Monday, April 6, 2020

Book Review | WHO SPEAKS FOR THE DAMNED by C.S. Harris

Who Speaks for the Damned by C.S. Harris
Series:  Sebastian St. Cyr #15
Publication Date:  April 7, 2020
Publisher:  Berkley
Genre:  Historical Mystery
Rating:  ★★★★★
It's June 1814, and the royal families of Austria, Russia, and the German states have gathered in London at the Prince Regent's invitation to celebrate the defeat of Napoléon and the restoration of monarchical control throughout Europe. But the festive atmosphere is marred one warm summer evening by the brutal murder of a disgraced British nobleman long thought dead.

Eighteen years before, Nicholas Hayes, the third son of the late Earl of Seaford, was accused of killing a beautiful young French émigré and transported to Botany Bay for life. Even before his conviction, Hayes had been disowned by his father. Few in London were surprised when they heard the ne'er-do-well had died in New South Wales in 1799. But those reports were obviously wrong. Recently Hayes returned to London with a mysterious young boy in tow--a child who vanishes shortly after Nicholas's body is discovered.

I look forward to this series every year as an annual event. I am so invested with the characters that I want to keep tabs on how their lives are moving on. This is the fifteenth book in the series, but Ms. Harris still manages to keep each mystery fresh and new every issue. Her research skill is so exceptional that the historical details in Regency England are weaved seamlessly.

A convicted murder, believed to have died in Botany Bay, was recently found… well… dead with a sickle on his back at Pennington Tea Garden. Knowing Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a person’s death is not necessarily the end of the story. He was pulled into this investigation because of a young boy who went missing after Hayes’s death, and also because Devlin saw a mirror of himself in the victim. Nicholas Hayes’s murder stirred far too many old memories and quite several nobilities. And there’s nothing more intolerable for Devlin than a cold mix of nobles and their lies.

To decry injustice is merely scratching the surface. The issues that this sequel has in its arsenal can be overwhelming. And despite the setting, we can still spot these issues in these present times, if we look hard enough. Devlin and his wife Hero represent something far deeper than just “a power couple”. They stand for people who cannot stand or speak for themselves. Their views and hopes for the disadvantaged and neglected are something we, everyone, should aspire to.

These events took place in London, England, in 1814. The continent is celebrating Napoleon’s defeat and England is hosting events for the Allied Sovereigns. A time where opium smuggling was rampant and Lascars made England their new home.

Very rich in history, well-plotted, and deliciously peppered with red herrings, WHO SPEAKS FOR THE DAMNED will keep you at the edge of your seat from beginning to the end.


About the Author:
Candice Proctor, aka C.S. Harris and C.S. Graham, is the USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of more than two dozen novels including the Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series written under the name C.S. Harris, the C.S. Graham thriller series co-written with Steven Harris, and seven historical romances. She is also the author of a nonfiction historical study of women in the French Revolution. Her books are available worldwide and have been translated into over twenty languages.

A former academic with a Ph.D. in European history, Candice also worked as an archaeologist on a variety of sites including a Hudson's Bay Company Fort in San Juan Island, a Cherokee village in Tennessee, a prehistoric kill site in Victoria, Australia, and a Roman cemetery and medieval manor house in Winchester, England. She loves to travel and has spent much of her life abroad, living in Spain, Greece, England, France, Jordan, and Australia. She now makes her home in New Orleans, Louisiana, with her husband, retired Army officer Steve Harris, and an ever-expanding number of cats.

*Thanks to Berkley for the advance review copy in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


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