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When Falcons Fall by C. S. Harris
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When Falcons Fall

by C. S. Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries (11)

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. A young girl is found dead on the banks of the River Teme with a bottle of laudanum by her side. The local constable thinks it's suicide, but the young inexperienced magistrate is not so sure and turns to Sebastian St. Cyr for help. Sebastian is in the village with his wife and young son to visit the family of a dead friend. But, he is also there trying to find out more about his ancestry. Now, he must figure out who would kill a young girl who just like Sebastian came to Ayleswick-on-Teme to find out more about the past.

Sebastian St. Cyr is one of my favorite series, and I have read all books except the one previous (going to buy it as soon as the paperback version comes out) and I've been looking forward to reading this one. Sebastian, Hero, and little Simon are in the little village to pay respect to Jamie Knox grandmother and to give her a gift from Jamie. Jamie must have been killed in the previous book because I haven't read about it and it saddens me that he is gone since I quite liked Sebastian half-brother. Sebastian is trying to find his father and also figure out where a necklace he has comes from. But, he must also find out who would kill Emma Chance, could it have something to do with her trying to find her father? Or is there a greater plot going on with Napoleon's brother Lucien Bonaparte staying close by the village?

There is a lot going on, the village has lots of secrets, and it seems that the more Sebastian digs in the past the worse it gets with more people getting killed. It seems that there is a killer loose and the person in question will do anything to silence the ones that can give him/her away.

When Falcons Fall is one of the best books in the series, the case is deeply tragic especially for Sebastian who feels for the young dead girl who just like him only wanted to find out who fathered her. It's a page-turner and it was hard to figure out who was behind the murdered, especially since the suspects kept dying like flies.

This is a series that just keeps getting stronger and I can't wait to find out what will happen next for Sebastian, Hero, and Simon.

4.5 stars

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review.

Read this review and others on A Bookaholic Swede ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to the village of Aylswick for two reasons. The first, and more openly acknowledged, is to deliver a last gift from his friend, innkeeper Jamie Knox, recently killed, to Jamie's mother.

The unacknowledged reason is to see if he can find out who Jamie's, and possibly his own, real father is. Because the Viscount and the innkeeper looked startlingly alike, even to possessing startling, yellow eyes.

What he really winds up doing is responding to the request of the local squire and justice of the peace, Archie Rawlins, to assist in the investigation of the murder of a young woman recently come to town. Her name, she said was Emma Chance, widow of Captain Chance, and she was on a sketching expedition.

But as Devlin investigates, none of the facts known about the young woman add up.

Obviously, at number eleven in the series, there's a lot of back story here. I didn't find it difficult to pick up enough to engage with the characters and get involved in the story. Harris handles the historical background well, too. Lucien Bonaparte, currently a prisoner of war, is living in the area with his family; it's the latter part of the Napoleonic Wars, and Napoleon is on the ropes but not yet defeated. The war and the political and social fallout from both the political ideas coming from France and the enclosure movement in England, but none of this is overplayed.

The characters are very good, too. Devlin and his wife, Hero, are an interesting and attractive couple. The supporting characters, whether friend, unfriend, or killer, have some complexity, plausibly mixed good and bad, and comprehensible motivations. Number eleven isn't usually the place to start a series, but I think I'll be looking for more of these.

Recommended.

I received a free electronic galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Why did I put off continuing this series for so long? Like a comforting old sweater, Sebastian St. Cyr and his lady Hero are here to solve the mystery, but not before they thoroughly explore the countryside, develop the mystery of Sebastian's own past, and encounter Napoleon Bonaparte's brother. This mystery is, of course, centered around a murder (that quickly becomes multiple murders) and it turns out the small, rural village Sebastian finds himself in has more than its share of secrets. Overall, this was a great read, and exactly the book I needed right now. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jul 27, 2018 |
When Falcons Fall
4 Stars

Sebastian St. Cyr and his wife, Hero, have travelled to the Shropshire countryside on a personal quest. But when a young widow is found dead, the local magistrate turns to Sebastian for help. It soon becomes clear that the victim is not quite who she seemed and exposing the dark secrets of a small village can have deadly consequences.

