cornerofmadness (cornerofmadness) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

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Book 41

When Maidens Mourn (Sebastian St. Cyr, #7)When Maidens Mourn by C.S. Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The latest in the Sebastian St Cyr series doesn’t disappoint. I liked the last book but it was too convoluted. This one solves that issue. It’s still a very good mystery (though it was a tiny bit hard to solve since the key clue wasn’t given until like two pages before the characters solve the mystery).

It opens just a few days after Hero and Sebastian’s hasty marriage when they should have been going on a honeymoon. They are still uneasy with each other. A circumstance about 3 books ago led to the conception of a child and while doing the ‘right thing’ especially for the time period (early 1800’s), it’s becoming clear that they are very well matched and in love, even if they’re having trouble admitting it.

Sir Henry Lovejoy of Bow Street interrupts what should have been martial bliss with news of a murder. Even if Devlin wasn’t interested in the case, which he was, a young woman set adrift in a boat in the moat around Camlet (i.e. Camelot) island, the victim is Gabrielle Tennyson (yes that Tennyson), a friend of Hero’s. Gabrielle, much like Hero is a Bluestocking, believing women should be free to pursue scholarly interests and not just married to the house. Her field of study was King Arthur and Camelot and she believed that Camlet Island might have been the seat of Arthur’s castle. She was studying there with Sir Stanley Winthrop who owned the land. She is found stabbed in the heart and her two nephews, potential heirs to the Tennyson fortune are missing.

As the police search for the missing boys and the killer, Sebastian and Hero do their best to find the killer. In the mix is Hero’s father, Lord Jarvis, who wants Sebastian dead if he could arrange it, Bevin Childe another Arthur scholar, one Lord Tennyson who is the presumptive heir, a smuggler/tavern owner who has an odd tie to Devlin, French prisoners of war, druids and a movement calling for the return of the once and future king to save them.

This was one of those books I devoured them thought ‘aww, now it’ll be another year to find out what happens next.’ Often when a mystery series gets this far along, you start getting disillusioned with the characters but not yet with Sebastian and Hero. They continue to fascinate. The one thing that did bug me a little was that there was very little mention of the baby to come (not until 150 pages in) and mostly it was Sebastian thinking about it. Since we are in Hero’s pov occasionally I would have liked her thoughts. You wouldn’t have known she was pregnant really but this is a very minor quibble.

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Tags: historical mysteries

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