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Where Serpents Sleep
Sebastian St Cyr Mystery, No 4

by C.S. Harris

      Hero Jarvis, the independent daughter of a political leader, is doing research at a London house of refuge for prostitutes for a paper to be given at a session of Parliament, when the house is invaded by a gang of thugs who brutally murder eight young prostitutes.  Hero escapes with one of the prostitutes.  In the escape, the prostitute is shot and, while dying, tells Hero that the thugs' purpose had been to kill her.  Hero is determined to seek justice and appeals to St Cyr, who in the past has solved crimes.  Hero’s father is the sworn enemy of St Cyr, but St Cyr is intrigued by the incident and agrees to help her.  They determine that the young prostitute was of gentle birth.  In the investigation of her past, they become involved with noble Mayfair aristocrats, the pimp of the murdered girls, and a Bow Street magistrate who patronizes the prostitutes.  It becomes a race against time to track the killer before more murders occur.

Where Serpents Sleep brings the welcome return of Sebastian St Cyr in this excellent historical page turner. The historical details are excellently researched, with glimpses into London's prostitute filled underworld, and the private worlds of the wealthy who indulge in its depravity.   The characters are fully developed.  The action is constant and realistic.

Another adventure of Sebastian St Cyr will hopefully appear in the not too distant future.

Highly recommended.


Reviews of other titles in the series

What Angels Fear # 1
When Gods Die # 2
Where Serpents Sleep # 4
Where Shadows Dance # 6
When Maidens Mourn #7 [review 1] [review 2]
Why Kings Confess # 9 [review 1] [review 2]


The Book

Obsidian / New American Library
9780451225122 / 0451225120
Historical Mystery / England 1812

The Reviewer

Barbara Buhrer
Reviewed 2009
© 2009