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Who Slays the Wicked

por C. S. Harris

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
13718153,237 (3.99)14
When Lord Ashworth is found brutally murdered, Sebastian St. Cyr is called in to help catch the killer. Just seven months before, Sebastian had suspected Ashworth of kidnapping and murder of a string of vulnerable street children. But Sebastian was never able to prove Ashworth's complicity. Nor was he able to prevent his troubled niece Stephanie from marrying him, a marriage that quickly turned into a sham. Now mounting evidence suggests that Ashworth's killer was a woman. Sebastian is tasked with unraveling the shocking surrounding Ashworth's life before Stephanie is punished for his death.… (más)
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» Ver también 14 menciones

Mostrando 1-5 de 18 (siguiente | mostrar todos)
Following up from the last novel, Sebastian is called in to help solve the murder of one of the bad guys from "Why Kill the Innocent". Sebastian's niece is one of the possible suspects, along with a disgruntled merchant and possible a member of the Russian royal court. As Sebastian hunts down suspects and possibilities the reader is treated to the seamy side of those in power. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Apr 9, 2021 |
Always nice to have a good series to fall back on when in a reading slump! One thing I like about the Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries series is that the author makes the assumption that a reader may pick up and read a story "out of sequence" or have a long lag-time between installments, so she includes key facts from earlier stories to give the reader the context they need. I am not suggesting that you just jump into the series and start with this one! The series contains a number of character arcs and backstories, so best to read in series order. For example, Sebastian has a rather complicated relationship with his family. While earlier installments have examined Sebastian's relationship with his father, aunt and sister, this time we learn more about his niece Stephanie and some of the secrets she has been keeping. I also love the historical details Harris brings to her stories. If that is not enough to entice you to consider reading this series, the stories have a gritty, atmospheric quality... and yes, Sebastian continues to find himself in dangerous, suspense-filled situations. Even the mysteries are not of the straightforward variety. While we continue to see a rather high body count, I appreciate that Harris does not always satisfactorily resolve each mystery. This time, we are left to ponder who may have killed one of the victims.

Overall, lovely to escape back into England's Regency period, filled with royal/political intrigue (this time with a Russian angle) and the darker, sinister traits of some members of "the Ton" (English high society). I love that Harris includes strong female characters in her stories. No shrinking wallflowers here! A cracking good read! ( )
  lkernagh | Mar 1, 2021 |
Another excellent saga in the life and times of Regency London. In this story, a previous character is murdered and the Russian diplomats with all their machinations are brought to light. As ever, Sebastian St. Cyr is a swashbuckling, ethical investigator.

Highly recommended if you have a liking for twists and turns in historical murder investigations with political overtones of the day. The culprit was a surprise, although the character did emerge as suspicious towards the final chapter. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Sep 30, 2020 |
C S Harris selects the title of her books from the Bible which gives each novel a different view on murder. The murder of Viscount Ashworth shows that the wicked do not escape forever. Anthony Marcus Ledger, the Viscount Ashworth, lands in a vicious death and now Sebastian St. Cyr, the Viscount Devlin, must find the killer before his niece is suspected of murdering her husband. C S Harris provides little tidbits of intrigue from England in 1814. The rise and fall of Napoleon Bonaparte glimmers in the story. And Hero provides a second story concerning the poor masses of English people who barely survive. Hero relates the burdens of the rag people, the bone people, and the privy cleaners. I never imagined these tasks, and of course many do not know. I relish the information that C S Harris weaves into her stories about life in the 1800’s. The description of the characters and the settings and the ladies’ fashion paint an amazing look of life. ( )
  delphimo | Jun 21, 2020 |
Note: There are necessarily spoilers for previous books in this series.

In this fourteenth book in the series, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, the main protagonist, is now 31. In the first book, he was suspected of a murder he did not commit, and had to become something of a Sherlock Holmes to find the real murderer to save his own skin.

In subsequent books, he was consulted on murders that involved the nobility, because he had an entrée into the upper level of society that would have been denied to the regular police. He agreed because the thought of anybody stealing away someone else’s life was an abomination to him, especially after the traumatic instances of unjust murder he witnessed in the army. He still felt guilt over these deaths, even though he could not have prevented any of them. He retained a fierce commitment to the pursuit of justice.

