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Where Shadows Dance by C. S. Harris

Where Shadows Dance (edition 2012)

by C. S. Harris

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3331849,985 (4.02)41
Title:Where Shadows Dance
Authors:C. S. Harris
Info:Signet 2012-03-06 (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Currently reading
Tags:Kusadasi, fiction, historical mystery, Sebastian St. Cyr, 2012 reading, Kindle

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Where Shadows Dance by C. S. Harris

  1. 01
    Sweet Revenge by Andrea Penrose (AFHeart)
    AFHeart: Regency suspense and intrigue of a high quality

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Where Shadows Dance
5 Stars

Sebastian St. Cyr comes to the aid of his friend, anatomist Paul Gibson, who has discovered that his newly acquired “speciman” is, in fact, a murder victim. As an employee of the Foreign Office, Alexander Ross’s death leads Sebastian to the upper echelons of the diplomatic corps with suspects from Turkey, Russia, Sweden, France and the United States. What would be important enough for these people to risk war in order to conceal?

The mystery returns once again to the political arena with numerous complex and crisscrossing clues that are difficult to follow at times, but ultimately lead to an exciting climax and a fairly cohesive resolution. Harris’s writing is immersive and her attention to historical detail draws the reader into the time period.

On the character front, it is Hero who grabs the reader’s attention. She is simply incredible - intelligent, witty and resilient. This woman can wield a pistol, a knife and a pot of scalding hot water like nobody's business. Do NOT get on her bad side :0)

Sebastian and Hero take their relationship to the next level and it is obvious that although they are more than compatible in the bedroom, there is still a long road ahead before they achieve the emotional attachment that is hinted at so subtly.

In sum, Where Shadows Dance is my favorite installment in the series so far and I am eager to find out what happens next with Sebastian, Hero and the rest of their friends and enemies. ( )
  Lauren2013 | May 24, 2018 |
Really good entry to the series. Intrigue, spies, kidnappings, mysterious deaths... And Hero is my Hero! ( )
  majkia | Feb 5, 2017 |
Note: There are necessarily spoilers for previous books in this series.


This is the sixth book in the historical crime fiction series set in Regency England, now in 1812, 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 would have an entrée into the upper level of society that would be denied to the regular police.

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 13-year-old 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."

This book picks up shortly after the previous one. Devlin’s friend Paul Gibson, a surgeon who performs autopsies to enable him better to understand human anatomy, is working on a body of a young man, Alexander Ross, allegedly dead of a heart defect. Gibson discovers Ross was actually murdered by a stiletto in the back of the neck, and sends for Devlin. He knows Devlin shares “a dedication to the truth and a passionate anger at the wanton, selfish destruction of one human being by another.”

It turns out that Ross worked at the foreign office for Sir Hyde Foley, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs. This office was involved in a maze of secret agreements and espionage related to the ongoing war against Napoleon. Complicating matters was a threat of war against the United States over the issues of, inter alia, dominion over Canada, and impressment of sailors from the British Navy by American ships. All of these machinations were top-secret, and it was difficult for Devlin to ascertain who might want to murder Ross and why. He was warned repeatedly: “It can be a dangerous game, diplomacy. A dance of shadows in the darkness.” More bodies start piling up.

In a rather humorous aside, Devlin can no longer successfully employ stealth to conduct his inquiries. It has become well-known in London that if Devin expresses interest in someone who recently died, all assume the person had been murdered and that Devlin has been called in to investigate.

In another humorous side theme, every time someone is found murdered, Hero asks her father if he did it, or had it done. She understands her father values order and stability over fairness and justice, and she also knows Devlin is the opposite. She feels loyalty to her father, but she is beginning to understand Devlin’s good qualities as well; that he “was a man for whom power and authority were never sacred, whose values were justice and reason, not expediency and privilege.”

Meanwhile, in his private life, Devlin just discovered a week earlier that the man he thought of as his father, the Earl of Hendon, was not actually his biological father. Hendon never told Devlin the truth, even when he knew Devlin gave up the love of his life, Kat Boleyn, after discovering Kat was the offspring of Hendon. Devlin cannot forgive him.

