chief magistrate Sir Henry Lovejoy wants to bring him in for uestioning A misadventure sees Sebastian having to run for his life and then determining that he needs to discover the identity of the killer in order to prove his innocence while the authorites think he s their man they won t bother to look at alternatives With the help of a street urchin named Tom his friend ex army surgeon Paul Gibson and his former lover actress Kat Boleyn Sebastian utilises the skills gained as a spy during the war in order to interrogate witnesses find clues and put the pieces of the puzzle togetherAs the first in a series there is a fair bit of setting up to be done but CS Harris manages to do that without holding up the progress of the story or indulging in huge info dumps The story is well paced and deliciously complex weaving the murder investigation through a tapestry rich with historical detail and political intrigue There s sex blackmail grave robbing and espionage and the author does a splendid job of recreating the dingier seedier side of Regency London although I did have to remind myself at times that the book is set in 1811 rather than the 1840s or later because some of the descriptions reminded me of the London of Dickens or the Whitechapel murders That said Ms Harris still succeeds in drawing an evocative picture that puts the readerlistener firmly on those dank smelly streets and gives her story a very strong sense of place On a negative note which can also perhaps be attributed to the fact that this is the first in a series the characterisation could have been a bit stronger especially of Sebastian himself The story is told in the third person thankfully so we re not in his head the whole time but I would have appreciated a little insight into his thought processes His father and utterly awful sister are also somewhat underdeveloped but again I m hoping that perhaps that will be rectified as the series progresses As I ve already said the reasons behind Sebastian s strained relationship with Hendon become clear so I m keen to see where that plotline takes us I m afraid I didn t care much for Sebastian s love interest though Six years earlier Sebastian fell head over heels with Kat Boleyn a beautiful Irish actress and wanted to marry her Knowing she wasn t a suitable bride for the son of an earl Kat refused and broke Sebastian s heart continuing her stage career and having several wealthy protectors along the way The couple resume a physical relationship in this book and it s clear that they both still care for each other but I didn t like that Kat had her own agenda which led to her keeping secrets from Sebastian which could have aided him in his search for the killer She does help him in other ways it s true but the fact that she hides information in order to protect someone else didn t sit well with meI m not a great reader of mysteries so even in books where the identity of the killer is fairly obvious I don t always see it but here I d be surprised if even veteran mystery fans had worked it out It s not that it doesn t make sense or that there are no clues as to his identity but they re well hidden and I can t uite work out whether to think they should have been just a teeny bit obvious or to applaud the author for keeping things so well under wraps The author s style is very readable and although there are the seemingly obligatory smattering of Americanisms and a few anachronisms in the language the story is strong enough for those to be fairly easily overcomeDavina Porter s narration is well paced and expressive and she differentiates effectively between all the characters Her voice falls naturally into the contralto range so she doesn t have to lower the pitch overly much to portray the male characters although sometimes there isn t a lot of difference in register between the men and the women Kat Boleyn for example is performed at or less the same pitch as Sebastian but is easy to identify because of the Irish lilt in her voice It s a good and nuanced performance overall and fortunately she s been retained to narrate the other books in the series so I expect to be proceeding to the next book fairly soon

C.S. Harris å 4 characters

Tness both point to one man Sebastian St Cyr Viscount Devlin a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experience in the Napoleonic WarsNow a fugitive running for his life Sebastian calls upon his skill as an agent during the war to catch the killer and prove his own innocence In the process h. This was fantastic 45 stars I think the series is probably a 5 star one This Regency period murder mystery was very interesting to me I know a lot about the Victorian era but believed that everything I knew about the Regency period came from Georgette Heyer novelsI am British I studied history I do not consider myself stupid I saw The Madness of King George and have visited the Regents Palace in Brighton I first started reading Jane Austen novels when I was sixteen Vanity Fair is one of my favourite books of classic British literature And yet it took this novel to put this historical period into context Yes I have ONLY JUST REALISED that it was called the Regency period because there was a Prince Regent DOH Somehow this book has pulled into focus all the different knowledge I had of the Napoleonic wars and the historical and international context Wow Maybe it deserves 5 stars afterall What a treat to discover a whole new series of books to dive into Lucky me


10 thoughts on “What Angels Fear

  1. says:

    Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says It's 1811 and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England Then a beautiful young woman is found raped and savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey A dueling pistol discovered at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both

  2. says:

    I am always a fan of a good historical mystery so I believe I have just found myself a new series In this first book we meet Sebastian St Cyr a young man who is good looking charming a little bit dangerous and of course ric

  3. says:

    4 starsI won book 10 in this series 2 years ago and liked it enough that I decided to go back and read of the series This book 1 in the series takes place in January 1811 in London England The author uses a fami

  4. says:

    This was fantastic 45 stars I think the series is probably a 5 star one This Regency period murder mystery was very interesting to me I know a lot about the Victorian era but believed that everything I knew about the Regency period came from Georgette Heyer novelsI am British I studied history I do not consider m

  5. says:

    45 London’s cobblestone streets in 1811 are flickering with gas lamps through an endless blanket of yellow foul smelling fog Inside an ancient church Rachel York is sprawled across an altar uite dead with her throat violently sla

  6. says:

    A young actress is found brutally murdered at the altar in a church and all evidence seems to point to Sebastian St Cyr Lord Devlin It soon becomes clear to him that there are multiple forces at play some powerful and political and he goes on the run to investigate the crime to clear his name This is a well written histor

  7. says:

    Faced with than thirty hours of travel time from Wisconsin to Papua New Guinea I pondered what reading material to carry with me first considering and rejecting a book of William Gass’s literary essays as reuiring too much concentration and thought Next I thought I might choose David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas a novel I re

  8. says:

    The Sebastian St Cyr series is one I’ve meant to get around to reading for ages I like historical mysteries especially when there’s an intelligent handsome damaged hero on offer so these sounded like they’d h

  9. says:

    Okay I’m hooked My favorite brew — mystery history and romance delivered by the excellent narrator Davina Porter The best part is there are twelve books to binge on

  10. says:

    This was a proper old school murder mystery and I loved every second of it Move over Sherlock Holmes and meet Sebastian St Cyr 4 Star