Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Books, books, books...

What I read last week:

"Where Serpents Sleep", C.S. Harris (aka Candice Proctor and C.S. Graham) - fourth of the Sebastian St. Cyr mysteries. In publication (and story chronology), the order of these books is: "What Angels Fear", "When Gods Die", "Why Mermaids Sing," "Where Serpents Sleep" and the just-released-in-hardcover "What Remains of Heaven". (I was really hoping for a title starting with "Who"...) I originally read the second book, and was pleasantly surprised to be reading about a Regency England with a more realistic approach than many modern romances take - and yet, there was still romance and, of course, mystery - so tracked down the rest.

"Where Serpents Sleep" is set in England at the time of the Napoleonic wars, in the days leading up to the assassination of Prime Minister Spencer Percival by John Bellingham, a disgruntled merchant with a chip against the Government (which was likely justified). The story contains the series regulars: Dr. Paul Gibson, Kat Boleyn and Miss Hero Jarvis. The tale moves quickly, and the only historical inaccuracies I spotted are the ones pointed out by the author herself in the afterword. There is a nice balance between "clues I spotted" and "clues the characters had to give me", which makes it an entertaining read.

The back of the jacket: Troubled but compelling anti-hero Sebastian St. Cyr returns in a thrilling new mystery as he joins the daughter of his most bitter enemy in a murder investigation that uncovers rich layers of hypocrisy and depravity in the highest echelons of power in Regency England.
London, 1812. The brutal slaughter of eight young prostitutes in a house of refuge near Covent Garden leaves only one survivor - and one witness: Hero Jarvis, reform-minded daughter of the Prince Regent's cousin, Lord Jarvis. When the Machiavellian power broker quashes any official inquiry that might reveal his daughter's unorthodox presence, Hero launches an investigation of her own and turns to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, for help. Still struggling to come to terms with the loss of his lover, Kat Boleyn, and the resultant estrangement from his father, Sebastian is at first reluctant to agree. But the callous violence of the murders - combined with the opportunity to provoke his archenemy, Jarvis - prompts him to act. Working in uneasy alliance, Hero and Sebastian focus their efforts on one particular victim of the carnage: Rose Jones, the terrified nineteen-year-old-girl, with the unmistakable accent of a gentlewoman, who died in Hero's arms. As they unravel a dangerous thread of lies and deceptions, Hero and Sebastian follow a trail of clues leading from the seedy brothels and docksides of London's East End to the Mayfair mansions of a noble family with dark secrets of its own to hide. Risking both their lives and their reputations, the two must race against time to stop a killer whose ominous plot threatens to shake the nation to its very core.
Genre(s): Mystery/Thriller (Historical)
Audience: non-squeamish adults
Online Extras: read the author's "Fun Bio!"
Reading Time: Two days
Recommend: Obtaining the first book, What Angels Fear, from your local library, to see if the series is to your taste.

I read a lot. Given how much I knit, I really shouldn't have time for eating - but I tend to eat at least two meals a day at work (by myself), and I don't want food on my knitting, so - I read. I'm not reading as much as I usually do, since the Monster Yarn Pattern Project thing is taking over chunks of my evenings (it's going to be a while before there's little enough yarn left for it to be a "portable project"), so I'll share what I've been reading. It's pretty eclectic, and I'm not a critic. Pretty much anything I pick up, I read; I don't tend to pick up things I don't think I'll finish. Don't expect anything in-depth, but you may find something you hadn't heard of that you might want to track down to read yourself.

1 comment:

  1. OOOh, I like the book suggestions!

    I often avoid mystery/romances, as I feel they often end up too suspenseful for me (I'm easily frightened) but this sounds quite good!


Your tracks here...