Sunday, April 27, 2014

Why Kings Confess by C.S. Harris

Why Kings Confess: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C.S. Harris --- 340 pages

This is the ninth in C.S. Harris' absorbing Regency mystery series featuring Sebastian St. Cyr and his wife Hero. In the frigid cold of January 1813, a secret mission from the Emperor Napoleon has arrived in London with an offer to negotiate a peace to the long war between Britain and France. Napoleon's army having just suffered a disastrous retreat from his ill-conceived winter invasion of Russia, the Emperor is willing to make terms with the British.

When a French physician attendant upon the head of the secret delegation is found brutally murdered and mutilated in a London slum, and a French emigre woman of notably anti-Royalist sentiments is found badly injured beside him, Sebastian initially suspects that someone wants to disrupt the already tenuous peace initiative. Among his chief suspects are his own father-in-law Lord Jarvis, and the surviving members of the French Royal family who found refuge in Britain: the brothers (and heirs) of Louis XVI and Louis and Marie Antoinette's daughter, Marie Therese.

Sebastian discovers that the injured emigre woman, Alexi Sauvage, was involved in a brutal ambush that happened during Sebastian's military service in the Peninsular War, and has haunted him ever since. Because of what happened then, he distrusts her evidence and her motives.

When Sebastian discovers a connection between this murder and the mystery of the Lost Dauphin, the boy prince who supposedly died in prison during the most savage days of the Revolution, he soon incurs the enmity of Marie Therese and her entourage, and becomes the target of repeated attacks.

And while all this is going on Hero is in the final days of her pregnancy, preparing for the imminent birth of their child, and Sebastian --- knowing Hero's mother's tragic history of miscarriages and still births --- is terrified that something will go wrong and he will lose her and the baby.

Murder, suspense, and all wrapped around a real historical mystery.  Learn more about C.S. Harris and the Sebastian St. Cyr series by clicking HERE to access her blog --- and read an excerpt from the next Sebastian St. Cyr mystery Who Buries the Dead, due out in 2015.


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