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Who Buries the Dead

by C. S. Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries (10)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2321588,085 (4.02)33
"London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription KING CHARLES, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim's kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian's powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends. Working in concert with his fiercely independent wife, Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects that range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen. But as one brutal murder follows another, it is the connection between the victims and ruthless former army officer Sinclair, Lord Oliphant, that dramatically raises the stakes. Once, Oliphant nearly destroyed Sebastian in a horrific wartime act of carnage and betrayal. Now the vindictive former colonel might well pose a threat not only to Sebastian but to everything--and everyone--Sebastian holds most dear"--… (more)
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» See also 33 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
A wonderful , well written, historical murder mystery. Enjoyable characters and Regency atmosphere. ( )
  scot2 | Jan 20, 2021 |
Sebastian St. Cyr mystery #10
A revenge-laden plot to do away with Sebastian is intertwined with his convoluted investigation of Stanley Preston's murder. While Sebastian's difficulties in determining Preston's final movements lead him into the wretched back alleys and byways of impoverished London, his history of betrayal during the war in Portugal adds to his personal danger.

The twinned intrigues were rather discordant in that the two scenarios could have perhaps been better told as stand-alone plots in separate books. The elaborate interwoven situation, with attempted assassinations and searches for witnesses to Preston’s murder, derailed a great deal of the enjoyment with these storylines. Conflicting motivations with disreputable characters made for an inconsistent narrative which took me out of the mystery a little too often.

Historically, factual details added an interesting depth to bringing the scene alive with captivating events. Hero’s research on the social condition of the impoverished costermongers was a clever device to weave into the mystery since it placed her in a useful setting to help Sebastian, but never felt contrived. My major niggle with this ongoing series was my disappointment in (this really is a big spoiler) the author “killing off” Jamie Knox. After considerable writerly development, I had a great liking for that character. Now, so much fascinating potential for participating in future tales is lost. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Aug 6, 2020 |
Hum... not a favorite installment, for a number of reasons. I struggled to stay connected with the story. Yes, Harris continues to present a very vivid depiction of England of the time period. Interesting focus on burial plot that contained the remains of not only King Henry the VIII and Jane Seymour, but also Charles I. The Sub-themes of chattel slavery and the underground market for relics are new themes for Harris to explore. While she does a good job of tying these sub-themes to the mystery at hand, I have to say that including Jane Austin as a character - and the various references to her novels - was an unnecessary and frivolous inclusion to the story. It added nothing, although it may be exciting for Jane Austin fans. The writing still continues to be solid, as is the character development, but I feel that this story was rushed. The publication schedule indicates that she was churning out a book a year (except for one instance where there was a two year gap between books), so maybe the author started to develop writer's fatigue. For example, I found Sebastian to be just a little too fixated on his earlier military experience with one of the suspects for any clear reasoning. Clouded judgement can be tricky, and annoying when it is harped on time and time again.

While still an decent mystery, this one just did not entice me like earlier installments in the series have. Fingers crossed this is an anomaly and that the next book is more captivating. ( )
  lkernagh | Jun 3, 2020 |
This took me a while to get into. It felt kind of repetitive with the constant going back and forth interviewing different suspects and not much going on for the first half of the book. The second part of the book improved because now the interviews were giving some results and the background of the suspects were getting more flushed out. I liked it but not one of the better ones in the series. ( )
  twinkley | May 14, 2020 |
With this book have I now read all the books published in the Sebastian St. Cyr series and this is the first one that I have not read in order since I waited for it to be published in paperback and manage to get an ARC of the book that comes after this one and read it some months before this book. I did not mind that terrible, love this series and, despite knowing some things before I read this book did I find the book just as excellent as the rest of the books in the series.

I can without a doubt, say that this is one of my favorite series. I love historical mysteries and each book in this series has interesting cases mixed with Sebastian's own search for his mother and true father. Now he is also a father, and his wife's father is his arch nemesis which of course makes family life a bit difficult. Then again, his sister already resents him for being a bastard and still standing in line for inheriting the family title. It's not easy for him, and he has a tendency to find trouble. And, this time, he must solve the case of a headless body.

The case is interesting and I enjoy that Harris has added Jane Austen and her brother to the story. It was hilarious sometimes with everyone around Sebastian's reading this new popular book with an unknown writer. And, the daughter of the murdered man was some years earlier persuaded to not marry a sea captain. Brilliant move from Harris side!

I think even those that haven't read the previous books will enjoy this book. However, I would definitely recommend a new reader to start from the beginning! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheckles, JenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shutterstock.comCover imagessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Let the dead bury their dead.

Luke 9:60
Dedication
For my own Aunt Henrietta:

Henrietta Wegmann Ecuyer

1909-2005

A grand and inspiring lady
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Sunday, 21 March 1813

They called it Bloody Bridge.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"London, 1813. The vicious decapitation of Stanley Preston, a wealthy, socially ambitious plantation owner, at Bloody Bridge draws Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, into a macabre and increasingly perilous investigation. The discovery near the body of an aged lead coffin strap bearing the inscription KING CHARLES, 1648 suggests a link between this killing and the beheading of the deposed seventeenth-century Stuart monarch. Equally troubling, the victim's kinship to the current Home Secretary draws the notice of Sebastian's powerful father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, who will exploit any means to pursue his own clandestine ends. Working in concert with his fiercely independent wife, Hero, Sebastian finds his inquiries taking him from the wretched back alleys of Fish Street Hill the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair as he amasses a list of suspects that range from an eccentric Chelsea curiosity collector to the brother of an unassuming but brilliantly observant spinster named Jane Austen. But as one brutal murder follows another, it is the connection between the victims and ruthless former army officer Sinclair, Lord Oliphant, that dramatically raises the stakes. Once, Oliphant nearly destroyed Sebastian in a horrific wartime act of carnage and betrayal. Now the vindictive former colonel might well pose a threat not only to Sebastian but to everything--and everyone--Sebastian holds most dear"--

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