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The gruesome murder of a young French physician draws aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his pregnant wife, Hero, into a dangerous, decades-old mystery as a wrenching piece of Sebastian’s past puts him to the ultimate test. Regency England, January 1813: When a badly injured Frenchwoman is found beside the mutilated body of Dr. Damion Pelletan in one of LondonThe gruesome murder of a young French physician draws aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his pregnant wife, Hero, into a dangerous, decades-old mystery as a wrenching piece of Sebastian’s past puts him to the ultimate test. Regency England, January 1813: When a badly injured Frenchwoman is found beside the mutilated body of Dr. Damion Pelletan in one of London’s worst slums, Sebastian finds himself caught in a high-stakes tangle of murder and revenge. Although the woman, Alexi Sauvage, has no memory of the attack, Sebastian knows her all too well from an incident in his past—an act of wartime brutality and betrayal that nearly destroyed him. As the search for the killer leads Sebastian into a treacherous web of duplicity, he discovers that Pelletan was part of a secret delegation sent by Napoleon to investigate the possibility of peace with Britain. Despite his powerful father-in-law’s warnings, Sebastian plunges deep into the mystery of the "Lost Dauphin", the boy prince who disappeared in the darkest days of the French Revolution, and soon finds himself at lethal odds with the Dauphin’s sister—the imperious, ruthless daughter of Marie Antoinette—who is determined to retake the French crown at any cost. With the murderer striking ever closer, Sebastian must battle new fears about Hero’s health and that of their soon-to-be born child. When he realizes the key to their survival may lie in the hands of an old enemy, he must finally face the truth about his own guilt in a past he has found too terrible to consider.... ...

Title : why kings confess
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 19245639
Format Type : Kindle Edition
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

why kings confess Reviews

  • Mary Beth
    2019-03-06 06:19

    This is an excellent series. It is a historical mystery. I just love historical mysteries. When surgeon Paul Gibson finds Damion Pelletan’s body in a shady section of London, he’s horrified to see that someone has cut out Pelletan’s heart. The dead man’s companion, Alexandrie Sauvage, is also a physician, but she gives little help in the investigationGibson launches with his friend Sebastian St. Cyr. The two are an unlikely combination: Gibson is a one-legged, opium-addicted son of poor Irish Catholics, and Sebastian St. Cyr is Viscount Devlin. Pelletan was the personal physician of a diplomat who, it’s rumored, is part of a delegation to negotiate peace between Napoleon and the prince regent. The failure of this plan, however, would seriously benefit certain parties, including a wealthy Scots arms dealer and the Bourbons in exile in England. Devlin is also suspicious of the motives of his ruthless father-in-law, cousin to the prince regent and the real power behind the throne. While Devlin tries to make sense of the connection between Pelletan and the French royal family, he worries about his beloved wife, Hero, who is nine months pregnant and facing a difficult delivery. The person who can best help her is Alexandrie Sauvage—and she’s vowed to kill Devlin. Devlin’s love for his heroic wife is the book’s saving element, just as she is the saving of him.

  • Phrynne
    2019-03-12 09:16

    Well I am pretty much at the point now where for me C.S. Harris can do no wrong! Nine lovely books in this series so far and she has not put a step out of line.This particular episode contained the usual gruesome murders, political scheming and near death experiences for our favourite main characters. There were also several really romantic bits and a near perfect ending serving up something we have been waiting for for a while!I enjoy these books for the author's writing skills, her historical research and the fact that she invented Sebastian and Hero. I am already looking forward to the next one.

  • Jonetta
    2019-03-21 10:11

    Sebastian St. Cyr is greatly challenged with this most recent crime. French physician Damion Pelletan is found murdered in the alley of St. Katharines, a poor section of London. His mutilated body was discovered by Paul Gibson after first encountering Damion's unconscious companion, Alexandrie Sauvage, lying nearby. The course of the investigation was pretty complicated as it was entangled with French history and politics, as well as English interests and Lord Jarvis. As usual, while there were many suspects, none seem to completely fit when other seemingly related murders entered the fray. I must admit it got too complicated and repetitive at times. Meanwhile, Sebastian's relationship with Hero was a highlight of the story. They continue to be an interesting, well-suited couple who enliven the story. There's also a surprise development involving Paul that I found delightful. While the investigation felt a little protracted, the superior writing and historical elements still made this an outstanding story. My memory is weak on Napoleonic history and the resurrection of the Bourbons so this was an interesting education. Be sure to read the author's notes at the end. This continues to be one of my favorite series.

