March 23, 2015

Book Review: Who Buries the Dead by C.S. Harris (and a GIVEAWAY!)

I love the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series so very much. You're probably well aware, since I've raved here and here and here about previous books in the series. So I was very excited when the publisher sent me a copy of the latest title, Who Buries the Dead, for review.

In 1813, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is rather enjoying domesticity and his new son. But he's called to help the Bow Street magistrates yet again, when the body of a socially ambitious man is found on a bridge, with his head stuck atop a spike. The victim, Stanley Preston, is best known for three things: his cousin is the Home Secretary, he owns a large plantation in Jamaica and he's an obsessive collector of historical artifacts (and isn't too picky about their provenance)--which perhaps explains the coffin strap, reading "King Charles, 1648," found nearby.

Investigating Preston's life draws Devlin into the scary, hidden world of grave robbers and smugglers, as well as high-society events where government officials, debutantes, lords and plantation owners mingle. Using his own contacts, and those of his father-in-law, who is close to the Prince Regent, Devlin will stop at nothing to find Preston's murderer. Unfortunately for the safety of Devlin and his family, the killer is equally determined to keep his identity hidden.

With excellent historical detail, Harris again brings the Regency era to life in Who Buries the Dead, the 10th thriller starring Devlin. Who Buries the Dead also includes sly, tongue-in-cheek references to Jane Austen's books, since Jane herself is a close friend of Stanley Preston's daughter. Those who enjoy historical mysteries, Jane Austen and Regency fiction will enjoy Who Buries the Dead on its own. And longtime fans of the series will be happy to see intriguing developments in Sebastian's unduly complicated personal life. (I don't want to spoil anything for you, if you're new to the series, but wow is Sebastian's life really tangled. Siblings, half-siblings, mistresses, enemies, and constantly shifting allegiances make this series so much fun.)

Want to win a copy of Who Buries the Dead for yourself? Luckily the publisher agreed to provide a second copy of the book for one of you! Just fill out the form below (you may have to click through to see the embedded form if you're reading via a feed-reader). I'll choose a winner by March 31st, and notify you accordingly. US/Canada only please.

Notes: I received a copy of the book from NAL, but my opinions are all my own. The main part of this review was originally published in Shelf Awareness.