The grisly murder of a West Indies slave owner and the reappearance of a dangerous enemy from Sebastian St. Cyr's past combine to put C. S. Harris's "troubled but compelling antihero" (Booklist) to the ultimate test in this taut, thrilling mystery. London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription King Charles, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim's kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian’s powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends.
Working in concert with his fiercely independent wife, Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill to the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects who range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen. But as one brutal murder follows another, it is the connection between the victims and ruthless former army officer Sinclair, Lord Oliphant, that dramatically raises the stakes. Once, Oliphant nearly destroyed Sebastian in a horrific wartime act of carnage and betrayal. Now the vindictive former colonel might well pose a threat not only to Sebastian but to everything - and everyone - Sebastian holds most dear.
©2015 The Two Talers, Inc. (P)2015 Recorded Books
I really enjoy these books; the time period & interwoven historical details add a lot of depth and interest in the plot. I am very glad that Cat seems to be out of the picture, finally, that obsession had dragged on a bit long. Now it is time to settle the matter of Sebastian's relationship with is father. When is someone going to wake him up to the idea that biology is not what makes a 'father'?
One note on the narration. The narration, for me, is just okay. I cannot entirely warm up to Davina Porter's reading.
A story told by the best narrator. Within minutes you are sucked in and living the story.
This book has cost me a couple of nights sleep because I could not put it away.
Great character development and lots of twists and turns. I didn't guess the main culprit until the end.
I wish Audible would fill in the missing volumes so that we can listen to the entire series.
Absolutely love this series - Sebastian and Hero are such a great couple and the addition of Ms. Jane Austen into the plot was a stroke of genius !! Davina Porter is the perfect reader - she doesn't "narrate" - she becomes the character and here as always, was wonderful !!
Hello from the Heart Land, Central Wisconsin. I've loved audio books for 28 yrs. Keep hands free for cooking, hobbies & more.
The narrator was very pleasing, telling this tale of mystery and alleged intrigue set in the time of Jane Austin, a minor character in the plot. Murder, beheading old and new, incl. discovery of misplaced body of King Henry 8th and Queen Jane Smr. Sadly, the read could not keep my attention. Listened to parts over and again. Almost didn't finish it. I usually love books of this era, esp. well done historical fiction. Oh, this was so slow going and painful for me. I
suggest you pass on this one.
This series is the type of mystery novel I love best. It is definitely not a "cozy" mystery, but neither is it bogged down by procedural minutiae or ever-increasing levels of violence intended to shock jaded readers. While dark and occasionally gothic, it avoids crossing over into blood and gore horror. It's greatest strength is the sense of time and place, wrought with the aid of prodigious historical scholarship. History would be a much more intriguing subject in school if taught through the personal, human, lens employed by Harris. The way real people and events are woven throughout the series is impressive, always based upon real timelines and interests. The politics of the time offer insights into repercussions still felt today. The series also retains the reader's attention with complex, evolving characters, their psychologies enfolding across the novels as both the characters and the reader grasp hidden motivations, needs, and outlooks, becoming more self-aware and wise with time and maturity. In that sense, the series also offers an enlightening view of human nature. This is first rate literature all around, not just as a mystery novel.
Complicated plots and finely detailed characters are yet again the author's hallmark.
This time the background is the moral and economic rationals behind chattel slavery in England and her Caribbean colonies.
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