Monday, January 17, 2011

Where Shadows Dance-C.S. Harris

Where Shadows Dance
C.S. Harris
Obsidian, Mar 1 2011, $24.95
ISBN: 9780451232236

In 1812 England, doctors are forbidden to dissect corpses. Conscientious physician Paul Gibson pays resurrection diggers to bring him the bodies of recently interred people. Paul has in his possession the remains of twentyish Alexander Ross, who allegedly died in his sleep from a heart attack. However, when he examines the body, he realizes the man was murdered by a stiletto stabbed through the base of his skull.

Unable to report his findings to the authorities who would arrest him and probably ignore the homicide as too much bother, he asks his friend Sebastian St. Cyr to investigate as he know Lord Devlin has a compulsion to solve mysteries. St. Cyr accepts the case and looks into the deceased’s occupation at the Foreign Affairs office; where he was privy to state secrets that many would kill to know. Assuming that was the motive, St. Cyr feels a second similar homicide affirms his belief when the body of American Ezekiel Kincaid is found in a ditch. Fearing for the life of his feisty pregnant fiancĂ©e Hero Jarvis who St. Cyr believes knows the corpses’ connection that he fails to find, he still uncovers viable suspects in the international world of politics where literally backstabbing is the norm.

Entertaining with details of various class lifestyles in Regency London, the latest St. Cyr mystery (see Where Serpents Sleep) is a super whodunit as potential killers seem to be in every ballroom. Enthralling as the hero chases suspects while seeking clues to identify the actual killer and in between arrange his wedding to his beloved frustrating Hero. The murder investigation is excellent as readers obtain insight into early nineteenth century politics that proves uglier than even our current American system enhanced by the romance between two independent personalities.

Harriet Klausner

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