What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr Series #1)

What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr Series #1)

by C. S. Harris

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“The combined elements of historical fiction, romance, and mystery in this fog-enshrouded London puzzler will appeal to fans of Anne Perry.”—Booklist

It’s 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III’s England. Then the body of a beautiful young woman is found savagely murdered on the altar steps of an ancient church near Westminster Abbey. A dueling pistol discovered at the scene and the damning testimony of a witness both point to one man: Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, a brilliant young nobleman shattered by his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars.
Now a fugitive running for his life, Sebastian calls upon his skill as an officer during the war to catch the killer and prove his own innocence. In the process, he accumulates a band of unlikely allies, including the enigmatic beauty Kat Boleyn, who broke Sebastian’s heart years ago. In Sebastian’s world of intrigue and espionage, nothing is as it seems, yet the truth may hold the key to the future of the British monarchy, as well as to Sebastian’s own salvation....

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101210789
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/01/2005
Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Series , #1
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 6,804
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

C. S. Harris is the USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series; as C. S. Graham, a thriller series coauthored by former intelligence officer Steven Harris; and seven award-winning historical romances written under the name Candice Proctor.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for the Sebastian St. Cyr Series

"Best historical thriller writer in the business! Sebastian St. Cyr is…uncannily clever, unwaveringly reserved, and irresistibly sexy. The entire series is simply elegant.”—New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner

“Deftly combines political intrigue, cleverly concealed clues and vivid characters.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“A crescendo of suspense and surprise.”—Library Journal (Starred Review)

“Thoroughly enjoyable…kept me enthralled.”—Deanna Raybourn

“A ripping read...captivated me to the final page.”—Will Thomas

“Harris crafts her story with the threat of danger, hints of humor, vivid sex scenes, and a conclusion that will make your pulse race.”—The New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Harris delves deep into the mores of Regency England…”—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Customer Reviews

