What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr Series #1)

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Overview

In London, 1811, a young woman is brutally raped and murdered, her body left on the altar steps of an ancient church. The prime suspect: Sebastian St. Cyr, a brilliant young nobleman still haunted by his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars. Now he is running for his life, desperate to catch the killer and prove his innocence. Moving from Mayfair's glittering ballrooms to St. Giles's fetid back alleys, Sebastian is assisted by a band of unlikely allies and pursued by a Machiavellian powerbroker with ties to the ...
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What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr Series #1)

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Overview

In London, 1811, a young woman is brutally raped and murdered, her body left on the altar steps of an ancient church. The prime suspect: Sebastian St. Cyr, a brilliant young nobleman still haunted by his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars. Now he is running for his life, desperate to catch the killer and prove his innocence. Moving from Mayfair's glittering ballrooms to St. Giles's fetid back alleys, Sebastian is assisted by a band of unlikely allies and pursued by a Machiavellian powerbroker with ties to the Prince Regent himself. What Angels Fear seamlessly weaves an intimate knowledge of the period with a multi-layered and compelling story, and is the first of a series of novels featuring these characters.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in England in 1811, Harris's riveting debut delivers a powerful blend of political intrigue and suspense. When Sebastian Alistair St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is accused of the rape and murder of actress Rachel York, mistress to various members of Spencer Perceval's wobbly Tory cabinet, Sebastian goes "on the lam," in the words of young Tom, his adopted companion and faithful servant, and must spend frantic days in clever disguises chasing "across London and back." Uncanny powers of sight and hearing help him to identify several suspects, including Hugh Gordon, Rachel's fellow actor and ex-lover; shadowy French emigre Leo Pierrepoint; and even his own wayward nephew, Bayard Wilcox, who had been stalking the victim for weeks. Also implicated is portrait painter Giorgio Donatelli, for whom Rachel often posed nude, whose current patron, Lord Fairchild, is expected to be the next prime minister. Waiting in the wings to rule over this gathering chaos is dissolute Prince George (aka Prinny), soon to become regent for his incompetent father, George III. Backed by a blurb from Stephanie Barron, this fresh, fast-paced historical is sure to be a hit. Agent, Helen Breitwieser at Cornerstone Library. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In 19th-century England, a dashing nobleman teams up with a jaded actress to clear his name of a murder charge. London, 1811. Naive young actress Rachel York is lured to a rendezvous at St. Matthew's of the Fields church, where she is brutally raped and murdered by an anonymous figure. Magistrate Sir Henry Lovejoy arrests handsome Sebastian St. Cyr, the Viscount Devlin, a veteran of the Napoleon Wars with a notorious reputation. Though addicted to danger and alcohol, the honorable Sebastian, haunted by war memories, is no predator. While transporting Sebastian to lockup, sniveling constable Edward Maitland accidentally stabs another officer and quickly blames it on Sebastian, multiplying the young nobleman's alleged offenses and triggering his escape. Breaking into the room of acclaimed actress Kat Boleyn, who's both his great lost love and the late Rachel's closest confidante, Sebastian enlists her help in ferreting out the truth. The pair embark on dangerous probes that uncover a cache of secrets about Rachel as well as an array of lovers and admirers. These include a fellow thespian, a wealthy Frenchman and Sebastian's brother-in-law. Meanwhile, Sebastian's distraught father tries to slow Lovejoy's manhunt by confessing to the murder himself, to little avail. But the discovery of Rachel's diary and a hidden pregnancy quicken the search for her killer. A starchy but well-appointed debut most notable for its historic detail.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451216694
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/1/2005
  • Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Series , #1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 1.21 (d)

Meet the Author

C.S. Harris graduated with a degree in Classics before earning a Ph.D. in European history. A scholar of the French Revolution and 19th-century Europe, she has lived in Europe and various far-flung parts of the old British Empire. She now lives in New Orleans with her husband, a retired Army Intelligence Officer, and two daughters.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 64 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Fast enjoyable read.

    Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, escapes arrest for the brutal murder of an actress, former prostitute, in a church. His pistol was found at the murder scene and he refuses to provide himself an alibi. Against the backdrop of King George's decent into madness, the coming Regency of the Prince of Wales and England's continuing war with France, Sebastian realizes his only hope is to find the true killer.
    What an exciting book! St. Cyr, a classic hero with a past, is aided by a wonderful sidekick, the young street urchin Tom. The characters are fully developed, appealing and human. Harris is truly able to convey St. Cyr's frustration and the anger and jealousy of another character. The period details are exacting and the dialogue appropriate to the characters with some of the exchanges between St. Cyr and Tom being particularly enjoyable and touching. The story is engrossing with humor, great action sequences, a bit of sex, and red herrings along the way to a dramatic climax. This is an excellent beginning and I look forward to more in the series. I highly recommend it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Enjoyable murder mystery!