  • Carolyn
    2019-03-03 11:22

    I'm continuing to enjoy this excellent series of historical mysteries. The main characters, Sebastian St Cyr and Hero Jarvis continue to grow and their relationship is deepening as they become true friends and allies as well as soulmates. Sebastian continues his role of amateur investigator when a young French doctor is found killed in an alley with his heart removed. Sebastian must collect all the random pieces of this puzzle to determine if his death is this part of a current day political intrigue involving a peace delegation from Paris or an older story that goes back many years involving the deposed French Royal family, the Bourbons, in exile in England.What I really love about this series is not only the great writing in developing a really intriguing mystery and the ongoing development of the characters, but also the firm setting in history and the historical facts and explanations that the author includes in her epilogue. I'm hoping C.S. Harris intends to make this a very long series with many more great books to come.

  • Lauren
    2019-03-17 03:33

    Why Kings Confess4.5 StarsIn his latest case, Regency investigator, Sebastian St. Cyr becomes involved in a wicked web of political intrigue and murder when the body of a young French doctor is discovered in the slums of London. As Sebastian investigates, he discovers the victim's connection not only to a secret peace delegation sent by Napoleon, but also his link to the remaining French royals living in exile in England. Was the murder a result of these connections?The excellent historical research, suspenseful mysteries and wonderful characterization make this one of my absolute favorite series. In this installment, the mystery revolves around the French Revolution and its aftermath, particularly for the surviving members of the House of Bourbon. As someone whose interest in history has focused mainly on Britain, the details on the French royal family living in exile during Napoleon's regime and the theories concerning the death of the Dauphin were particularly fascinating. As always, Harris's research is comprehensive and impeccable. Sebastian's investigation is one of the more convoluted in the series with an abundance of suspects, motives, secrets and lies to work through. That said, the ultimate explanation is compelling and believable although the clues to the villain's identity are somewhat vague, which makes it difficult for the reader to guess. In terms of the characters, Sebastian and Hero are expecting the birth of their child and the issues of pregnancy and childbirth in the Regency era are at the fore. Sebastian's concern over his wife's health and his fear that either she or the baby or both might not survive really brings home just how much she has come to mean to him. Readers also learn more about Sebastian's past during his time in the Peninsular War and the horrors that he witnessed. All in all, a particularly satisfying installment and it will be interesting to see what happens going forward.

  • Sophia
    2019-03-11 11:30

    There are some mysteries of history that are just incredibly fascinating to me and I love it when fiction authors do their homework and tackle these mysteries with a credible explanation of their own. The fact that a true life mystery like the Lost Dauphin of France being blended in with a murder that only the redoubtable Sebastian St. Cyr and his intelligent wife, Hero can solve is just bonus. I love this series both for the cunning mysteries, authentic backdrop and well drawn characters, but the on going reveal of Sebastian's past and the continuing story lines involving the regular supporting cast make each installment a must read.In this story, Sebastian is confronted by the horrid death of a French physician who is part of a secret delegation to London for the purpose of feeling out the chance of a peace treaty. The only possible witness is a woman who can't remember the event because she was bashed in the head and Sebastian is given a startling turn when he realizes that she is someone from one the darkest moments of his past.In the meanwhile, Hero nears the end of her pregnancy and Sebastian is terrified that he will lose her to the dangers of childbirth. She is tranquil and confident even encouraging him to stay busy with his investigation which she can't help but dip her finger into as well. Sebastian slowly but surely tracks down clues and connections even as danger stalks his heels. It is when the murderer strikes again that people get rattled enough to let go of some rather disturbing secrets that might shake the House of Bourbon in exile if the rumors are true.This was one of the less intense investigations that Sebastian has, but no less engaging for all that. His private life worrying about Hero and their baby almost makes up for it. There was not a lack for motives, suspects or even clues for that matter. Though it didn't all fit together until the final pieces were added in. I do confess to still only having a vague idea about how the second murder fits in. It's possible I missed the confirming explanation. I thought it rather exciting that the Lost Dauphin myth played a huge part in this one and I am now intrigued by Marie-Therese enough to go do further research on her. Ms. Harris left a nice historical note at the end of the story (which she does in each book actually) discussing a little more about her research.So all in all, it was another great installment in the series and I look forward to the next one. Historical mystery fans particularly those that feature a husband/wife detective team and a bit of an ongoing personal side story should give these a try.

  • Keri
    2019-02-27 08:11

    Wonderful series!!! I can't rave enough about it. The mystery is topnotch and even feels my romance quota for a non-romance book. Now wait until Sebastian has to change his first nappy...then we will see how superior that nose is. There was never any doubt for me what sex and what color eyes the baby would have.

