Review: Why Mermaids Sing (Sebastian St. Cyr #3) by C.S. Harris

This mystery series has been one that I have read and enjoyed but wouldn’t consider a favorite….until now. I picked up the later books in the series but hadn’t gone back to read the earlier books.

While I didn’t always feel out of place or lost in the plot, there were clearly nuanced relationships between the characters within the larger narrative that left me feeling not as invested in the series as I had hoped.

I read the first book a few years ago and thought it was good and at the time had planned to read the series in order, but I just didn’t have it in my reading calendar to do that. Well a few years went by and here I was over Christmas break and found that I had a clear schedule and nothing to read. The second book in this series was on sale so I downloaded it and devoured it in a day, needless to say I downloaded this one immediately following and was incredibly thankful for instant download because I couldn’t wait to see what Sebastian investigated next.

Summary

Murder has jarred London’s elite. The sons of prominent families have been found at dawn in public places, partially butchered, with strange objects stuffed in their mouths. Once again, the local magistrate turns to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, for help. Moving from the gritty world of London’s docks to the drawing rooms of Mayfair, Sebastian confronts his most puzzling—and disturbing—case yet (summary from Goodreads)

Review

This summary nailed it. This book’s case is much more disturbing that I was expecting but it was fascinating and I was glued to the pages at any spare moment. As a result I finished this one in a day as well. It was well paced and there were lots of tantalizing red herrings and suspects that just didn’t seem to have anything in common. Like Sebastian, I was trying to figure out the connection. I loved unraveling this mystery, it was fantastic. I love this series because it’s a little on the gritty side which gives it an edgy feel for me.

I also loved that this book contained a little more romance. Sebastian has an established lover since book 1, but this book really got into their relationship more and explored their history together a little. This author has also written some romance novels and I could see subtle undertones of romance in this book but not so much that it distracted from the overall narrative.

The more I read, the more the later books make sense and I am enjoying reading the series from the beginning as it was intended. Sebastian is intelligent, brash, and borders on temperamental or moody—all of which I find sexy and exciting. I love his directness and that he is bold and unafraid to take risks. The author describes her character as Mr Darcy meets James Bond an I completely agree. He’s refined but yet a bit of a rogue bad boy. I can’t wait to see how the other books get on. I should add that as soon as I finished the second book, I immediately put the next 5 books on hold at the library because I knew that I wanted to keep reading all of them. I don’t see myself getting tired of Sebastian and the cast of other characters any time soon. This series went from ‘not bad’ to one of my all time favorites in the space of 4 days. Fantastic series that has made me fall in love with historical mysteries/thrillers all over again.

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 364 pages
Published (first published 2007)
ASIN B000X1E47Q
Review copy provided by, personal collection. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: historical mystery, historical fiction, detective novel

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