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What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 86 reviews.
Debbie-J-1970 More than 1 year ago
Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, escapes arrest for the brutal murder of an actress, former prostitute, in a church. His pistol was found at the murder scene and he refuses to provide himself an alibi. Against the backdrop of King George's decent into madness, the coming Regency of the Prince of Wales and England's continuing war with France, Sebastian realizes his only hope is to find the true killer. What an exciting book! St. Cyr, a classic hero with a past, is aided by a wonderful sidekick, the young street urchin Tom. The characters are fully developed, appealing and human. Harris is truly able to convey St. Cyr's frustration and the anger and jealousy of another character. The period details are exacting and the dialogue appropriate to the characters with some of the exchanges between St. Cyr and Tom being particularly enjoyable and touching. The story is engrossing with humor, great action sequences, a bit of sex, and red herrings along the way to a dramatic climax. This is an excellent beginning and I look forward to more in the series. I highly recommend it.
LadyHester More than 1 year ago
I am hooked on this series. The mystery was not horribly difficult to figure out and some of the writing was predictable. However, the characters were entertaining and the action was exciting. Sebastian St. Cyr is not your typical detective. A nobleman framed for murder he is on the run throughout the book. He must use his wits and the help of unlikely friends to clear his name.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1811 London, Rachel York believes she has found sanctuary in the fourteenth century constructed Lady Chapel of the 800 years old St. Matthew of Field. However, she soon learns her mistake as an assailant brutally rapes and murder her on alter steps. --- Amidst the bloody body is found a fancy dueling pistol that belongs to Viscount Sebastian St. Cyr, who suffers from combat fatigue. He is not just the prime suspect, he is the only one. Knowing only he wants to prove his innocence and expose the person who framed him, he flees into the night before he can sent to Newgate. He begins making inquires with the help of people he would never have met before going on the lam and from someone from his past, but the proof he slowly accumulates points to the fact that Rachel is more than just a victim and all leads end with an unknown untouchable with regal connections. --- WHAT ANGELS FEAR is a fantastic action-packed Regency amateur sleuth tale that starts at a frenzied pace and never slows down until the climax yet in spite of the daring deeds of the hero and dastardly deeds of the villain, Sebastian is a fully developed character. Readers will understand the problems he confronts from his war experience and his previously broken heart, but appreciate his antics starting with a duel in which he shoots his cheating opponent in the arse as he sets out to prove his innocence while others want him incarcerated or dead. This strong historical who-done-it stars a likable protagonist. --- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story flys along! It is a great series - I have pre-ordered the newest book to be released in March and I can't wait for it to get to my Nook!
Honukai More than 1 year ago
The plots are complex, you may suspect the bad guy(s) but don't be surprised if your choice is way off base. Time line runs from the late 1790s to the early 1800s, with back stories adding to the complexity of the overall plot. Characters become real to the reader and the settings are historically accurate, all though Harris takes an occasional liberty to move things around for continuity. It is more fun if you read the series (5 at the moment) in order but not necessary. Enjoy them, I did!
Guest More than 1 year ago
C.S. Harris knows history, and really knows how to make a fun and exciting mystery in a historical setting. I picked up this book before a 9 hour flight, and could not put it down the whole way. The subject matter is intriguing and both the wit and emotion are exceptional from the characters.
Whisperlynn More than 1 year ago
A delicious blend of characters and a swift, witty prose highlight this English thriller.  Ends of chapters made me gasp out loud, I couldn't turn pages fast enough!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great historical mystery - interesting characters, well-researched,fun reading. Look forward to the next in the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book. I will read the next book. I have shared how good the book is with two friends and both loved it also.
mommer More than 1 year ago
This is the first novel in the Sebastian St. Cyr series. I have read the series and made this purchase as a gift for a friend, to introduce her to the characters. I'm sure she'll enjoy the series as much as I have.
Anonymous 14 days ago
Good start to a series. I plan to read more by this author.
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
I read this novel and a few others in the series a long time ago and I’ll admit that with the amount of books I read in a year that if some time has gone by I can pick up a book again and read it like it was new with only a hint of familiarity. I am currently listening to the Outlander series and LOVE that narrator Davina Porter. I wanted to see if there were any other books that she’s narrated that sounded interesting and was surprised to see that she narrates this wonderful historical mystery series. Of course, I used my Libro.fm credit to purchase this book. Set in the early 1800’s a young woman is found murdered on the altar of a church. It is a particularly gruesome crime and the only evidence is a dueling pistol and piece of jewelry that belongs to Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin. Accused of the crime, Sebastian escapes the police and decides to investigate to clear his own name. This novel introduces us to characters that will reappear in future books. As Sebastian investigates this twisted mystery the characters morals and motivations are unveiled surprising even the jaded Viscount Devlin. Davina Porter who narrates these books does an amazing job with her characterizations of each character. You are never in doubt as to who is speaking as their voice is immediate clear. I am in awe of her ability to voice an accent from a number of different countries. It is in large part her portrayal of these characters that allowed me to fall into the story as quickly as I did. I love historical mysteries and What Angels Fear was an excellent one. The pacing wasn’t slow as some are and the story held a lot of action sequences that moved the plot along quickly. Sometimes while listening to a novel I get frustrated and wish to speed it along, but this was a novel that I relished and enjoyed as the author C. S. Harris and the narrator, Davina Porter, portrayed it. ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Moves right also no, I enjoyed the book.