  • Ira
    2019-02-28 07:08

    It's the best in the series so far!Simon was born with his daddy eyes, yes!:)Gibson, our Irish surgeon got a girl who is a French doctor and Simon's nursemaid is a French too, she had a heartbreaking story and I really love Sebastian and Hero decision to took her in. It seem we got more supporting cast in this series.Btw, we saw Jarvis quite a few in here, you know I couldn't really get mad at him.I imagine him as a 19th century Alastair Campbell, yup! A spin doctor, of course he will do absolutely everything to protect his political beliefs, no matter what the consequences is!And what Sebastian's life is going to be without his evil way in the background? Isn't it that's what a father in law for? LOL.Oh, he threaten Sebastian if something wrong happened with Hero, because he impregnated her! Crazy FIL, but he did prove he love his daughter though and I think he secretly like his son in law too haha!:)Love love love this series!:)

  • Donna
    2019-03-10 06:12

    Despite that great, gruesome detail about the murder, this one started slow. Every recurring character got a quick recap, and there were a massive number of new players to introduce. I liked that so many different threads were juggled without making things feel overcomplicated. But considering that Sebastian questioned over a dozen people, many of them more than once, I did get tired of going back and forth over the same ground while he probed at their evasions. The end was still satisfying, although the resolution involved a convenient bit of timing.I love these characters, which always makes me wish that the books slanted more towards their ongoing drama. Hero is still my favorite historical character, and while she and Sebastian had a big development in their personal life, I wish they'd gotten more time together. There was a gratifying lack of Kat as more than a nagging memory. Jarvis showed up to make ominous warnings about the investigation, but if there was a reason for that beyond needling his son-in-law then I must have missed it. Then again, I feel like I miss a lot of things when Jarvis is involved.Sebastian's time in the military was also a focus. His story was tragic and I can see why it haunted him. (view spoiler)[The idea that he was tricked into pushing the enemy towards an atrocity took me by surprise. I guess I'd always assumed that he'd been in more control over whatever happened, that he'd been forced to make some terrible choice that broke his faith in what he was doing. (hide spoiler)]My biggest real issue with the mystery is that I prefer it when historical novels tread lightly around well-known figures from the past. Using displaced French royals as actual characters put me off a bit, but that's a personal pet peeve that probably won't bother most other readers.This may not have been my favorite book in the series, but there's a lot here for fans to like.I received a copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

  • Jordan
    2019-02-24 07:27

    (view spoiler)[ EVERYTHING WAS SO GOOD ABOUT THIS. I was so into the murder mystery in this one. It was really intriguing and a lot of fun to work through.BUT OH MANPAUL GOT A FRIEND AND LOVER. YES. I've been waiting for that for a while. THE CAT DOESN'T HAVE A NAME. YET. THE BABY TURNED. HE SAID HE LOVED HER AND COULDN'T IMAGINE A LIFE WITHOUT HER. HERO BEAT A DUDE OVER THE HEAD AND THEN WENT INTO LABOR. SIMON!!!!! THE BABY IS OKAY. Everything was great. (hide spoiler)]

