The much-anticipated new entree in the Sebastian St. Cyr "simply elegant" (Lisa Gardner) historical mystery series, from the national best-selling author of Who Buries the Dead and Why Kings Confess.
Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village's inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help.
Almost immediately Sebastian realizes that Emma Chance did not, in truth, take her own life. Less easy to discern is exactly how she died - and why. For as Sebastian and Hero soon discover, Emma was hiding both her true identity and her real reasons for traveling to Ayleswick. Also troubling are the machinations of Lucien Bonaparte, the estranged brother of the megalomaniac French emperor Napoleon. Held captive under the British government's watchful eye, the younger Bonaparte is restless, ambitious, and treacherous.
Sebastian's investigation takes on new urgency when he discovers that Emma was not the first or even the second beautiful young woman in the village to die under suspicious circumstances. Home to the eerie ruins of an ancient monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place of secrets that have festered among the villagers for decades - and a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian's own unsettling origins. And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he's willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer.
©2016 The Two Talers, LLC (P)2016 Recorded Books
I would listen to this again for sure. Great story, great narration.
My favorite in this book was Sebastian. I did miss Jules Calhoun the butler. I find him really funny and I love young Tom.
What can you say about Davina Porter? She is the absolute best. When Davina narrates all those voices and accents and with the authors writing its like watching a movie.
I did not want to stop listening and did not want to get to the end. I stopped it 45 minutes before it ended and listened to the end when I was guaranteed no interruptions.
This is the best series I have ever listened to and can't wait for the next book. You can't imagine how much I look forward to it. I tell everyone about this series.
This book was not as good as previous books in the series. In fact I lost interest in it early on. The previous books in the series were basically set in London with trips to the country side when necessary. This book was placed entire in the countryside and thus missing are all the interactions with Bow Street, Hendon, Jarvis and other figures that we are used to seeing in London -- Kat, Aunt Henrietta, Lovejoy, Gibson etc. Even Tom is relegated to a very minor role.
The setting in a country village of Ayleswick-on-Teme in Shropshire made the story generally less appealing. There are far too many characters to keep track of, a multitude of murders,smugglers etc. But we never really get to know the characters - they pass in and out of scenes and we never miss them as they are all unmemorable.
There are 5+ murders to solve - some of which are 25 years old and are intertwined with the current murders. I found myself losing track of who is related to whom. However most of the characters are not memorable. Although Hero is there, she is relegated to minor role -- not the brash independent Hero of London.
Of course what brought Sebastian to this hamlet was to deliver for Jamie Knox a mechanical nightingale he had gotten for his grandmother. He meets Jamie Sister but these characters seems trivial in the whole book.
He gets to know know Jamie's Jamie's twin brother, Jude Lowe but like all previous books the quest for his real father must continue in the next book.
I hope the author returns the settings to London which makes the book more fun and intriguing.
Davina Porter as usual does a superb job in narrating and really saves this book from becoming totally boring.
Sebastian's debt owed to his possible half brother leads to the Shropshire countryside and the murder of a young girl also seeking to know who sired her.
Complicated plots and finely detailed characters are yet again the author's hallmark.
Also a history lesson of the pros & cons, as well as the human costs, of the Enclosure Movement.
Absolute bluestocking & love it!!
Fantastic writer! Fantastic narrator! Another twisting plot, and I'm learning so much about the oh so sad plight of the lower classes and their terrible treatment in the early 1800's that it makes me cry even now!
I love the main characters, & missed a couple in this story, but I'm sure they will be back - only now I have to wait - so Candice please hurry!!!k
I always enjoy the books in this series. There's a story that keeps me guessing and not a lot of fluff. If you're looking for gratuitous sex scenes, then move along.
Davina Porter is one of my favorite readers. She always does an outstanding job and I have no trouble identifying the different characters as she performs them.
It kept me listening into the wee hours of the morning.
I always look forward to the next release in this series. This series is on my spreadsheet of books to watch for. I'm very picky about what I listen to these days. General romance novels bore me. This series has an involving mystery, interesting characters, and just enough romance to keep me happy.
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