When Gods Die (Sebastian St. Cyr Series #2)

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The young wife of an aging marquis is found murdered in the arms of the Prince Regent. Around her neck lies a necklace said to have been worn by Druid priestesses-that is, until it was lost at sea with its last owner, Sebastian St. Cyr's mother. Now Sebastian is lured into a dangerous investigation of the marchioness's death-and his mother's uncertain fate.

As he edges closer to the truth-and one murder follows another-he confronts a conspiracy that imperils those nearest him ...

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When Gods Die (Sebastian St. Cyr Series #2)

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Overview

The young wife of an aging marquis is found murdered in the arms of the Prince Regent. Around her neck lies a necklace said to have been worn by Druid priestesses-that is, until it was lost at sea with its last owner, Sebastian St. Cyr's mother. Now Sebastian is lured into a dangerous investigation of the marchioness's death-and his mother's uncertain fate.

As he edges closer to the truth-and one murder follows another-he confronts a conspiracy that imperils those nearest him and threatens to bring down the monarchy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Fans of quality historical suspense who mourn the end of the late Kate Ross's Julian Kestrel mysteries and the late Bruce Alexander's Sir John Fielding novels should find solace in the work of promising newcomer Harris, whose series (beginning with 2005's What Angels Fear) is set in Regency England. The ability of Harris's detective, Sebastian St. Cyr, the Viscount Devlin, to mingle freely with the cream of society leads to his receiving a highly sensitive commission. Given the perilous state of the English monarchy in 1811, the discovery of the dissolute Prince Regent with a murder victim in his arms makes the death of the beautiful young wife of an aristocrat even more scandalous. St. Cyr is charged by the powers that be with solving the crime and absolving the royal suspect. The author deftly combines political intrigue, cleverly concealed clues and vivid characters for a fast-moving story that will have readers eagerly anticipating future volumes in the series. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
MIt is June 1811. At a party thrown by the Prince Regent at Brighton Pavilion, the notoriously decadent royal is discovered in a secluded room with the corpse of the beautiful young wife of a marquis, a knife planted in her back. Most assume the Regent, a victim of excessive appetites, is guilty but of what they cannot say. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is asked to find out who killed the marchioness and how her body was smuggled into the Royal Pavilion. He only agrees after he recognizes the necklace worn by the dead woman. It had been worn by his mother the day she was lost at sea, her body never recovered. Harris knows her English history and has a firm grasp of how a mystery novel is supposed to play out. In this second Sebastian St. Cyr novel (What Angels Fear), she cleverly pulls the threads of her plot together, ending in a crescendo of suspense and surprise. Fans of historicals, especially those set in Regency-era England, will snap up this triumph. Harris lives in New Orleans. . Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It's a bad day for royalty when the Price Regent is found in the Royal Pavilion clutching the dead body of the Marchioness of Anglessey. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is willing to investigate only when Lord Jarvis, the power behind the throne, shows him an unusual necklace found around Guinevere Anglessey's neck. Sebastian's mother had been wearing it when she was lost in a boating accident years earlier. An autopsy shows that Guinevere was killed in London, not Brighton, by poison, not the Stuart dagger in her back. Guinevere was pregnant, but not by her much older husband. Desperate for an heir to cut out his odious nephew, he encouraged her affair with her childhood sweetheart, a penniless French nobleman. With the help of his lover, an Irish actress and French spy who refuses to marry him; his young horse handler, a former thief; and his own contacts, Sebastian finds that Guinevere was last seen going into a tavern in a London slum. Fighting off several murderous attacks, he realizes he has stumbled on a Stuart plot to overthrow the profligate, unpopular Regent. After a series of dangerous adventures, he solves the crime, thwarts the plot and discovers the truth about his mother's disappearance. Like Georgette Heyer, Harris (What Angels Fear, 2005) delves deep into the mores of Regency England, but hers is a darker, more dangerous place. St. Cyr is a charismatic hero whose future exploits are eagerly awaited.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451219688
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/7/2006
  • Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Series , #2
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.13 (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
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2012

    This is the second book in the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series.

    This is the second book in the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series. I picked up the first in the series, “What Angels Fear,” because I adore a good British period mystery. I love Lauren Willig, Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander, but CS Harris’ books are different. The narrator and detective of her series is a man, and while this probably seems like a stupid thing to point out, it does significantly change the tone of the books. Historical mystery novels with female narrators tend to be heavy on romance, dress descriptions, and monologues about “why won’t the men around me take me seriously?” Don’t get me wrong – I love those books – but CS Harris’ series is different. Her protagonist spends less time in ballrooms and more time chasing suspects through the seedier parts of London, having fistfights with Bow Street Runners, and throwing would-be assassins into the Thames.

    In the opening of “When Gods Die,” George, the Prince Regent of England, is discovered holding the dead body of the beautiful young Marchioness of Anglessey. Sebastian St. Cyr is asked to investigate the murder, but he has no interest in helping the government protect George’s reputation. Sebastian does agree to help, however, when he sees the Marchioness’ dead body – she’s wearing a necklace that Sebastian last saw around his mother’s neck before she died in a boating accident seventeen years ago.

    I actually enjoyed this novel more than the first in the series, possibly because Harris could spend less time introducing characters and more time fleshing out plot details. I was glad to see the return of some familiar faces from the first book, and I liked the backstory Harris gave us on Tom, the reformed pickpocket that Sebastian hired as his tiger. This book was darker and grittier than my usual period choices, but I thought it was well worth the read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Decent Follow Up

    I love the main character in this series. The mystery and actions within the book however are predictable and follow the same pattern over and over.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2010

    Perfect second book

    Thrilling right to the end. Love Sebatistian's character and his love for Kat. Great story line and each book gets better with each page.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Great Mystery!

    This is the second in the series. I have read the first one, and will definately continue to read the following books. If you love Tasha Alexander and Charles Finch novels, be prepared to enjoy this series as well. C.S. Harris, please keep up the great writing! I'm so glad I found this series. Have just ordered the third book.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    a reviewer

    In Brighton in June 1811, the Prince Regent hosts a fete at the Royal Pantheon when he finds the woman he planned to make his mistress dead with a dagger in her back. The Prince falls apart so it is up to LordJarvis to learn what happened. He asks Viscount Sebastian St. Cyr to find out who killed Marchioness Guinevere Anglessey. St. Cry declines until he sees the necklace the victim is wearing. --- The last time St. Cyr saw the necklace his mother wore it on the day she died at sea. The dagger belongs to Prinny, but Guinevere actually died from arsenic poisoning. Many English believe the Hanover dynasty is tainted with madness and assume the crazy Regent killed his latest whore some go so far as to believe the country would better off with a Stuart restoration. Civil war seems imminent as St. Cyr considers how Guinevere fit in a highly charged political picture as she didn¿t dabble in affairs of state only in affairs with heads of state and had no connection to the Stuarts except the necklace. --- C. S. Harris cleverly uses words to paint vivid colorful pictures of a decadent era symbolized by its hedonist prince and a country divided like a checkerboard in many chaotic ways. The hero is intent on solving the mystery of the necklace perhaps more than the homicide though he knows uncovering the killer might give him clues as to how Guinevere got his mother¿s death jewelry. The cast brings out the ambience of the era inside a realistic entertaining whodunit. --- Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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