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Why Mermaids Sing by C. S. Harris

Why Mermaids Sing

by C. S. Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries (3)

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5202228,977 (4.06)59



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This is the third book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. C.S. Harris is an excellent writer and had me hooked from beginning to end. The series is very atmospheric of the dark underside of Regency London. The plot is flawlessly constructed with lots of twists and turns. The characters are all well-drawn. The good ones you will love and the bad ones you will learn to hate. I am looking forward to the next book and I highly recommend this series to those who like historical fiction, romance and mystery. If you decide to read this series you should read it in order and start with the first book, What Angels Fear. ( )
  EadieB | Oct 3, 2018 |
I thought this one was the best of the series yet...and they have all been 4.5-5 star books. In addition to several murders to solve we also learned some well kept secrets f the St. Cyr family and what lengths people will go to and what they will sacrifice to cover their guilt and shame. It's a fast paced page turner that you won't want to end. ( )
  Carol420 | Sep 30, 2018 |
Why Mermaids Sing
4 Stars

Local Magistrate Henry Lovejoy seeks the aid of Sebastian St. Cyr when the sons of several prominent families are found viciously butchered. Skilled at ferreting out the truth, Sebastian’s investigation exposes a deadly web of lies that someone is willing to kill to keep secret.

A rather straightforward serial killer mystery set in Regency England. Nevertheless, the aspects of the case make for gripping reading and the twists and turns in Sebastian’s personal life are very satisfying.

The murder mystery is definitely one of the more brutal and gruesome in the series and Harris leaves little to the imagination. While the details of the underlying crime make it possible to understand the killer’s motivation, the actions cannot be condoned or accepted.

In terms of Kat and Sebastian’s relationship, Harris resolves the keeping secrets trope quite satisfactorily although Sebastian’s reaction to Kat’s deception could have been better. The most significant development, i.e., that Kat is Hendon’s biological daughter moves the story into new and intriguing directions. Hopefully, the changes in the romantic angle will be permanent as Kat has never been a favorite of mine.

All in all, this series gets better with each installment and the blurb for the next book has me eager to continue. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
After I'd listened again to Who Buries the Dead, the 10th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries set during Regency England, I checked out and listened to book 3, Why Mermaids Sing. It had been two years since I'd listened to book 10 and almost three since I'd read book three. I enjoyed both books both times, but there was a big difference between the two: I hadn't remembered anything about Who Buries the Dead, but this mystery was so horrific that I remembered who the killer was and the motive. Okay, I'd completely forgotten this was the book with an important milestone in Sebastian's romance with Kat Boleyn, but I'm sure you'll agree it pales in comparison to the murder. There's also a couple of thrilling escape scenes.

The book opens with a frightened young nobleman riding through the dark. His body is found the next morning in a sickening condition. As St. Cyr investigates, it becomes clear that this was not the killer's first victim.

I'm familiar with narrator Davina Porter's work from Anne Perry audio books. She does as well by this series except for Magistrate Sir Henry Lovejoy. She read aloud the description of Lovejoy's unusually high voice for a man and didn't give him a high voice. Why? ( )
  JalenV | Sep 5, 2017 |
Note: There are necessarily spoilers for previous books in this series.


This is the third book in the historical crime fiction series set in 1811 Regency England, and featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, the twenty-eight year old Viscount Devlin. In the first book, he was suspected of a murder he did not commit, and had to become something of a Sherlock Holmes to find the real murderer to save his own skin. In the second, he is asked to help solve a murder, based on his expertise evinced in his own case.

You may also wish to consult my post on "An Introduction to the Regency Era."

In this book, which takes place eight months after the first book, Devlin is approached by Sir Henry Lovejoy, the chief magistrate at Queen Square, with whom he has become friends. Lovejoy informs Devlin about a series of grisly murders in which the bodies of young men have been drained of blood, carved up, and left displayed in very public places, with odd items stuffed into their mouths. Jurisdiction for investigation has been given to Bow Street (the Bow Street Runners, a precursor of Scotland Yard, was the name of London's first detective force, established in 1753). But both Lovejoy and Devlin remain committed to solving the string of murders, and of course, Devlin eventually does, albeit at considerable risk to his own life.

As in previous books, Devlin is aided by his “Watson,” the surgeon Paul Gibson; his mistress, the beautiful but low-born actress Kat Boleyn (who refuses to marry him because Devlin’s father would disinherit him if they married); and the former urchin Tom, who now serves as Devlin’s “tiger,” or handler of his horses.

A stunning cliff-hanger ending, however, puts his relationship with Kat in jeopardy.

Evaluation: The circumstances surrounding this crime are much more interesting than the usual “serial killer” motif. And one becomes invested in the recurring characters. I look forward to seeing what happens to them in subsequent books in the series. ( )
  nbmars | Dec 7, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Biel, ScottCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Legato, GingerDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mollica, GeneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, who suffered so much, and are still suffering, from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
For the people of New Orleans and the Gulf coast, who suffered so much, and are still suffering, from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
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Fear twisted Dominic Stanton's stomach, compressed his chest until his breath came shallow and quick.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451225333, Mass Market Paperback)

Murder has jarred London’s elite. The sons of prominent families have been found at dawn in public places, partially butchered, with strange objects stuffed in their mouths. Once again, the local magistrate turns to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, for help. Moving from the gritty world of London’s docks to the drawing rooms of Mayfair, Sebastian confronts his most puzzling—and disturbing—case yet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

September, 1811. Someone is slaying the wealth young sons of London's prominent familes, butchered and with objects stuffed in their mouths. St. Cyr soon finds a connection between the killer's calling card and a John Donne poem.

» see all 4 descriptions

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