  • Rhi
    2019-02-26 07:34

    This series just gets better and better! What Angels Fear was a masterful introduction to the best sleuth of contemporary fiction. While something always felt odd about Sebastian's relationship with Kat, the way they worked together was engrossing, and those first few books were the perfect blend of dark malevolence, twisty intrigue and high-flying action. What followed were those in-between books where Kat steps out of center stage and Hero wanders part-way into the picture. They developed his character and demonstrated the depth and strength of personality required to endure the revelations and machinations thrown into a life nowhere near as simple as was once believed. Finally, we have the current phase of Sebastian's career as a noble sleuth, where he has finally convinced Hero to marry him and they are beginning to hesitantly form a formidable partnership. Why Kings Confess is the end of a tensely drawn-out plot line from which new developments and characters weave themselves into the growing saga.Our favorite detective is matched up against a rumor which was a legend from the moment it was first whispered. When Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette mounted the guillotine and Marie-Therese was held under lock and key, did the little Dauphin endure a long, abusive death ... or was he liberated from his prison cell and spirited away in secret? When one of history's most tantalizing pieces of gossip is revitalized, Sebastian must dig into the innuendos, idle fantasies, and outright lies of revolutionaries, political magnates bent on destroying Napoleon's reign, and the scattered remnants of the French royal family. Could the Dauphin have survived only to face violence and death in the rookeries of London long decades after the Reign of Terror? What stakes have been raised when not only is a man found dead, but desecrated with a hole in his chest where his heart should have been? The Mystery...Not original, but entirely Harris! The rumors surrounding the little Dauphin and his possible escape from captivity create a fertile source of inspiration for authors to mine. I'm not very surprised to see it crop up in a Sebastian St. Cyr mystery, but to me it meant there was just that much more at stake. Whereas many other authors take historical curiosities and blow them all out of proportion, creating tall tales and taking all the bite out of the historical in their fiction, Harris has proven time and again that she does not go in for cheap tricks and easy melodrama to progress her stories. She tries to allow what facts there are to speak for themselves and create the background to her stories for her, rather than molding the history to fit the story. As before, she has paid a respectfully eloquent tribute to the historical record in this case. It's easy to take the bygone gossips at their word and say the Lost Dauphin escaped and survived, but not so easy to create a credible epilogue to his tale. I think Harris made a wise choice by presenting a believable scenario, but ultimately left it up to her audience to judge for ourselves.The Characters...If there is one aspect of this addition to the series that falls somewhat short it is in the characterization. There aren't really any major development points with anybody ... (view spoiler)[unless you count the sudden need of Gibson's to experience a woman's love. That seemed a little contrived to me, honestly. It could have used some subtle roots in previous books, culminating in this new relationship with his French counterpart. Until now, his internal wound has been his pain and a weakness for opium, but all of a sudden he has this desperate need to be seen as a man by the fairer sex? A little shaky there, Harris. (hide spoiler)] There is one out-standing psychological breakthrough for Sebastian dealing with a traumatic altercation during his service, thus leading him to sell his commission and shoulder a moral burden that haunts him to this day. Through Hero the oppression on his spirit is dealt with to a certain extent, though Sebastian isn't the sort of man who would ever release his own conscience from perceived responsibility. That's who he is, though, and his personal demons are one of the reasons he is such an engaging personality. Still no news on his mother, his true paternity, the rough and tough Mr. Knox, or any of the other long-ranging story arcs, but this was something that had been an outstanding hole in Sebastian's story, and it was satisfying to have it filled in.The Shifting Balance...As stated, the series has undergone a major evolution as Sebastian's character, relationships, and role have altered and grown. With that and the change in his personal responsibilities to his wife and the family they oh-so-accidentally started, the overall balance of brain-bending crime-solving and thriller-style action has shifted. Where the earlier books had Sebastian running down back alleys and into abandoned warehouses chasing after gun- or dagger-wielding crooks every few chapters, the emphasis now is more on the intellectual puzzle of the crimes. Oh, don't get me wrong! There is still plenty of derring-do on our dashing hero's part, but it doesn't dominate the pages anymore. Whether this was a deliberate choice on Harris' part or entirely incidental, I think it reflects the re-balancing of his life that has come with marriage to Hero and coming fatherhood.Hero, Love & A Baby...FINALLY!!! Finally, in so many ways! First and foremost, Sebastian finally manages to bring himself to say the words he has kept inside, but have been so plain until now. Does that count as a spoiler? Deal with it! And, of course, we have the other FINALLY moment: Hero finally gets to have the baby she has been pregnant with for five books. It may be nine months either way, but that's a high page-count pregnancy! I was really starting to feel bad when we got through What Darkness Brings and she still hadn't popped. And, in true Harris fashion, there was nothing easy about it for either Sebastian or Hero. The threat of the loss of the wife he had only recently come to love and their child colored the entire book. The ending was pitch-perfect and so emotionally-charged, ending this chapter of their relationship and opening the way for the next part of the unlikeliest of romances.It was hard to wait a year for it, but Harris always makes it well worth our patience. Understandably, Hero couldn't play much of a role in the mystery itself in this one -- she was a little preoccupied -- but here's hoping that she'll become the well-matched partner she has shown the promise of being previously. An excellent addition to an addictivly wonderful series. Bravo!

