Why Kill the Innocent by C. S. Harris

Why Kill the Innocent

C. S. Harris

Highly recommended for lovers of historical thrillers, Why Kill The Innocent is the latest from national bestselling author C.S. Harris. 

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A brutal murder draws nobleman Sebastian St. Cyr into the tangled web of the British royal court in this gripping historical mystery from the national bestselling author of Where the Dead Lie.

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 . . .

Advance Galley Reviews

As with the previous books in the series, this is a well-researched historical and pulls from many actual events. I appreciate how the author weaves in this real history to the story. It provides a really interesting backdrop for the actual mystery. I also appreciate how Harris is able to deftly integrate commentary on the many social and political injustices that were prevalent during this time period. The murder investigation itself is bound up in a layers of palace and political intrigue with a few surprises as well. Overall a solid and enjoyable contribution to an excellent series. A few notes: As noted above, this is part of a series, and I really wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone. You don’t get the depth of the characters and there are important pieces of backstory that inform how characters interact with one another. There is quite a bit of political intrigue, even for this series. I’m a history and political science nerd so I love it personally, but it might be off-putting for some readers.

This series is amazing. The details Harris brings to the story make it easy to fall right in. This particular book shines the light on the limits put on women of the time; from poor isolated Princess Charlotte & Jane Ambrose who can't claim her musical genius down to the seventeen year old mother who lost her husband to a press gang.

It takes a lot of skill to have a thirteenth book in the series still feel fresh and interesting. Luckily Harris seems to have this skill. I love the characters she's created and the way they continue to evolve. Her knowledge and use of actual historical events is what always makes her books stand apart from the others. I loved how this one felt so relevant to today's culture while simultaneously making me feel like I was transported to 1814 England.

As always, a outstanding literary mystery that combines the personal and social with the underground Victorian movements. Loved the little teasers for possible upcoming novels.

Not my genre, but it was an interesting historical read about intrigue in the 1880's royal court after the death of the piano teacher to Princess Charlotte. The focus was centered on the prevalent social injustices and inequalities for the poor intensified during a brutal freeze. Women's lack of rights and respect was highlighted also. Devlin the main character works to solve the mystery with the background descriptions poignantly described, not romanticized for the era. Great read for historical buffs.

The St. Cyr historical mystery series is one of my favorites. As with long-running series, some are more enjoyable than others. This was one of the more enjoyable ones. In the winter of 1814, with England locked in a war, London locked in the grip of snow and frigid temperatures, and the Thames locked in ice, Sebastian St. Cyr and his brilliant wife Hero investigate the murder of a musically gifted but tragically unhappy woman upon whose body Hero literally stumbles over on her way home one snowy night. One thing I especially love about this series - and Why Kill the Innocent is no exception - is the way social issues and historical details are interwoven with the mystery, including income inequality, the oppression of women of all social classes, and a corrupt monarchy. Highly recommended.

Let me start by saying that I love this series. I've read every book and intend to continue to do so. I was at a training club a couple of weeks ago and an acquaintance said she had to tell me about a great series she was reading and it was this one. It's good. That being said, I thought this book was the weakest in the series. For me, the plot could be summed up as "Protagonists travel across London to confront Someone who might be involved in Bad Stuff; Someone denies they are involved in Bad Stuff and say talk to The Other Guy; Protagonists travel across London to confront The Other Guy. The Other Guy denies he is involved in Bad Stuff but provides proof that Someone is. Return to step 1. Also, I suppose it is inevitable that, once the series got to 1814, everyone was going to the Frost Fair. Is it me, or has the Frost Fair of 1814 leapt from the past and smacked against our collective windshield, and why is that? There was the Doctor Who episode and then this is the 3rd book I've read in the last year in which the Frost Fair of 1814 played a bit part. I will say that the desperate social inequities of the time are highlighted in a way that makes them sound absolutely horrific, while, at the same time, a lot like the social inequities of today. That was very well done. The intrigue with respect to the monarchy(ies) was also very interesting; I had to resort to Wikipedia to find out What Happened Next, which I suppose says volumes about how much attention I paid in history classes, but yay for any author who can get any of us to take a look back, so we may hopefully not repeat those mistakes... Again, I look forward to the next book; not every book is going to appeal to everybody, but even when not in what I consider top form, this series is absolutely worth reading.

Harris explores the many social injustices of the time, including income inequality, oppression of women, and corrupt monarchy. All while giving us a compelling mystery deftly set in a fantastic historical setting. Brava!!


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