Devlin is aided by the counsel of his friend, the surgeon Paul Gibson, who serves as a Watson to St. Cyr’s Holmes, as well as by Sir Henry Lovejoy, now a "Bow Street Runner" (detective) who has become a friend of Devlin’s. Devlin also asks his young horse handler Tom, a former street urchin, as well as his valet, Jules Calhoun, to do reconnaissance work for him. Each has an entrée into the lower levels of society that Devlin can’t even manage in disguise. And in an increasing capacity, his wife, Hero Devlin, helps him in his investigative work.

The story begins, as usual, with the discovery of a murder victim. This time it is Anthony Marcus Ledger, Viscount Ashworth, only son and heir of the Marquis of Lindley. Ashworth is also, more importantly to Devlin, the husband of his niece, Stephanie, 19. She recently delivered twin boys and is now staying with her father-in-law at Lindley House while Ashworth’s place is being refurbished.

In spite of Devlin’s tendency to take murders personally, “as he stared down at what was left of Anthony Ledger, Sebastian felt only relief.” Ashworth was pure evil, and Devlin constantly worried about the safety of his niece. He knew that because Ashworth’s father was a wealthy, powerful nobleman, someone would have to be arrested for Ashworth’s death, whether truly guilty or not. And Devlin didn't want Stephanie to be that someone.

[As the author points out, at that time, husband killers were dealt with more harshly than wife killers. Under common law, for a woman to kill her husband was more than simple murder. “It was also an act of treason - a rebellion against both God and King, who together had placed her husband above her as her master. As a desecration that threatened the God-ordained fabric of society, such an act was therefore seen as a threat - and punished as harshly as witchcraft.”]

Thus, Devlin needed to get to the bottom of who murdered Ashworth and why, fervently hoping it would not turn out to be Stephanie. While he did suspect her, there was much that argued for her innocence, such as the additional bodies found, all associated with Ashworth. Devlin supposed the murderer was cleaning up loose ends and eliminating anyone who might threaten exposure. Stephanie, with her two infants, didn’t seem capable of any killings besides that of her husband. But Devlin had the strong sense she was lying to him.

In the case of Ashworth, so widely reviled, there were plenty of other suspects at least. Almost everyone who knew Ashworth hated him, even shopkeepers. Ashworth was constantly ordering goods and not paying for them. As one merchant bitterly complained, “Anyone that bastard did business with, he cheated if he could. It was like a game with him - a matter of pride, a way to show that he was the one with the power, while the rest of us… the rest of us were like nothin’ to him.”

There is even a possibility of involvement at the highest levels of the government, as is usual in Harris’s books, so she can acquaint us with the convoluted political machinations of the time. In this case, 25-year-old Grand Duchess Catherine of Oldenburg, the best-loved sister of Tsar Alexander of Russia, is in London, allegedly to prepare for her brother’s impending visit. One of her ladies is Princess Ivanna Gagarin, also in her twenties, who was apparently involved somehow with Ashworth. Are the Russians responsible for all of this?

Devlin often ruminates on the nature of evil. In his experience, he has found that most murders are committed because of one of five motives: greed, whether for money or power; love, or at least sexual lust; fear; jealousy; and revenge. But, he has come to think, “there existed another breed of killer, and those were the ones Sebastian believed belonged in a category all their own: the men and women who killed for pleasure.” He thought Ashworth was in that latter group. But if so, who would slay the wicked? The answer is a surprising one.

Evaluation: I love the recurring characters in this series and their evolving interactions. In addition, one always learns a great deal of history from the stories, with a number of crimes thrown in to add tension and interest. The author does an excellent job smoothly filling in background from previous books, but I believe readers would derive more enjoyment from the books by reading the series in order. ( )
  nbmars | Dec 2, 2019 |
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When Lord Ashworth is found brutally murdered, Sebastian St. Cyr is called in to help catch the killer. Just seven months before, Sebastian had suspected Ashworth of kidnapping and murder of a string of vulnerable street children. But Sebastian was never able to prove Ashworth's complicity. Nor was he able to prevent his troubled niece Stephanie from marrying him, a marriage that quickly turned into a sham. Now mounting evidence suggests that Ashworth's killer was a woman. Sebastian is tasked with unraveling the shocking surrounding Ashworth's life before Stephanie is punished for his death.

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