There are even more complications of his personal life. Two months earlier, he had a one-night-stand with Hero Jarvis, the daughter, of Charles, Lord Jarvis, the acknowledged power behind the Regency. Now Hero is pregnant, but she opted not to marry, in favor of a different plan. That plan fell through, however, and now Hero tells Devlin she will marry him, preferably as soon as possible.

This does not stop Hero from helping out with Devlin’s detective activities, however, and once again, both of them are in danger of their lives.

Evaluation: The characters are not only appealing in these books, but interesting, beyond their involvement in the crimes they investigate. I love the relationship between Hero and Devlin.

I also love the historical data the author includes in the background, and the fact that she always makes a point to focus on the social injustice common to the Era. ( )
  nbmars | Dec 13, 2016 |
[b:Where Shadows Dance|8450509|Where Shadows Dance (Sebastian St. Cyr, #6)|C.S. Harris|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1283124713s/8450509.jpg|13314462]

Where Shadows Dance - C.S. Harris
Audio performance by Davina Porter
4 stars

This is the sixth book in the Sebastian St.Cyr regency mystery series. It is set in London, in July of 1812. ( 1812 ? Sounds familiar. Could be significant.) Paul Gibson has paid those “sack ‘em up’ men to bring him a fresh corpse; totally for scientific and educational purposes, of course. (Although, given the body counts of the previous books, it’s hard to imagine that Gibson could be lacking material to work with.) Unfortunately, he soon discovers that the deceased, young, diplomatic clerk did not die of heart failure. He was murdered. It’s up to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, to untangle the complicated web of diplomatic intrigue to finally discover the murderer. As if Devlin did not have enough trouble assembling the facts of his dysfunctional family history while persistently petitioning Hero Jarvis for her hand in marriage.

I truly lost track of the mystery in this one. I was mostly interested in how long it would take Hero to get around to agreeing with the inevitable. This mystery had too many suspects, too many bad guys. It doesn’t take long for Paul Gibson to have more autopsy specimens than he can possibly handle. I’ve lost count of the number of bad guys Sebastian has killed so far in this series (always in self defense). But, I think Hero’s count stands at 5. (I was so very impressed that despite morning sickness, she managed to kill three men all by herself. ) You go, girl! These books are so much fun.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Great characters in exciting times make for excellent stories. It is a busy month in London. Poor Devlin, he has to choose between Hero and Kat. Hero, who has neither cape nor magic bracelets and pregnant,as well, dispatches three villains in three ways. Clearly a match for her fiance. Laissez le bon temps rouler. ( )
  jamespurcell | Feb 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Harrisprimary authorall editionscalculated
Murray, DeniseCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Porter, DavinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The old tree groans to the blast,

The falling branch resounds.

The wind drives the clung thorn

Along the sighing grass,

He shakes amid the night.

Dark, dusky, howling is night,

Cloudy, windy, full of ghosts;

The dead are abroad, my friends

receive me from the night.

--from "The Six Bards,"
James MacPherson, 1736-1796
To my mother,

Bernadine Wegmann Proctor,

First words
Friday, 24 July 1812

A cool wind gusted up, rustling the branches of the trees overhead and bringing with it the unmistakable clatter of wooden wheels approaching over cobblestones.
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Book description
Sebastian St. Cyr finds himself in the realm of international intrigue when he investigates the murder of a foreign office diplomat-a murder his reluctant bride-to-be, Hero Jarvis, knows something about. And when a second body is found, Sebastian must race to unmask a ruthless killer who is now threatening Hero's life-and the life of their unborn child.
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Sebastian St. Cyr finds himself in the realm of international intrigue when he investigates the murder of a foreign office diplomat--a murder his reluctant bride-to-be, Hero Jarvis, knows something about. Set in Regency London: July, 1812.

(summary from another edition)

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