There are numerous characters and motivations to keep track of in this installment and it can get confusing at times. Nevertheless, the investigation is interesting, the climax is exciting and the resolution is satisfying.

The depth and breadth of Harris's research and her skill at merging historical fact with the suspense of her fiction is impressive as always, and provides additional nuance to the story.

Sebastian and Hero's relationship is another highlight. They work so well together as a pair, and trust each other to investigate the avenues that open up in their own arenas. They have made amazing strides since their first case together.

In terms of the ongoing arc surrounding Sebastian's parentage, Harris does provide some closure in this book, but the mystery still remains unsolved. Hopefully, this issue will not drag on much longer as it is high time for a resolution.

All in all, another fabulous addition to the series. Sadly, there is a bit of a wait until the next book is published. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
The writing is enjoyable and intriguing, but has lost some of the tension now that Sebastian and Hero are happily married. They are still engaging as they work together and apart to solve the mystery of a young woman's death, but some of the depth has been lost as the series has continued. ( )
  kjensen55 | Nov 5, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lutfi-Proctor, SamanthaAuthor photosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mollica, GeneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Say, will the falcon, stooping from above,
Smit with her varying plumage, spare the dove?
...
Admires the jay the insect's gilded wings?
Or hears the hawk when Philomela sings?


--Alexander Pope
Dedication
In memory of Banjo, Scout, and Indie,
my three forever-kittens
First words
Ayleswick-on-Teme, Shropshire
Tuesday, 3 August 1813


It was the fly that got to him.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451471164, Hardcover)

The much-anticipated new entrée in the Sebastian St. Cyr “simply elegant”* historical mystery series, from the national bestselling author of Who Buries the Dead and Why Kings Confess.

Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village’s inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help.
 
Almost immediately, Sebastian realizes that Emma Chance did not, in truth, take her own life. Less easy to discern is exactly how she died, and why. For as Sebastian and Hero soon discover, Emma was hiding both her true identity and her real reasons for traveling to Ayleswick. Also troubling are the machinations of Lucien Bonaparte, the estranged brother of the megalomaniac French Emperor Napoleon. Held captive under the British government’s watchful eye, the younger Bonaparte is restless, ambitious, and treacherous.
 
Sebastian’s investigation takes on new urgency when he discovers that Emma was not the first, or even the second, beautiful young woman in the village to die under suspicious circumstances. Home to the eerie ruins of an ancient monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place of secrets that have festered among the villagers for decades—and a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian’s own unsettling origins. And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he’s willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer.


*Lisa Gardner

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 10 Jul 2015 22:02:19 -0400)

"The much-anticipated new entree in the Sebastian St. Cyr "simply elegant" historical mystery series, from the national bestselling author of Who Buries the Dead and Why Kings Confess. Ayleswick-on-Teme, 1813. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has come to this seemingly peaceful Shropshire village to honor a slain friend and on a quest to learn more about his own ancestry. But when the body of a lovely widow is found on the banks of the River Teme, a bottle of laudanum at her side, the village's inexperienced new magistrate turns to St. Cyr for help. Almost immediately, Sebastian realizes that Emma Chance did not, in truth, take her own life. Less easy to discern is exactly how she died, and why. For as Sebastian and Hero soon discover, Emma was hiding both her true identity and her real reasons for traveling to Ayleswick. Also troubling are the machinations of Lucien Bonaparte, the estranged brother of the megalomaniac French Emperor Napoleon. Held captive under the British government's watchful eye, the younger Bonaparte is restless, ambitious, and treacherous. Sebastian's investigation takes on new urgency when he discovers that Emma was not the first, or even the second, beautiful young woman in the village to die under suspicious circumstances. Home to the eerie ruins of an ancient monastery, Ayleswick reveals itself to be a dark and dangerous place of secrets that have festered among the villagers for decades--and a violent past that may be connected to Sebastian's own unsettling origins. And as he faces his most diabolical opponent ever, he is forced to consider what malevolence he's willing to embrace in order to destroy a killer.--… (more)

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