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What Angels Fear
Sebastian 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.

Reviews of other titles in the series

What Angels Fear, No 1
When Gods Die, No 2
Where Serpents Sleep, No 4
Where Shadows Dance, No 6
When Maidens Mourn [review 1] [review 2]

The Book

New American Library (Penguin Group USA)
November 2005
Historical Crime [1811, London]
More at
NOTE: Some violence

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2006
© 2006