EvBishop on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great atmosphere and description in this story. C.S. Harris did a wonderful job of placing me soundly in early 19th century London, and I enjoyed her cast of characters very much. Although I didn't finish the book desperate to delve into the next one in the series, I will definitely aim to read more of her work.
Kimaoverstreet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The morning after I finished, What Angels Fear, I rushed out to buy the sequel, in spite of the size of my reading pile! It took visits to three bookstores to find it!Sebastian St. Cyr is a fascinating protagonist, a mix of superhero, English gentlemen, and tormented veteran. Period detail sets the stage for this fast-paced story. Recommended for fans of historical mysteries.
Romonko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series, and it is a winner. The action is non-stoppable, and it kept me wanting to read more. The book is set in London in the winter of 1811. The tension begins early in the book with the discovery of a badly mutilated body of a woman in a lady chapel of a church, and it kept up from there, not letting the reader go. We are also introduced to Sebastian St. Cyr who is a larger-than-life hero with many skills in spying, self-defence and in investigation all of which he handles with extreme courage. The book touches on political aspects of this time as well. 1811 is when the mad King George is removed from his kingship and the throne is given to the Prince Regent, his son. There is an ongoing war with France that allows the author to bring in a French spy connection. This is a complex book with many plots and sub-plots and it is a sign of the author's skill that all of them come together at the end. I cannot wait to read the next book in this compelling series.
Stewartry on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What Angels Fear opens with the murder of a young woman who turns out to be an actress-cum-prostitute (Cyprian - I'd forgotten about that term). At the scene of the crime is found a dueling pistol with the name "St. Cyr" engraved on it - which obviously incriminates Sebastian St. Cyr, young nobleman and rake, who has been a sore disappointment to his father. But Sebastian (SSC) didn't do it, and when the officious twits of the London police force come to arrest him, he is rather indignant, especially when the Beau Brummel-wannabe sergeant mouths off to him. SSC puts the latter in his place, which may have been a bit of a tactical error given the circumstances - and given that the sergeant has a knife and a temper. In the end, the second constable stumbles onto the knife, the sergeant is yelling that SSC has killed him, and SSC runs for it. At that point his choices are: turn himself in and hope for the best (although the case is strong against him, and whoever else could or would have stabbed the constable?); find a ship to smuggle him to America or somewhere; or stay hidden and try to find the real killer. SSC being SSC, he has no real choice - he has to try to clear his name. In working to do so, SSC must turn to the woman who broke his heart several years ago, Kat Boleyn, and a doctor friend who provides valuable forensic information; he is also joined by a young boy who starts off trying to pick his pocket and, in the grand tradition of Regency and Victorian novels, becomes his ally. (And of course he's much cleverer than SSC was expecting; I swear I'm tempted to write a book about a street urchin being taken under someone's wing, someone who realizes the boy is at least as intelligent as anyone in society, and educating him and training him to "pass" - and maybe end up in Parliament. I'll call it "My Fair Laddie.") I don't want it to sound like it's Just Another Regency; it has some rather standard plot turns, and I admit I saw the end coming a ways off, but I was enjoying myself so much that didn't care. And I did think the killer was someone else; there were some lovely red herrings. There was political intrigue - the French, of course, and the mess surrounding the Madness of King George - which usually annoys me, but this was quite well done and well integrated into the plot: it's integral, and more cloak-and-dagger than oh-lord-not-another-worldwide-conspiracy. There was some truly wonderful period detail. And I loved the characters. The supporting cast could easily have been a cast of cliches, but Harris provided enough twists and quirks that those who peopled this novel came quite close to living and breathing. Sebastian St. Cyr is not Mr. Darcy, nor Julian Kestrel, nor William Monk, nor yet Sherlock Holmes, or any of the other dandies or detectives (or both) of gaslit fame; he is himself, damaged by childhood tragedies, a cold father, and heartbreak and war horrors as an adult. I have to admit, I was still in Fantasy mode when I started this, and still thinking it was by the author of supernatural mysteries, so when the narrative started talking about how he could see almost perfectly well in the dark and hear what no one else could I kept expecting a paragraph along the lines of "He caught the scent of blood on the constable's coat, and turned his face away. He had learned to manage his unholy hungers, but since the night he was bitten he lived in constant fear of losing control"... Obviously I was wrong, and I'm glad of it. (It was an odd experience, though...) I loved the book; it wasn't perfect - again, there was really only one way the climactic struggle could end - but it was close enough.
reneebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set in England on the verge of the Regency period, WAF is an engrossing historical mystery blending political intrigue and suspense. Viscount Sebastian St. Cyr is the prime suspect in the gruesome rape and murder of an actress who has been the mistress to various members of the prime minister's cabinet. In order to clear his name, Sebastian escapes capture by the authorities so he can investigate the murder himself and expose the person who framed him. Using his training in intelligence and his very clever disguises, he begins questioning her friends and looks into her past.If you enjoy fast paced mysteries with well-developed characters, this book is for you. The historical detail provided a fascinating backdrop to this story. The plot was tight and kept me on edge to its conclusion. Sebastian was an interesting fully drawn character and I loved his side-kick, Tom. There were lots of characters coming in and out of the story but they were all so unique I had no trouble keeping track of the action. And the mystery was a good one.Some of you may wonder if there is any romance in the story and I'm happy to report that there is a small bit of romance here but it was very minor. Kat Boleyn is one of the victim's friends that Sebastian questions and is his former love that broke his heart years ago. Kat is hiding a secret from him about why she walked out on him. That secret is eventually revealed to Sebastian in a satisfying way. However, several questions were left unanswered and I supposed that's because this book is the first in a series. But I don't like questions left hanging because it feels like I'm being manipulated into buying the next book so that affected my grade. A straight mystery lover would probably give WAF a higher grade. (Grade: B)
cameling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This might be the first Sebastian St Cyr mystery in the series. A fine mystery with alot of twists and sub plots. This story takes the reader through Victorian London with a very entertaining, intelligent, kind and determined nobleman who, through circumstantial evidence and 2 dead women, find himself on the run from the law. In the process of trying to find out who the murder is for these heinous crimes and clearing his name, he also finds that there is a potential scandal within his family, French master spies running around London and that all is not as they seem among the judiciary, the nobility, artists and performers. I found the pace of the book to be fast enough to keep me gripped to the story and I couldn't put it down once I started it.
runaway84 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fantastic novel of murder and intrigue. Filled with so many twists and turns that you never knew where you were going to end up or which mysterious character you'd meet up with next.What Angels Fear had everything that should be expected in a historical mystery: chases, sword fighting, disguises and of course, murder.Every suspect seemed to have something to hide and I was completely off in my conclusion. I did not see the end coming and the murderer was totally unexpected.With a host of off-beat characters and a backdrop set in the beginning of the Regency, this looks to be a good start in what I hope is a great series of mystery novels.
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's a story of Sebastian St Cyr who is a prime suspect in a murder mystery. He's sure he's innocent but can he find out who did it and why he's being blamed.Interesting and shows promise.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're in the mood for an engrossing historical mystery and willing to suspend disbelief and take a walk on the romantic fiction side, then like me, you may find C.S. Harris' 'What Angels Fear' to be be an enjoyable read. The story is well plotted, the action is fast, the characters are interesting, and the background is quite well done. But keep in mind that this is not a novel for students of 'serious' historical fiction.
sweans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was an interesting read, but not as suspenseful as I had hoped. I would definitely recommend it for a history buff.
DWWilkin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There was a lot to like about the first St. Cyr mystery and I do intend to read others in the series. Ms. Harris who is a historian knows a great deal and shares that with us, though sometimes it does seem that we have artifice instead of art to do so.We have the dead body, which we of course want in our mysteries. We even have our heroic investigator, but what we have also is some additional hijinks that does not make sense. Why does our hero need the Bithil Syndrome? It is a device that author has added that does not add to our protagonist overmuch. Thieves cant abounds except when our street urchin, whose disposition is not settled, drops the usage of it. Then we have a great many Irish with a grievance, or other continental types who have accents and then don't.What we also have is the veneer of politics which is useful to parts of the mystery, but we also have a senior minister so intent on his plans, that he forgets that our hero is also well enough connected that he could have been Jack the Ripper and political expediency would have saved him. Further, the entire crooked constable action needed more. I felt when reading it that there was more there, but as our hero, like a ball in a pinball machine, bounced all over London and repeatedly say the same characters to get clues, the author ran out of pages she could devote to self-interested evil.Those reasons are why I can't give a better award to the story. Too much Red Herrings, too many coincidences, and just a few too much suspension of my disbelief. But it is worth sticking with to see if this becomes as good as the Bruce Alexander Sir John Fielding Mysteries which seem to have a very similar feel.
wagner.sarah35 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Set in Regency England, What Angels Fear recounts the tale of nobleman and former soldier Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, who finds himself implicated in a brutal murder. As discovering the actual killer is his only chance to prove his innocence, Sebastian sets out to do just that, with the assistance of his former lover Kate Boleyn and a boy from the streets named Tom. Unlike some other historical mysteries I have read, What Angels Fear is very much about the murder mystery itself. Nevertheless, the characters are interesting and compelling and the conclusion reveals some satisfying details about the relationship between the characters while leaving the door open for more. i would recommend this book to fans of historical mysteries and the Regency era.