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Who Buries the Dead
Sebastian St. Cyr #10
CS Harris

3/3/2015/ ISBN 9780451417565
Mystery / Historical / England / 1800s

Reviewed by Brenda Weeaks


Harris’ latest mystery opens with the discovery of head left at Bloody Bridge. It’s late and Lord Devlin is appreciating the sight of his sleeping wife and new babe when Sir Henry LoveJoy of Bow Street calls him to the murder scene. Near the body is a metal strap that reads “King Charles I, 1648 -” -- The king beheaded by Oliver Cromwell and his Puritans. The mystery in this strap is no one knows where Charles I, Grandson to Mary, Queen of Scots, was buried. Or do they? The body - and the head - belongs to Mr Stanley Preston, a Jamaica sugar plantation owner. His has a temper and enemies. One of the suspects is the very man Lord Devlin wants to be guilty – so he can kill him. Lord Oliphant’s handsome face hides the evil within but Devlin has seen his work first hand. Through the mystery, Devlin has to sift through various suspects and their colleagues, set up timelines and match clues. It’s time consuming enough as it is and now his old friend, the opium eating doctor / coroner Paul Gibson, is too high to finish the postmortem or help dig up clues. What concerns Devlin most about this case is that these suspects are so wicked he fears for his wife and child. As Devlin detects, Hero researches Costermongers (underprivileged fruit/vegetable venders) as a part of her newspaper series. Devlin’s half-brother from his father’s side returns, as well as the half-sister on his mother’s side who loathes Devlin’s detecting; it embarrassing for the family. Jane Austin makes an appearance, too, during the height of her anonymous published work. Who Buries the Dead is a fascinating, complex mystery you don’t want to miss.

Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series is full of memorable characters. Sebastian and his wife have this hero appeal; readers want them to win and generously forgive their mistakes. Sebastian’s name and social status gives him a romantic quality. His description, tall dark hair, golden eyes and keen hearing give him a paranormal quality. Readers are intrigued by him. His wife, Hero, is from a privilege family but seeks to learn more about the poor in order to help them. She’s determined to be independent in her decisions and her marriage. Her father says she should have been born a man. They are the perfect pair. I really appreciate Harris’ writing; she pens the London 1813 atmosphere and dialogue in stirring detail. It pulls me in and doesn’t let me go even after the last page. If you enjoy British historical mysteries, you’ll enjoy this series.

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]
What Darkness Brings #8
Why Kings Confess # 9 [review 1] [review 2]
Who Buries the Dead #10 [review 1] [review 2]
When Falcons Fall
Who Slays the Wicked #14

Reviewed 2015