1813 when the body of a young widow is discovered by the river
in Ayleswick, a small village in Southern England. Knowing
the investigation of this supposed suicide is over his head,
the young squire who is to run the investigation calls Sebastian
St. Cyr to help. Sebastian, he knows, has solved several murder
cases back in London and is now, together with his wife, Hero,
and young son, staying at Ayleswick.
Sebastian learns that the boy who found the body is Lucien
Bonaparte's son, he suspects an international intrigue. Lucien
is, of course, the younger brother of the "Beast"
as Napoleon Bonaparte, then emperor of France, is known in
the rest of Europe. Lucien Bonaparte has, supposedly, quarreled
with Napoleon and is in England as a refugee. But is Lucien
really England's ally or is he there as a spy? Sebastian wonders.
real alliance is not the only mystery surrounding this case.
Ayleswick may seem peaceful now, but soon, Sebastian discovers,
an old resentment for events long past is still very much
alive in the minds of the villagers. Events that took place
sixteen years ago, when the king passed the Bill of Enclosure,
which allowed the rich gentlemen of the region to take the
common grounds from the people. The passing of the Bill of
Enclosure had disastrous consequences for the villagers who
were left destitute, when not dead, by the brutal retaliation
against those who opposed it. While Sebastian investigates
the murder, soon to be murders, in the village, Hero runs
an inquiry of her own to gather information for the book she
is writing on the Enclosure.
passed as suicides, pregnancies out of wedlock and contraband
rings are some of the secrets Sebastian unfolds during his
investigation. Secrets that could be related to his ongoing
search for his real father. A father who gave him an uncommon
shade of yellow eyes he shares with one woman in the village.
Will she help him on his search? Or will he accept that sometimes
it's better that the truth remains hidden?
this is the 11th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery series,
the author, C.S. Harris, has done such an excellent job introducing
the reader to the story and its protagonist's background that
can be read on its own. I testify to that, because it was,
for me, the first book I've read in the series, and I was
never confused. Yet, I was so caught up in the story that
I plan to read the previous installments, and I highly recommend
you do the same.
of other titles in the series
Angels Fear # 1
Gods Die # 2
Serpents Sleep # 4
Shadows Dance # 6
When Maidens Mourn #7 [review
Darkness Brings #8
Why Kings Confess # 9 [review
Buries the Dead