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Publisher's Summary

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 savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol found 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 Wars.

©2005 The Two Talers, LLC (P)2014 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    816
  • 4 Stars
    695
  • 3 Stars
    258
  • 2 Stars
    63
  • 1 Stars
    22

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,160
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    411
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    121
  • 2 Stars
    33
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    8

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    720
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    276
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    76
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    25
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Addictive Series

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.

46 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great start to Sebastian St. Cyr series

Would you listen to What Angels Fear again? Why?

Absolutely. The book has an engaging storyline with lots of adventure and a large cast of characters from all classes of Regency England. The plot is cleverly woven around the imminent transfer of government from the mad King George III to his son, the foppish and dissolute Prinny

What other book might you compare What Angels Fear to and why?

This series and Ashley Gardner's Captain Lacey series are my favorites. They both have strong heroes, are set in Regency England, and have involving story lines and characters. Audible doesn't have all the titles in each of these series yet, and I hope the rest will be added as they become available.

Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

Tom, the street urchin, who first picks St. Cyr's pocket and then becomes his eyes and ears during the hunt for the person who murdered Rachel York.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction, but it kept me listening and trying to figure out who killed Miss York. I thought the chase scenes and the hide & seek sequences were well done.

Any additional comments?

I have listened to audiobooks 6, 7, 8, and 9 from this series, and I was so glad that audible released the first book on Christmas Eve - great Christmas present. There are several story lines and characters referred to in books 6 and beyond that originate in the earlier books. Now I'd like to see books 2, 3, 4, and 5 released on audio. There is also a 10th book due out 2015-03-03.

66 of 71 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

BRILLIANT

If you could sum up What Angels Fear in three words, what would they be?

This series is the absolute best. The maticulus detail throughout the book is amazing, its like watching a movie. Not to mention the narrator is truly the best story teller with the amazing accents and voices so much so you forget that its all one person.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Its hard to say who was my favorite character but I think it would have to be Tom or Cat. Tom comes from nothing but appreciates the little things and Cat truly and I mean truly loves Sebastian. If that kind of love ever did exist there is not so much of it in our society.

Which character – as performed by Davina Porter – was your favorite?

Davina Porter performed everyone so well but again Cat and Tom with the Irish accent and the boy Tom she has really out done herself in this series.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There was a moment in the book when you find out that Sebatians mother actually made an affidavit out about her affair with the horseman and I was so concerned that Sebastian would find it and I didn't want him to be disappointed.

Any additional comments?

Please keep the series going along with Davina narrating. I can't wait for the next one to come out.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Romance novel disguised as a mystery

Would you try another book from C. S. Harris and/or Davina Porter?

I probably will not listen to another C.S. Harris book. Davina Porter is a good reader, even though my American ears sometimes misunderstand an occasional word. This is perhaps due to her British accent, but she does perform in a wide variety of character voices and speech patterns. I may just be missing some of that.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Not really. The pace of the novel was rather slow in places. More time was spent on the emotions of the characters than I thought necessary.

I was a little disappointed that the author carries the narrative on the Prince of Wales' attempt to be appointed Regent up the supposed day of the House Of Lords vote on the Regency bill and then stopped. I would have enjoyed a description of the Prince's frustration when George III recovered "in the nick of time" and thwarted the attempt.

Which scene was your favorite?

It is hard to pick one scene. I suppose the confrontation between Lord Hendon and his Daughter Amanda wouold be one. There was some drama in that.

Do you think What Angels Fear needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Since I know it is the first in a series of novels, this question is moot.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Murder, Mystery, Action & 2D people

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not a total waste but I didn't ever really get past the surface of any of the characters. Plenty of action, a little too much about the gory details, but mostly I didn't care about the main character. Yes, he was a nice guy that respected women and could somehow hear and see things others couldn't but over all it is a dark story with a lot of sad lives. I REALLY WANTED to love this book. Ms. Harris is intelligent and talented but maybe not my cup of tea in her choice of protagonists.

Would you be willing to try another book from C. S. Harris? Why or why not?

One more, maybe. More light, more morals more hope and fully fleshed out characters with personalities and purposes I can really engage with. Did I fall asleep when she explains where the golden eyes, night vision and super hearing come from? I need a bit of fantasy mixed in to keep it interesting!

Have you listened to any of Davina Porter’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

YES!! The Outlander series, I followed her to this series and really wanted to love it. She does a fantastic job of character differentiation and the accents are superb. Her Jamie and Claire are beyond compare.

Was What Angels Fear worth the listening time?

Yes. I listen while I clean and organize on weekends. My house looks great. It got me through a lot of routine chores.

Any additional comments?

These are just one readers ideas. Ms. Harris is successful in her chosen fields and I am not a writer, just a lover of good historical fiction and maybe some fantasy mixed in. Davina Porter makes every writers words come to life in extraordinary ways!

34 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love C S Harris

I was excited when I found another CS Harris novel had been added to your selections. There have only been four books available for the longest time. I enjoy the series immensely and Davina Porter is one of the very best narrators. My first St Cyr book was chosen only because I was searching for Davina Porter. I got hooked immediately on the series and check regularly for new releases! Please make more available in Audible!!

33 of 38 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

More bodice ripper than mystery

The narrator did a good job, but the story has problems--cheesy dialogue, too much repetition of the grisly details of the murder, sex scenes with too much unnecessary detail, and historical inaccuracies.

56 of 66 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anne
  • MURFREESBORO, TN, United States
  • 09-26-16

Outstanding Series

Complicated plots and finely detailed characters are yet again the author's hallmark.

In which we are introduced to Sebastian St Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant investigating soldier recently returned to London, shattered by his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars.

I found this Series while looking for additional books read by Davina Porter. There is no one better and this Series has become a favorite, just read for the second time (hence the 5 star rating)!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging...For a While

I like the time period of this novel and the protagonist, Sebastian St. Cyr, is an intriguing hero. In addition, as a straight whodunit, it works (the actual criminal was a nice surprise). But as there is very little subtext to the main characters and the narrative goes from one suspect to another to another, I found it less engaging as the book moved on to its conclusion.

While I like the way Davina Porter narrates the Outlander books, I wasn't wild about her narration of this novel. It was difficult to discern the male characters (and several times, I got them confused when they were conversing). I particularly didn't like the voicing of Sebastian, who came off as whiny and annoying when he should've sounded smart and dashing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Menon
  • Florida, US
  • 03-30-15

Amazingly Beautiful!!

Absolutely brilliant, It gives you a look and appreciation of Crime Scene Investigation without the modern day perks of computer analysis, finger prints and DNA. There is a certain dark humor which I really enjoyed, very strong characters which I wouldn't have been able to read without. The story is gripping, the characters move you, and the best of all Davina Porters narration and voice makes your toes curl with ecstasy.

I can't download the second in the series fast enough!!!

15 of 18 people found this review helpful