  • LJ
    2019-03-02 06:17

    First Sentence: Paul Gibson lurched down the dark, narrow lane, his face raw from the cold, his fingers numb.A murdered French physician and a woman with no memory send Sebastian St. Cyr into the world of the ex-patriated French royal family and the mystery of the “Lost Dauphin”: the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette who is presumed dead. Or is he?The story begins with descriptions, not of elegant and refined London, but of dark, dangerous alleys and death. With each chapter, the story becomes more intriguing and compelling. The dialogue conveys the style of the period.St. Cyr and his new wife Hero are very likable characters. Hero is pregnant and the arcane ideas of preparing a woman for delivery are terrifying. It’s nice to see that St. Cyr has moved on from his past and grown. Harris is very good at describing emotion, particularly the animosity between St. Cyr and his father-in-law, St. James. Nicely, all of the characters are very well drawn; none are short-changed. Each is brought to life in our mind’s eye.There are a number of historic figures included in the story in ways, if not wholly accurate, are appropriate to the story. There is history we learn which is not that of which we learned in school and is terrible. At the same time, it is critical to the story. However, the historical information related to the peace negotiations between the English and Napoleon’s delegation, which conflicts with the English crown wanting the Burbons restored to the throne, is fascinating. The statement “We like to think we’re more civilized, more honorable, more righteous than our enemies, but we’re not….And once you realize that, it does rather beg the question: Why am I fighting? Why am I killing?” is true of any country, in any age, that engages in war.The story is very well plotted, mixing history and fiction seamlessly. The numerous sub-themes--PTSD, phantom pain, privilege, childbirth and others--add depth to the story. The plot twist adds interest. “Why Kings Confess” is one of the best books in the St. Cyr series so far. WHY KINGS CONFESS (Hist Mys-Sebastian St. Cyr-England-1813) - VG+Harris, C.S. – 9th in seriesAn Obsidian Mystery, 2014

  • Isa Lavinia
    2019-03-20 09:16

    Confession! Though I love (and I really do mean LOVE) this series, I only read it from the 4th volume onward. Before that, there were too many soap-opera plot points for my tastes. But then, come the 4th, Hero really takes a role in the plot. I make no secret of the fact that Hero is the main reason I read this series. Oh, Sebastian is all very well, but Hero... now that is a lady worth reading.I was really looking forward to this book - a 3 star rating is a good one coming from me but, I must admit, it's the lowest I've given to the Sebastian St. Cyr series, the other ones are all 4 stars and, of course, 5 stars to the amazing When Maidens Mourn. This is immaterial and does not reflect itself on the rating, but I do wish they'd obscured Sebastian's face on the cover...But on to more serious considerations: I felt this story was slow to start and not as engaging as usual. It all seemed so very... formulaic. And I didn't particularly care for the mystery, it lacked the more personal involvement of the main characters in its outcome. One thing I outright disliked was how Marie-Thérèse of France was characterised. I guess that's the danger of inserting well-known non-fictional characters into a work of fiction, you can't please all your readers in the way you portray them. Oh, she may very well have been like that, but Sebastian would be one of the last people who could criticise her position. This is a man who spiralled into depression and alcohol abuse for matters far more trifling than those Marie-Thérèse went through. Yet, his plight is seen as tragic, and his battle to overcome it manly and valiant. Marie-Thérèse is seen as unbalanced, and absurd for clinging to her grief. This woman was imprisoned as a child, lost her siblings, her parents were murdered, and her whole way of life was destroyed... She wants to spend the rest of her life being distrustful? I find that sensible! She is rancorous and dreams of revenge over those who murdered her family? I find that acceptable. Both Sebastian, and even Hero (!), however, do not."She has hysterics. She’s been known to faint at the sight of a barred window, and she trembles violently at the beat of a drum or the peal of a church bell. She has never really recovered from what was done to her. And while no one could ever in any way hold that against her, I still—”“Don’t trust her?”“I wouldn’t trust either her sincerity or her sanity.”"Hero, who are you to speak of trust?! I wouldn't trust you, you being the daughter of whom you are. I wouldn't trust your husband. I wouldn't trust anyone in these books, and I don't see why Marie-Thérèse should.Then this is the one book that has Sebastian, who is always incredibly clever, having a tstl moment when he leaves the body of the man who attacked him (without checking his face to learn his identity!!!) to call the authorities. Convenient, plot-wise, but unforgivably stupid of the character.There wasn't enough Hero in this book - there never is enough of the Dowager Duchess of Claiborne, either, but there is usually a bit more. And to be honest, the book suffered a bit for it.Also, while I usually find nothing to fault in C.S. Harris' writing, there were some very odd turns of phrase - C.S. Harris is a very skilled writer, so what is something like this doing in one of her books?“With the pain, or with his opium ad—” He started to say “addiction” and changed it to “—problem.”There was also a "his accent was pure Oxbridge" - Oxbridge is a a portmanteau from the mid-19th century - this book is set in 1813...But these quibbles aside, it's a Sebastian St. Cyr book and therefore well worth reading - perhaps not the best of the series, but still better than most historical fiction written at the moment.Also, it was very cute to see Sebastian wanting a daughter and Hero insisting they were having a boy. And it was touching how worried they were with Hero's pregnancy and its risks to mother and child. There weren't many moments (or not as many as I'd wished) between them, but those that existed were excellent at showing the reader the progression in Hero and Sebastian's relationship.Looking forward to the next book!! And, as always, I highly recommend this series to any who haven't read it yet!

