This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Who Buries the Dead by C. S. Harris

Who Buries the Dead

by C. S. Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries (10)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1851198,320 (4.04)20
"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)



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 20 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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 |
Who Buries the Dead
4 Stars

When the decapitated corpse of a West Indies slave owner is discovered on an isolated bridge next to a relic from Charles I's coffin, Sebastian St. Cyr and his wife Hero are drawn into a macabre investigation with a host of suspects. These include a malicious curiosity dealer, an injured officer in His Majesty's army as well as Jane Austen's banker brother, and a vindictive foe from Sebastian's past.

An entertaining addition to the series and the inclusion of Jane Austen as a minor secondary character is an added bonus as the intertextual clues from her works have an interesting effect on the reader's perceptions of characters and motivations.

Although Sebastian's investigation is a garden-variety murder and the suspect pool is rather limited, there are still some gripping moments that keep one turning the pages. The identity of the villain is not easy to discern although there are sufficient clues to figure it all out.

As with all of Harris's books, the historical detail is fascinating and the stories behind the various relics and curiosities mentioned throughout the storyline are captivating.

In terms of Sebastian's personal life, he and Hero are growing ever closer and their marriage is becoming a true partnership in every sense. One inevitable effect of this, however, is an understanding of the perils of their work and the realization that they have so much more to lose now.

All in all, a well-crafted story with characters that become more and more engaging with every installment. Unfortunately, the next book is the most recent and it will be long wait until April 2017 for the follow-up. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Note: There are necessarily spoilers for previous books in this series.


This is the tenth book in the historical crime fiction series set in Regency England, this one in March of 1813, and featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, the twenty-nine 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 subsequent books, he was consulted on murders that involved the nobility, because he had an entrée into the upper level of society that would have been denied to the regular police. He agrees because the thought of anybody stealing away someone else’s a life is an abomination to him, especially after the traumatic instances of unjust murder he witnessed in the army, and for which he still feels guilt, even though he could not have prevented any of it.

Devlin is aided by the counsel of his friend, the surgeon Paul Gibson, who serves as a Watson to St. Cyr’s Holmes, as well as by Sir Henry Lovejoy, now a "Bow Street Runner" (detective) who has become a friend of Devlin’s. Devlin also has his young horse handler Tom, a former street urchin, to do reconnaissance work for him.

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

As this book begins, almost two months have elapsed since the previous book. Devlin and Hero’s new young son, Simon St. Cyr, is seven weeks old, giving one more reason for Devlin to worry about the safety of his loved ones, especially since he becomes involved in another murder.

In this case, Stanley Preston, the irascible cousin of the Home Secretary, has been found not only murdered, but with his severed head up on a pike on the small bridge where his body was found. Devlin’s friend Sir Henry Lovejoy, one of the Bow Street magistrates, has called on Devlin for his help.

Ironically, that the same year, the burial vault of King Charles I had been discovered. The king was beheaded almost 200 years before. The vault also contained the coffins of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, and was located quite near to the location where Preston met his grisly death. It happened that Preston was a collector of “curiosities” including severed heads. Was there a correspondence?

Complicating matters was the fact that any number of people had recently quarreled with Preston, including Henry Austen, a banker who was the real life brother of Jane Austen, both of whom also play a part in the story. [The author consulted Jane Austen’s letters and biographies for her portrayal of the Austen family, and also adds humorous references in her book to some of Austen’s characters. (For example, Hero names their cat Mr. Darcy.) At this time, Jane Austen’s books were the talk of the “ton” although the books had been published anonymously. Sense and Sensibility first appeared in 1811 under the pseudonym "A Lady”, and Pride and Prejudice was published early in 1812. Austen’s authorship of the books did not remain a secret for long, and in this book, Devlin is one of those who discovers it early on, in the course of his investigation.]

Devlin keeps getting shot at however, and he isn’t sure how it is related to the death of Preston, and the others who turn up dead.

Hero has been putting herself in the way of danger as well; she is working on a series of articles about London’s working poor, a project which takes her into less than salubrious areas. Moreover, those who threaten Devlin seem to be targeting his wife and child as well. Naturally Hero’s ruthless father-in-law, the powerful Lord Jarvis, promises to kill Devlin if any harm should befall Hero or Simon.

Other continuing plot threads include the worsening opium addiction of Devlin’s friend, the surgeon Paul Gibson, and Devlin’s deepening feelings for Hero:

“He loved her with a tenderness and a passion that humbled, awed, and frightened him; he was closer to her than he had ever been to anyone.”

Devlin does end up losing someone with whom he feels an inexorable bond, and this tragedy will inevitably affect what he does in the next book.

Evaluation: I’ve become quite invested in these characters by this tenth book, and can’t wait to see what happens to them next. I also love the historical aspects of the books; I learn more about the Regency Era with each one. ( )
  nbmars | Dec 21, 2016 |
A taut and compelling mystery based on the murder of a slave owner and the reappearance of an enemy.
  mcmlsbookbutler | Nov 12, 2016 |
Who Buries the Dead - C.S. Harris
4 stars

More grave robbing, but this time it isn’t the ‘sack ‘em up boys’ who are stealing body parts. It’s a bit of an aristocratic hobby, acquiring and displaying the severed heads of the famous. Bizarre. The head of King Charles I is missing from his coffin and a number of fresher headless bodies have turned up in Regency London. In his search for the killer, Sebastian confronts an old enemy, thwarts an assassin, and makes the acquaintance of Jane Austen. (Fortunately there are no zombies in this story.) The author’s notes for this book are very interesting.
  msjudy | Jun 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Let the dead bury their dead.

Luke 9:60
For my own Aunt Henrietta:

Henrietta Wegmann Ecuyer


A grand and inspiring lady
First words
Sunday, 21 March 1813

They called it Bloody Bridge.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.04)
1 1
3 11
3.5 5
4 36
4.5 5
5 17

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 138,750,469 books! | Top bar: Always visible