Rummanah Aasi
  You may have noticed about a lack of adult book reviews posted lately. I've been through a really bad adult fiction reading slump lately. I'm trying several genres to help me snap out of it and so far it's been working. I thought I would give my first adult historical mystery a shot and picked up the first book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. I have a friend who really enjoys this series and suggested I give them a shot during my slump. I read and enjoyed the first one.

Description (from Goodreads): It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George Ill's England. A beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey, and the dueling pistol found at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man--Sebastian St. Cyr.

Review: The first book in the Sebastin St. Cyr series is off to a racing start with the gruesome near-decapitation and rape of a lovely actress. Sebastian St. Cyr, the youngest but only surviving son of an earl, stands accused of brutally raping and murdering a young actress. As he's led away by police, an accidental knifing of a police officer is also attributed to him. Sebastian runs, bent on finding the real murderer and clearing his own name. and an innocent man on the run. What turns out to be a simple murder mystery, quickly evolves into what seems to be a political game where the Whigs try to gain control of the government before the Tory prince becomes regent.
  I was pleasantly surprised by the fast-paced plot of this Victorian mystery. Harris does a great job in  pitting the sophisticated, overly mannered elite against the grimier lower echelons of 1811 London society. We see all social classes at work in the book as the plot and mystery unfold. I thought the mystery was very well interwoven. At first I was a bit disoriented by the sheer amount of characters that are introduced, but I quickly got over that when I realized that all of these seemingly unconnected people leads to a maze set with clues connecting everyone from the high-ranking politicians to actresses who have side jobs. What I found unusual is that a lot of the character development of Sebastian comes from the people who is associated with him.
  Since this is the first book in a series, there is much we don't know about Sebastian. We know that he was an intelligent officer in the army during the Napoleonic War and suffers from shell shocks or from post traumatic stress disorder. He does have a real life genetic mutation, which allows him to have uncanny seeing and hearing abilities. The author describes him as a Darcy and James Bond combo, so far I do find him charming and he does have the skills to be an effective sleuth. I am interested to get to know him better as I continue the series. What Angels Fear will appeal to readers who like historical fiction, political intrigue, romance, and of course mystery.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, small sex scenes, and violence (which mostly happens off the page). Recommended for older teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: Silent in the Grave by Deanna Raybourn, And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander, The Face of a Stranger by Anne Perry
9 Responses
  1. Una Says:

    I'm so glad that you read and liked it! Hope you like the next one in the series. I think it just gets better!

  2. Jenny Says:

    I usually get a bit disoriented when there are a large number of characters as well, but I'm glad that you were quickly able to get used to them all and that they, in turn, helped you get a better feel for Sebastian. That's always a good thing:) Wonderful review Rummanah!

  3. Lauren M Says:

    Rummanah, you're so good at putting books on my radar! What Angels Fear sounds interesting! I'm a fan of Victorian settings in books.
    I'm glad the number of characters wasn't too much of an issue! That's typically something I struggle with. :)
    Thanks for the review!
    - Lauren

  4. I didn't notice, and I'm sorry to hear about your slump. I get like that with YA, sometimes, and it's frustrating. I don't think I'd read a review for this book before. The Victorian mystery aspect appeals to me, but it takes a lot of motivation for me to pick up historical fiction. LOL

  5. Sounds like an interesting historical fic piece. I'm glad this is a series. Makes not really knowing Sebastian not quite as frustrating. Might have to see what you think of the next ones in this series if you read it before I decide.

  6. I've seen this reviewed somewhere else recently and they reviewed several of the novels and really liked the series. Too bad I don't have time for adult novels, I think I'd really like this series. I'll make a note of it for the future.


  7. This sounds fascinating. Of course, the main thing I thought of when I read your review was a guy I went to high school with who had the last name St. Cyr. I had a crush on him for awhile since he was smart, nice, an incredible saxophone player, and a great singer. Turned out he was gay - the good ones always seem to be :-)

  8. Anonymous Says:

    I have this on my TBR list, not because of its plot though...its all about that goodness its a good one, now Ill read it!!!

  9. Nat Says:

    I get into adult book slumps too sometimes. YA are just so much easier and faster to read. Sometimes I just get lazy. I'm glad this one worked for you!

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