  • Jennifer-Eve Workman
    2019-03-22 06:19

    I won this through Goodreads First Reads Giveaway.This is the first book I have read of the Sebastian St. Cyr series. After reading this one I will definitely be reading the others. This is a great historical mystery with a bit of romance thrown into the mix. The author C.S. Harris, really did fantastic at keeping with the 18th century feel. I have found that some authors who write of that time period always make some small mistakes that do not belong there. Or uses words that were not used then. I actually read one where a character said, "Hereeeee's Johnny!" Really? You will not regret reading this one. The author researched well.Investigator St. Cry, who comes from a wealthy politically powerful family is married to Hero, who is the daughter of a not so good political figure that is constantly trying to get rid of the investigator. Not only does Sebastian need to figure out why a visiting Frenchman was brutally murder, but he needs to keep a close eye on his pregnant wife who is having a huge complication as the date of the birth nears. Sprinkled throughout this book, that adds to the read tremendously, are actual historical figures. Napoleon, Maria Antoinette along with other French royals, oh and it weaves in nicely the Lost Dauphin. If you love mystery, intrigue and history, you will love this book!

  • Sarah
    2019-03-20 09:37

    This is the latest installment of the Sebastian St. Cyr series. It can be read alone, but reading the series in order will add depth, as Sebastian's relationship with his father and father-in-law is explained in the earlier books. Paul Gibson, surgeon and Sebastian's friend, stumbles across an unconscious woman and a dead man in a poor section of London. The dead man has had his heart removed. Of course Sebastian gets involved to discover who murdered the man. The man and woman was part of a secret delegation from Napoleon to discuss peace with England after Napoleon's disastrous invasion of Russia. It turns out that Sebastian recognizes the woman, whom he had encountered during his military days in Portugal. She is associated with an incident that still gives Sebastian nightmares. She is also a physician, and may be able to help Hero, who is in the final days of her pregnancy. The baby has not dropped, and a breach birth may kill Hero and the baby, which terrifies Sebastian. Tracking the murderer leads Sebastian into contact with the remnants of the Bourbon royal family in exile in England. It was a little difficult for me to keep all the French characters straight, but it was an engaging story.

  • Shaun
    2019-02-26 04:17

    Good for what it is, an installment in the Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery series.As such, its more well-written and suspenseful entertainment than artistic imagery, powerful prose, and poignant story lines crafted to make you reflect on the human experience.There is a little cheese and some of the characters border on cliche...albeit ones that comfort us, but overall, a good read and a decent mystery set in early 19th century England.I have not read the previous books in the series, though felt the author did a good job of weaving in the relevant backstory. I might even read another book in the series (which is saying something since I'm known to make it through an occasional trilogy but rarely find myself impressed enough by a series to keep reading). I really appreciated the author's notes at the end which provide the real story from which this piece of fiction was conceived. This type of historical fiction, which incorporates infamous historical characters, always leaves me a little disoriented. Totally a personal problem, but still it was nice to learn the true details.

  • Shannon
    2019-03-19 05:16

    I love this series...but the plot to this novel seemed too....automatic maybe? The injection of fight scenes and plot lines seemed choppy, to meet 'Devlin is a bad ass' quotas. I know most serials end up like this, but I had high hopes for Harris since she's pulled the series out of the box before (#6!)SPOILERS!!!The ending of the book annoyed me. The unveiling of the mystery left a bunch of loose ends hanging - which I can deal with if they are left hanging on purpose. Why was Fouchier blinded/murdered? Why was the Molly in the bourbon court targeted? No one will ever know, yet significant plot time was dedicated to both. Annoying,Also, because I love Gibson, the addition of the miraculously skilled and beautiful lady physician stretched my suspension of disbelief toooo far. Harris has the ability to create better, more interesting characters. Finally, there is so much more to Hero's journey...I'm just hoping in the next one she's got a bigger role than 'soft place to land' for Devlin's PTSD.

