Author: C. S. Harris
Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries (Book 2)
Publication: Signet; Reissue edition (November 7, 2006)
Description: The young wife of an aging marquis is found murdered in the arms of the Prince Regent. Around her neck lies a necklace said to have been worn by Druid priestesses-that is, until it was lost at sea with its last owner, Sebastian St. Cyr's mother. Now Sebastian is lured into a dangerous investigation of the marchioness's death-and his mother's uncertain fate.
As he edges closer to the truth-and one murder follows another-he confronts a conspiracy that imperils those nearest him and threatens to bring down the monarchy.
My Thoughts: Sebastian St. Cyr is drawn into his second murder investigation when he is called in to determine who murdered Guinevere Anglessey, the young wife of the elderly Marquis of Anglessey, and arranged for her to be found in the arms of the Prince of Wales.
Sebastian has a number of suspects including the Prince of Wales, the lady's elderly husband, or her young lover. The more he investigates the more the plot thickens and the more the pool of suspects widens. While Sebastian deplores murder, the first thing that draws him to the case is the necklace around Guin's neck. It is the some historic necklace that his mother was wearing when she set sail for a day cruise when Sebastian was eleven, a cruise she never returned from. Sebastian has mourned her loss all his life.
Tracking the necklace leads him to things that had been hidden from him his whole life. He is gradually repairing his relationship with his father, the Earl of Hendon, and these secrets threaten the relationship.
Sebastian's investigation unearths a conspiracy that puts his life in danger on a number of occasions. He is assisted in his investigation by his friend Doctor Paul Gibson whom Sebastian met while serving in the army in the fight against Napoleon, his tiger Tom who is a poor boy pulled from the streets and who investigates where Sebastian can't, and Kat Boleyn who is his love interest. Kat has some secrets of her own which are keeping her from marrying Sebastian. Of course, she is also an Irish actress who is completely unacceptable to Sebastian's family. Sebastian also calls upon his aunt, the Dowager Duchess of Claiborne, for insights into the social world which help him untangle the clues.
This was an engaging mystery. I am getting to like Sebastian more and more as the series moves on and he transitions from bored Man About Town to a man of conscience. I am eager to see where his relationship with Kat goes and what he decides to do next about the family secret.
"Really, Sebastian. Like some common Bow Street Runner."I bought this book. You can buy your copy here.
"With rather more finesse than that, I like to think. And, of course, I'm not getting paid, so you needn't worry there's any hint of the stench of trade being attached to the practice."
"I should rather think not."
Sebastian gave her a hard smile. "Offends your delicate sensibilities, does it?"
"It would offend the sensibilities of anyone of breeding and culture."
"Really? Well, murder offends mine."