From the desk of Sophia Rose:
Napoleon is meeting his Waterloo. Meanwhile in London, a British spy with a roving eye is being fished out of the Thames. Sebastian’s friends are implicated in his death… and the deaths to follow.
June 1815. The people of London wait, breathlessly, for news as Napoleon and the forces united against him hurtle toward their final reckoning at Waterloo. Among them is Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, frustrated to find himself sidelined while recovering from a dangerous wound he recently received in Paris. When the mutilated corpse of Major Miles Sedgewick surfaces from the murky waters of the Thames, Sebastian is drawn into the investigation of a murder that threatens one of his oldest and dearest friends, Irish surgeon Paul Gibson.
Gibson’s lover, Alexi Sauvage, was tricked into a bigamous marriage with the victim. But there are other women who may have wanted the cruel, faithless Major dead. His mistress, his neglected wife, and their young governess who he seduced all make for compelling suspects. Even more interesting to Sebastian is one of Sedgewick’s fellow officers, a man who shared Sedgewick’s macabre interest in both old English folklore and the occult. And then there’s a valuable list of Londoners who once spied for Napoleon that Sedgewick was said to be transporting to Charles, Lord Jarvis, the Regent’s powerful cousin who also happens to be Sebastian’s own father-in-law.
The deeper Sebastian delves into Sedgewick’s life, the more he learns about the Major’s many secrets and the list of people who could have wanted him dead grows even longer. Soon others connected to Sedgewick begin to die strange, brutal deaths and more evidence emerges that links Alexi to the crimes. Certain that Gibson will be implicated alongside his lover, Sebastian finds himself in a desperate race against time to stop the killings and save his friends from the terror of the gallows.
Who Cries for the Lost is the eighteenth book in a strongly connected series. While each new installment brings a standalone murder investigation, there is much in the way of backstory for Sebastian and the regular cast of characters so that each book builds on what came before it.
Sebastian has been a brooding yet brilliant lead character since the beginning is joined by a growing cast of family, servants, friends, and more. Harris takes the time to make each memorable and part of the story tapestry.
She also has a gift that allows her villains to remain in the shadows until the end, but still have such presence that the reveal brings the reader face to face with someone who is not completely unknown. They are worthy and menacing opponents for the tough and determined Sebastian.
The pacing is steady with bursts of pulse-pounding action moments. Sebastian is the primary narrator, but the reader receives brief perspective changes to several of the series regulars, particularly Hero as she helps her husband with his investigations. This gives the book more depth and complexity.
The investigation stirs up more than one set of people keen to stop Sebastian, and permanently, at that. My heart was in my throat as Sebastian navigated the dark streets of London’s east end and, of course, encountered deadly danger. Naturally, the killer is not easy to spot until right when C. S. Harris wants the reader to know about them.
A Standout Series
With the final battle of the Napoleonic War rising in the background and a grisly murder and subsequent murders filling the foreground, Who Cries for the Lost dug deep and gripped me so hard I was right there with Sebastian through it all. The Sebastian St. Cyr series stands out among so many other historical mysteries as an evocative, phenomenal, must reads for those who appreciate Andrea Penrose’s Wrexton and Sloane as well as Anne Perry’s Thomas and Charlotte Pitt.
5 out of 5 Stars
- Who Cries for the Lost: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery (Book 18), by C. S. Harris
- Berkley (April 18, 2023)
- Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook (352) pages
- ISBN: 978-0593102725
- Genre: Historical Mystery, Detective Mystery
AMAZON | PUBLISHER | ADD TO GOODREADS
We received a review copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Cover image courtesy of Berkley © 2023; text Sophia Rose © 2023, austenprose.com, an Amazon affiliate.
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I love the St Cyr books too but am way behind in the series due to the pricing policies As the series became more popular the e-book costs went up and they aren’t adjusted downwards as a paperback is published so I usually wait for a paperback to be cheaper than the e-book. I look forward to this book. Thanks for the review.
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That is crazy! I didn’t realize. I usually get a hardback copy with cashed in rewards points, but if I had to plunk down cash, I’d wait, too. :)
This is a fabulous series. :)
What a fantastic review, Sophia. I always appreciate your reviews, and I hope this one will entice new readers to the series. They are so well written. I am looking forward to reading this with grim expectation as each book in the series builds the threat against Sebastian ever higher.
I just finished book 12 and it was a grim wonder. At any rate, I am behind you a few books. I give myself a break after each book before I tackle the next in the series. They leave me drained, yet ever more wrapped up in the recurring characters, and the overall mystery yet to be solved. I am always glad there are so many books in the series yet to read. I love the author’s notes at the end of each book, reading more history of the times that relate to her story.
Thank you for such an informative yet non-spoilerish review.
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What a wonderful compliment, Michelle! I struggled to write this one as there was so much swirling around in my mind after reading it. I’m glad you enjoyed what I said and, yes, I work hard not to spoiler the good stuff. :)
Thanks for the lovely review, Sophia. I have enjoyed this series, and freely admit that Sebastian is my book boyfriend!
Thanks for your help polishing it up. Oh yes, I’ve been crushing on Sebastian since book one. :)