  • Lorraine
    2019-02-28 11:25

    Another Sebastian St. Cyr mystery read right straight through from beginning to end. This one had quite a few characters and at times it was a bit difficult to keep them all straight. This was not one of my favorites of this series, but that may have been because the French Revolution played a major role and the French Revolution was an extremely violent time and reading about that particular episode in European history makes me uncomfortable. Some of the questions I have concerning the FR were answered though. I also remembered that the author's speciality is the FR; thus I knew whatever she got us, the readers, into, she could get us out. I banked on that as I could not have gotten myself out of any situation regarding the FR. I look forward to Sebastian's next mystery !

  • Kate Forsyth
    2019-03-20 06:16

    WHY KINGS CONFESS is the latest in a series of historical murder mysteries set in Regency England, featuring as its amateur detectives a lynx-eyed viscount with a troubled past and a strong-willed bluestocking noblewoman, the daughter of the viscount’s greatest enemy. The plots are always devious and surprising, the setting is suitably dark and foggy, and the interplay between the characters is fascinating.As always, if this series is new to you, start with the first, called WHAT ANGELS FEAR.

  • Melliott
    2019-03-15 06:28

    Harris keeps her series going with consistent high quality situations, emotions, and characterizations, plus a multifaceted murder mystery. I found the theme of this one--the possible restoration of the Bourbon dynasty to France--intriguing, since I knew little of the history of their years of exile in England. I really enjoyed more personal involvement by Irish surgeon Paul Gibson, and the interplay of emotions between the protagonist and his new wife.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-10 03:24

    This is not exactly a review, but I just wanted to say that often times when a series stretches as long as this one has, the quality of the writing can begin to wane.Thankfully, that is not so with this series.I've not rated any of these books lower than a 4.Also...a big, big YAY for Paul Gibson having more page time (he's one of my favorite characters), as well as the new characters that were introduced. I look forward to hopefully seeing more of them in the future.

  • Kristen
    2019-03-22 08:11

    Absolutely glorious. I love the new Gibson storyline, and I absolutely adored the scene near the end with Alexi, Hero, and Gibson, a threesome certainly thought to be helpless, taking matters right into their own hands. One of my favorite things about this series are the incredible strong women Harris writes!

  • Iain
    2019-03-03 08:24

    Another great Sebastian St. Cyr book... 18th century obstetrics is quite horrifying... was hilarious watching Hero deal with it all... when it wasn't worrying... and of course the baby has yellow eyes... it's going to be sad when I run out of these books soon... only 3 left and then I'm caught up...

  • Tammy
    2019-03-15 05:25

    I'm going through this series.......9 books and counting within less than 2 months, I don't think I need to say more in my review only his lordship, Viscount Devlin's sleuth is addictively entertaining. If you like history you can't miss. A murder case in each book varies but each is getting better in complexity and add up interesting characters.

  • Be Fisher
    2019-03-11 07:19

    This was my least favorite :(

  • Elis Madison
    2019-03-02 06:08

    When the physician attending a French peace delegation is found murdered and mutilated, Sebastian St. Cyr is asked to investigate. When the man's companion, herself badly injured, turns out to be a woman Seb encountered during the war, old nightmares surface. The investigation leads him into the world of the exiled Bourbons, the legend of the lost Dauphin, and other odd conspiracy theories.As usual, the number of suspects is confusingly large, and naturally, Jarvis figures high among them. I did figure out who did it before Seb did, but not much before. Frustratingly, a couple other important secondary characters don't appear much, if at all (view spoiler)[ (Am still peeved that Kat's life took such a tragic turn and Seb doesn't seem interested in sorting it out for her. I get he has divided loyalties, but it is just not like him to let something this big drop.) (hide spoiler)] But to balance things, other elements of Seb's life progress in quite a satisfying way.Best of all, the author's notes at the end provide some fascinating historical tidbits. I do love it when historical fiction is a) well researched and reasonably accurate(view spoiler)[(once again, the mystery strays a bit too close to real historical figures to suit me--if someone so closely linked to such a politically charged situation had done things as horrific as done here, regimes might be forever toppled)(hide spoiler)], b) contains author notes that explain where license was taken and where the actual history came from, and c) add in some explanations that might have bogged the story down, but tell me things I never knew but wanted to. (In this case the best bit explained why England had such a clear distinction between physicians and surgeons until more recently, historically speaking.)Oh, and the quote, "...when two percent of a nation has all the wealth and the other ninety-eight percent of the people pay all the taxes, a bloodbath is inevitable. Inevitable!” It was actually uttered by the historical person portrayed in the book. The fact that the two times this kind of wealth distribution existed before today both ended in catastrophe and rather huge social upheaval should have more people taking note.Five stars.

