Monday, April 16, 2018

Why Kill the Innocent by C.S. Harris

Why Kill the Innocent: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery by C.S. Harris --- 335 pages including Author's Note.

The 13th entry in this superb Regency Era historical mystery series is Harris's best yet. Set against the backdrop of the 1814 Frost Fair --- the last time that a a bitterly cold winter caused the River Thames to freeze over so that the denizens of London could walk from one side of the river to the other on solid ice --- the story begins with Sebastian's wife Hero literally stumbling over the body of a murdered woman buried in a snow drift in the noisome Clerkenwell slums.

The mystery only deepens when Hero recognizes the corpse as the accomplished Jane Ambrose, a former musical prodigy who teaches piano to the children of the wealthy and powerful --- the Princess Charlotte,  Heiress Presumptive to the British throne, chief among them.  Hero and her husband Viscount St. Cyr know they must move quickly to investigate this death, since the Palace will act to suppress Jane's murder, less any hint of scandal attach to the Princess.

Sebastian and Hero soon discover that Jane, constrained on every side by the misogynistic norms of the time, trapped in an abusive and exploitative marriage, has involved herself in the palace intrigues surrounding the Princess and her despicable father, the Prince Regent. Their dogged pursuit of the truth and some measure of justice for Jane puts both their lives at risk.

Harris's historical expertise and her dramatic acumen combine in a story filled with suspense that illuminates both the glittering facade and the dark depths of Regency London, from the highest to the lowest level. Several historical persons make appearances in the book, while key characters such as Jane Ambrose are based on real people.

I highly recommend all the Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries.

Click HERE to read a review from Publishers Weekly.

Click HERE to read a review from Kirkus Reviews.

Click HERE to read a review from Booklist.

Click HERE to read a review from 

Click HERE to find more about the London Frost Fair of 1814 from the BBC News Magazine 

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