St. Cyr Mystery, No 1
by C S Harris
In January, 1811, all Britain awaits
news of whether the Prince of Wales is going to be made Regent.
In the same month, a woman is brutally raped and murdered in a church,
and the duelling pistol found at the scene of the crime makes the
Bow Street Runners think they have their man. The suspect is Sebastian
St Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a man recently returned from the wars who
is over-fond of fighting duels. When a constable is stabbed while
making his arrest, Sebastian flees and hides out in London, working
behind the scenes to solve the crime and save himself from the noose.
Byronic and tortured, Sebastian with his almost supernatural powers
of sight and hearing and doomed love for actress Kat Boleyn, makes
his debut here. Regency London is shown in a realistic light with
stark contrasts between rich and poor and an almost Dickensian cast
of characters. There is Tom, the canny boy of the streets; a wooden-legged
Irish doctor; body snatchers and two Machiavellian, shadowy string-pullers.
The plot itself is quite easy to guess, so this needs to be worked
on in book two, but there is plenty of action as Sebastian roams
the streets in search of the truth. Anybody who enjoys Ashley Gardner's
series will probably also like this. If you are looking for a cozy,
you might find it too graphic, but the gritty descriptions bear
the ring of historical truth.
of other titles in the series
Angels Fear, No 1
Gods Die, No 2
Serpents Sleep, No 4
Shadows Dance, No 6
When Maidens Mourn [review
American Library (Penguin Group USA)
Crime [1811, London]
NOTE: Some violence