  • Betty Strohecker
    2019-03-03 07:10

    This was a wonderful addition to the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series. Sebastian's friend, surgeon Paul Gibson, finds a badly injured woman in an alley in the worst part of town. She is lying beside the body of a young man who has had his heart cut from his chest. When it turns out that the woman is a French emigre and physician, and the body is that of her physician brother, in London as part of a secret French peace mission, the case is on. The French connection brings with it the intriguing story of the lost Dauphin, imprisoned with his mother, father, and sister during the French Revolution. Sebastian is led on a twisting chase to find the killer that involves conflict with his father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, revelations into the nightmares he suffers, and an enemy from his past. Numerous suspects keep the reader guessing until the end. Add to this the fact that Sebastian's wife, Hero, is due to give birth any day, and the excitement abounds.C. S. Harris has created a wonderful ensemble cast that I look forward to seeing again in each book. I have grown to really like Hero, and it is interesting to see how she navigates the world between her powerful father (Sebastian's enemy) and her husband. Paul Gibson at last seems to have found a love interest of his own, a fact I heartily cheer, but won't elaborate on to avoid spoilers. I missed seeing Sebastian's tiger, young Tom, who only had a brief scene, but hope for more as Tom grows older. I also look forward to a storyline involving Jules Calhoun, Sebastian's interesting valet. The great thing about an ensemble cast of characters is that there is always opportunity for the storyline to go in many directions. Again, Harris weaves her plot between the world of the wealthy aristocrat and that of the tradesmen and impoverished of the day. We get a very accurate and graphic glimpse into the London of 1813. I have one more book to read in this series before the latest installment is released March 1. Can't wait!

  • April
    2019-02-28 04:19

    I have to admit that I liked the previous 2 books slightly more than this one--but this was still a joy to read.The mysteries are sometimes overly complex, but not in a bad way. I love how politics, intrigue and historical personages and events play a role. It really ties the series well into the period and makes the setting so much more vivid and fascinating. The background of personal relations between Sebastian, Hero, their fathers and relations and friends also adds to the interest. I love that Sebastian has a reason to pursue justice, even though people look greatly askance at his continued involvement in murders he comes across or is asked for help in solving. Events from the past are revealed and play a part, which is always a welcome development. I love that Hero helps, but her participation isn't stretching credibility! She does what she does because she can, but doesn't push herself into Sebastian's investigations.I had a small quibble with Sebastian seemingly so focused on the mystery when it seemed he might have been trying harder to make sure Hero's pregnancy was being overseen by a competent physician or something odd (at that time for their social position) like an experienced midwife... But this wasn't enough to put me off enjoying this book.I had a great time taking a break and then reading this and the last two books nearly one after the other! SO much nicer than having to wait... although, of course, I'm back to waiting! But it was a fine feast and should leave me happily sated for at least a little while!

  • Betsy
    2019-02-22 11:21

    Another very good installment of the Sebastian and Hero St. Cyr series (I am renaming this series). As a team and as individuals, I greatly admire both characters and I would love a book that delved further into the inner-workings of their relationship and day to day life. As a crime-fighting duo they are at the top of my faves list.Such fantastic second halves of the books of this series. I would give five plus stars if the whole book held such sway over me. But the first 40-50% is devoid of the main characters and their lives. I felt like the pages were fluttering down from the sky, each separate, each relating to each other but I did not have a sense of order and ownership. I don't love this introduction to the story, but I accept that this is a mystery series and not a romantic mystery series. It is just that I LOVE the hero and heroine and to be deprived of their connection for almost half the book is disappointing. I am also getting a bit fatigued by the recaps. I feel for the fool who picks up this series at book 9 without having read the any of the others...do people do that?

  • Sharon
    2019-03-04 08:28

    I continue to be impressed by this series of Regency-era historical mysteries.In this latest tale, Lord Devlin, Sebastian St. Cyr, is awaiting the birth of his first child. His wife, Hero, is having a rather complicated pregnancy ... to say the least.In the mean while, a French physician is found murdered in the St. Katharine's neighborhood ... with his heart cut out. Sebastian's friend, Paul Gibson, is looking into the matter from a medical perspective. This causes the two men to become acquainted with several members of the exiled French Bourbon household, as well as some men who have come to England on behalf of Napoleon's government ... and then ensues all matter of additional complications to the tale.C.S. Harris gives us an outstanding look into the complicated politics of the period, as well as creating new characters who are just as multi-dimensional as the rest of the folk who people her stories. The "good guys" are far from perfect, and the "bad guys" are not cardboard stereotypes. That I once again failed to see the "whodunnit" coming impresses me tremendously each and every time.Highly recommended.