Review: Why Kill the Innocent (Sebastian St. Cyr #13) by C.S. Harris

I’ve kind of jumped around in this series. I was first introduced to this series when the twelfth book came across my desk for review. I had never heard of the series before but I was intrigued. So much so that I picked up the first book in the series to read before I jumped in so late in the series.

Yes there are a lot of things that happen between book 1 and book 12 as one might expect and yes I was a little disorientated reading the 12th book after basically missing a lot of character development and plot points. However I love Sebastian St Cyr as a character so much that I was willing to be a little lost within the series.

London, 1814. As a cruel winter holds the city in its icy grip, the bloody body of a beautiful young musician is found half-buried in a snowdrift. Jane Ambrose’s ties to Princess Charlotte, the only child of the Prince Regent and heir presumptive to the throne, panic the palace, which moves quickly to shut down any investigation into the death of the talented pianist.

But Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife Hero refuse to allow Jane’s murderer to escape justice.

Untangling the secrets of Jane’s world leads Sebastian into a maze of dangerous treachery where each player has his or her own unsavory agenda and no one can be trusted.

As the Thames freezes over and the people of London pour onto the ice for a Frost Fair, Sebastian and Hero find their investigation circling back to the palace and building to a chilling crescendo of deceit and death (summary from Goodreads).

Like many mystery series, a lot of people will say each book could be read as a stand alone and I would agree a book like this could probably be read as a stand alone but you will be missing a lot of plot points. If that sort of thing doesn’t bother you, then dive right in but if you want to see the evolution of the protagonist then start from the beginning–it’s a great series and the first book was fantastic. If you don’t care about the plot points or are indifferent, then by all means jump right in. This is a classic whodunnit that’s a little more nitty gritty than your run of the mill period mystery novel. If you love solving grizzly murders with an atmospheric feel, then start with any book in this series!

I kind of have a foot in both camps. Yes I love seeing the evolution of a protagonist especially one as complex as Sebastian St Cyr but I also love a really good mystery so I haven’t minded doing around in this series. St Cyr is a fantastic character and I love his complexity and evolution–even if I am jumping around it’s still evident he’s much changed from the first book.

This book did not disappoint in the mystery and atmosphere part. I think the author did a good job at giving a little background story for Sebastian and Hero which I was thankful for and I think those who are jumping in late in the game will appreciate and be brought up to speed quickly.

I think the one thing that I was a little surprised by in this book was the amount of characters throughout the narrative. That seemed a little out of character for the author. The books that I have read do not have so many people involved. Now I can’t speak for the other books but the ones I have read seem to be pretty focused on Sebastian so having a lot of other characters was a little confusing. It felt like there were a few too many people involved in everything which bogged down the story to some degree.

This book was a quick read for me. The pace in all of the books I have read in this series thus far are very snappy. One minute I would be barely starting a chapter and the next I was like ten chapters in so I enjoyed how everything was organized and structured to keep the tempo going.

I am thrilled to have discovered this series even if I am late in the game. I love Sebastian and am anxious to see what the next book holds. Hopefully I can read a few more books in the series so I can be better caught up. This book left a strong foundation for the next book and readers–get excited!

One final note, I was not a fan of the black and white cover. One of the things that I love about the covers in this series is the use of color. They are always so eye catching and this one just said boring newspaper print. I have seen that a more colorful cover is coming and I would recommend using that one instead of this one.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: Why Kill the Innocent (Sebastian St Cyr #13) by CS Harris 

  • Kindle/Paperback, 368 pages
    Expected publication: April 3rd 2018 by Berkley
    ISBN 0399585621 (ISBN13: 9780399585623)
  • Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review.

This book counts toward: NA

  • Hosted by: NA
  • Books for Challenge Completed: NA

Recommendation: 3.5 out of 5

Genre: historical fiction, mystery, detective novel

Memorable lines/quotes:

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2 thoughts on “Review: Why Kill the Innocent (Sebastian St. Cyr #13) by C.S. Harris

  1. I began the Sebastian St. Cyr series because of the great narrator Davina Porter. The Audible recordings are terrific. Have listened to all the books and have just begun #13, and Ms. Porter is narrating, thank goodness.

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