Why Mermaids Sing

Why Mermaids Sing by C.S. Harris.  Someone appears to be murdering, mutilating, and then publicly displaying the sons of English aristocrats in the early days of the Regency in 1811.  Queen Square magistrate Henry Lovejoy calls upon Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, heir of the Earl of Hendon, to assist on the case by using his puzzle-solving prowess and his considerable physical abilities.  When the victims’ fathers insist that Sebastian stop investigating and when two more related deaths are discovered, Lovejoy and St. Cyr agree that some secret that the families want kept unrevealed must be driving the killer to extract such brutal revenge.  To say more would spoil the many wonderful twists in the plot.

The pacing in the novel is at thoroughbred speed and the London setting is well-portrayed.  The subplot involving actress Kat Boleyn, Sebastian’s lover, and the devious Lord Jarvis, the power behind the Prince Regent’s throne, is an edgy addition to the story rather than a distraction.  The recurring supporting characters of the young servant Tom, the Irish doctor Paul Gibson and the cold, domineering Earl are used judiciously to enhance readers’ understanding of St. Cyr’s past and his character.  I highly recommend this third volume of the St. Cyr series as well as the previous two, What Angels Fear and When Gods Die.

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