Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why Mermaids Sing; CS Harris

This is the third title in Ms. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr regency mystery series. The first title is What Angels Fear. I don't think it's necessary to read them in order, like most mystery series each stands easily on his own. However, if you're a reader who enjoys digging deeply into a character's personality and motivation than I suggest you begin with the first book. Ms. Harris has written romance novels as well (under the name of Candice Proctor), but if you're a romance reader I think it best to set aside the standard romance genre 'rules' and read these strictly with your "mystery reader" hat on. According to Ms. Harris' blog the next Sebastian mystery will be titled What Remains of Heaven. She's also busily plotting the book after that one. I'm thrilled to know that there are plenty of books to come!

Sebastian St. Cyr is investigating yet another gruesome case. Young well born men are being murdered, partially dissected and left in prominent public places. Because St.Cyr (or Devlin, if one calls him by his title) moves in these circles, he is asked to make discreet inquiries. His sister and his father are scandalized by both his inquires into the murders and by his quiet but well known amorous relationship with a well known Irish actress. Not that St. Cyr cares much for their opinion mind you. St. Cyr has some trouble linking these disparate young men together at first, the Ton, after all, is not a monolith. On the surface there is little to link them together.

In the midst of all this Devlin proposes to his ladylove, Kat Boleyn. Unbeknownst to Devlin Kat was a French spy in the recent past. Kat is now attempting to shed her past role, but she finds that doing so is like trying to get out a modern street gang- impossible. Powerful political figures know who she is and what she used to do. People who are willing to resort to nefarious techniques to try and force her to do what they want. Apart from that, Devlin's father, Alister St. Cyr, Earl of Hendon, and Kat discover something that irrevocably changes the relationship between the three of them. Something that Devlin may never forgive him for.

All in all, a wonderful installment in the series. Kept me on the edge of my seat wondering just how it would all shake out in the end. The relationship issue between Kat & Devlin was a huge-huge surprise. Yet, Devlin never asks questions of Kat. His head is buried firmly in the sand & he wanted it that way. So..his reactions kind of perplex me. It's hard to discuss this aspect without revealing what happens, but I really think that if your lover has a dubious past & you don't ask questions or do a little quiet questioning you get what's coming.
As for the mystery part, I was completely at a loss for a good while, and Ms. Harris had me questioning and trying to figure out plot twists all on my own.

Image found on Fantastic Fiction


Marg said...

I recently bought the first book in this series. I want to read it soon, when I can fit it into my reading schedule!

ReneeW said...

I have been following this series and thoroughly enjoying it. And I'm glad you posted the title of the next book because it wasn't yet announced when I read Mermaids several months ago. I must say that I don't believe the story that Devlin's father concocted to get him to stop seeing Kat the instant I read it. And yet Devlin accepted it without question. I found that rather frustrating but I'm seriously looking forward to reading more of this series.

Bookwormom said...

Marg~ I've the first book on a shelf, but it remains unread. Maybe later when, as you say, the reading schedule is a little looser! :)

ReneeW~ I've my suspicions about this issue as well despite the cameos Kat found. In light of Devlin's sister's remarks I have to wonder. I have to say I'm totally rooting for the heroine in the next book. She's fascinating and complex and now Kat's out of reach..Maybe we're being set up for a triangle??