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Why Mermaids Sing

by C. S. Harris

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries (3)

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5862730,362 (4.05)80
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.
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When two young noblemen are found brutally murdered under similar circumstances, Sebastian St Cyr joins with the local London magistrate to investigate. The killer’s pattern correlates with a John Donne poem, and the victims’ families were all connected to a sea voyage from India a few years earlier, where the ship was caught in a storm, the crew mutinied, and lives were lost. The murderer seems to have detailed knowledge of the voyage: were they a passenger? And if not, then what is the connection and their motive?

As Sebastian gradually pieces together the details leading to a suspect, there are further developments in his personal relationships. Sebastian and his father are on better terms than in previous books, and Sebastian seems to be making headway in convincing his mistress, the actress Kat Boleyn, to marry him despite the likely societal consequences. But if you think Sebastian’s personal life is going to settle down, think again.

I really enjoyed this installment in the series. Both the mystery and Sebastian’s story arc were well-crafted, and I’m eager to see what happens next. ( )
  lauralkeet | Apr 8, 2021 |
Book 3 of a series.
I have mixed feelings about this one. The plot felt as if the author hadn't decided how the life of Sebastian St. Cyr was going to progress. In Book 2, we are left with three unresolved situations ( Kat and Sebastian's romantic relationship, Kat hiding her association with French spies from her lover who wants to marry her, and Sebastian's search for his mother).

As well, there continues to be Kat's backstory of her birth, early life and ultimately, the big reveal, which is meant to tidy up the conundrum as to whether she should/shouldn't marry into the St. Cyr family. Along with these personal developments, there is a series of horrifying murders, which our main character, Sebastian St. Cyr, has to unravel in order to find the person responsible.

By the end of the novel, one unresolved situation is never explored again and the identity of the murderer was rather far-fetched for the reader to feel tantalised by clues. Since the raison d'être for the killings was handled in a rather clunky manner, the overall narrative felt raw, as if a rough draught of the plot was never revised. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Jun 29, 2020 |
Wow. These are so good. I loved the pace of this one.

I'll be honest. The personal twist, I didn't see. Though, I suspect the other hinted at in the end of the book. I'm not really great at mystery. But the historical, atmospheric, and character-driven aspects of this book are so so good. (As are the secondary characters)

And man, a tortured hero just became more tortured and I'm a real sucker for that action. ( )
  samnreader | Jun 27, 2020 |
Third book in the Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries series and I continue to be a solid fan. I now fully appreciate the slow character development and story arc progression. Harris has her reasons, especially with the huge reveal that occurs in this installment of the series. All the clues were there in the earlier books, but only if you were looking for them. I like when authors turn small details into big things. Got to keep us readers on our toes! I also really appreciate how the published book summaries do not contain spoilers for readers who are not caught up with the series. So many others books seem to do exactly that, which I find very frustrating. While the earlier stories have a vein of darkness running through them, this particular story is even darker and not something I would recommend for readers who are faint of heart or don't like books that delve into disturbing topics, like cannibalism. I know, you are thinking "cannibalism" in Regency London? If you read the story, you will understand, but I wanted to give a heads up for any squeamish readers out there so they can steer clear. Political wranglings and espionage activities continue to crop up, but the focus of the story is on the mysterious deaths Viscount Devlin is determined to solve. Even with the overall dark aspects of the story, there are moments of levity courtesy of Sebastian's young tiger Tom and Viscount Devlin's failed attempts to secure a new valet. Always entertaining when a valet is more concerned with the master's reputation than the master is. The interviews just never seem to go as well as Sebastian hopes.

Overall, another wonderfully suspenseful read set in atmospheric Regency England. ( )
  lkernagh | Apr 7, 2020 |
The third book of this series just gets better and better with building o the characters that have been introduced so far. The murders in this book have to do with the bodies of young men of good standing found with parts missing as if butchered. Sebastian solves the murders even if the murders seem like justice from the view of the murder. There is a huge reveal in Sebastian’s personal life that changes the direction of the books going forward. ( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jan 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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