    I am hooked on this series. The mystery was not horribly difficult to figure out and some of the writing was predictable. However, the characters were entertaining and the action was exciting. Sebastian St. Cyr is not your typical detective. A nobleman framed for murder he is on the run throughout the book. He must use his wits and the help of unlikely friends to clear his name.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    excellent story, well written.

    The story flys along! It is a great series - I have pre-ordered the newest book to be released in March and I can't wait for it to get to my Nook!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    Sebastian St. Cyr, the toughest, rich and handsome "detective" around.

    The plots are complex, you may suspect the bad guy(s) but don't be surprised if your choice is way off base. Time line runs from the late 1790s to the early 1800s, with back stories adding to the complexity of the overall plot. Characters become real to the reader and the settings are historically accurate, all though Harris takes an occasional liberty to move things around for continuity. It is more fun if you read the series (5 at the moment) in order but not necessary. Enjoy them, I did!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2005

    Intelligent and Exciting!

    C.S. Harris knows history, and really knows how to make a fun and exciting mystery in a historical setting. I picked up this book before a 9 hour flight, and could not put it down the whole way. The subject matter is intriguing and both the wit and emotion are exceptional from the characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Good Read

    Great historical mystery - interesting characters, well-researched,fun reading. Look forward to the next in the series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Highly recommended.

    Excellent book. I will read the next book. I have shared how good the book is with two friends and both loved it also.

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  • Posted September 14, 2013

    Excellent novel.

    This is the first novel in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. I have read the series and made this purchase as a gift for a friend, to introduce her to the characters. I'm sure she'll enjoy the series as much as I have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    What Angels Fear

    Well written!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Awesome

    This is a great series. Good character development and a good story line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    FUN QUICK READ -- LIKE THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

    I LIKED IT ENOUGH THAT I BOUGHT ALL THE REST OF THE SERIES. I AM CURRENTLY READING THE SEVENTH BOOK. IT IS A LIGHT QUICK READ WITH SOME TWISTS AND TURNS. LIKE THE HISTORICAL DETAILS.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Great read!

    Really enjoyed this book, great read begining to end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    This is a worthwhile read.

    If you enjoy British mysteries you will like this book. This was my 2nd in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. Lots of descriptive settings, interesting and fun characters, some historically accurate events and people and lots of action, twists and turns.

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  • Posted May 7, 2012

    really like

    this book hooked me on the series. If you like historical mysteries this was it.

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  • Posted October 30, 2011

    Highly recommended. Fun, gritty and full of surprises.

    This is a wonderful series for anyone who likes gritty mysteries and period pieces. I've rapidly worked my way through all the books currently in the series and was delighted to find that the author develops her characters over the series, sometimes in surprising ways. They are much more complex and multifaceted than is typical of the genre and the English perspective on the post-Revolutionary period is one that Americans don't generally get. She also has avoided some of the usual plot lines and has a couple of nice twists that totally change the hero's life and prospects. I am really looking forward to seeing what else she decides to throw at St. Cyr and the reader.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Like a little romance with your mystery?

    This is the first of, so far, a series of five books. The hero, Sebastian St. Cyr, is a very likeable and sympathetic one. The mystery is well set up and speeds the book along. The book is historically accurate (with author's notes on where she has veered from accuracy) and portrays the time period well. But what is especially captivating about the book and series, and what holds the reader's interest, is Sebastian's personal saga; his relationships with his father, mistress, sister. His story captures the reader's imagination and heart and you can't help but root for him. The later books get the reader even more involved in the mystery surrounding Sebastian's life. Each book develops upon the other with his personal story line. I highly recommend this series.

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  • Posted April 25, 2010

    Regency Mystery

    What Angels Fear starts off looking like a typical Regency Romance but quickly becomes a mystery. The manners and society of the era are worked into the lives of the characters.

    What Angels Fear is the first book in a five book series. I loved the main character, Sebastian St Cyr, Viscount Devlin. When he finds himself accused of murder he calls on skills he used in the Napoleonic Wars. Knowing he will be convicted unless he finds the evidence to clear himself, he disappears into the London underworld. Using a group of friends and allies he works to uncover the truth.

    The fact that I like to read Regency Romances increased my enjoyment of What Angels Fear. This was a different outlook on a world I had already visited many times. I am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

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  • Posted February 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    In a word...addictive!

    I just fell in love with C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr series. This is the first book in the series and I was glued to the book after reading the first page and I just could not stop reading this book. It was amazing. The whole series is great. I love Sebastian and this book is a not to be missed series.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Really enjoyed this

    I had read other books in this series before finding this first one. I enjoy the British Regency period (see Georgette Heyers Regency romances) as a setting and this series is very good; however, I think the later books get even better as the main characters are developed.

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  • Posted June 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Historical Fiction

    Love the characters and setting.
    Like that it's an easy read with some chapters short and to the point. All four books are great!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 65 Customer Reviews

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