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What Angels Fear (Sebastian St. Cyr #1)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  5,921 ratings  ·  631 reviews
In London, 1811, a young woman is brutally raped and murdered, her body left on the altar steps of an ancient church. The prime suspect: Sebastian St. Cyr, a brilliant young nobleman still haunted by his experiences in the Napoleonic Wars. Now he is running for his life, desperate to catch the killer and prove his innocence. Moving from Mayfair's glittering ballrooms to St ...more
Published November 1st 2005 by New American Library (first published 2005)
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Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways
Rating: 4* of five

The Publisher Says: It's 1811, and the threat of revolution haunts the upper classes of King George III's England. Then a beautiful young woman is found raped and 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 experience in the Napoleonic Wars.

Now a fugitive runni
Faced with more than thirty-hours of travel time from Wisconsin to Papua New Guinea, I pondered what reading material to carry with me, first considering and rejecting a book of William Gass’s literary essays as requiring too much concentration and thought. Next I thought I might choose David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas, a novel I read in 2004 when I concluded that it was a technical tour-de-force lacking substantive content. Recent reviews of the book by a number of readers whom I respect have made ...more
I enjoy historical mysteries, and this is one of the better ones that I have read. The storyline was good, and the mystery kept me guessing. I really liked the main character, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin. I am looking forward to reading the other three novels that are currently part of this series.

Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is a rather mysterious young nobleman with uncanny vision and hearing. Rumors have abounded about him since his return from the Napoleonic Wars. When a young
Jacob Proffitt
This book worked quite well as an action/mystery hybrid set in Regency London (on the cusp of Regency, at any rate, as the Prince is made Regent near the end of the novel). Sebastian is an awesome protagonist in the competence-porn vein. There are politics, machinations, and murder with a hero motivated to get his hands dirty and dig to the bottom of some particularly gruesome murders.

This would have been a solid four stars if it weren't for the hero's motivations—or rather, lack thereof, outsid
Ms. Phoenix
This was a proper old school murder mystery and I loved every second of it! Move over Sherlock Holmes and meet Sebastian St. Cyr. 4 Stars!

I was imaging this book as I TV series and thought hmm how about Tom Hiddleston after chatting with Rachel Adien Turner's name came up and he is soooo much better.

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Sebastian St. Cyr has been accused of murdering a young actress Rachel York in a most vulgar way. He is an Alpha with extraordinary talents both in and out of the bedroom.

When I first read the sc
Melissa Proffitt
I'm still not sure how much I liked this book. The Regency London setting is very well evoked, as is the political setting of a government on the cusp of a Regency that may upset the balance of power between the Tories and the Whigs. If anything, the setting may be a little too good; maybe it's just that I've been reading a lot of the history of this place and time lately, but there were times when I felt Harris was putting in details just to show how much she knew about Regency London. The myst ...more
Couldn't finish this book. It started off well, a solid crime, a touch of history. But then Harris wrote a scene that struck me as bad farce and I couldn't get back into the story. Eventually I gave up.

At about pg 40, (view spoiler)
Three and a half stars

Boy, those anarchists certainly must have been a thorn in everyone's sides back in the day as this is the third historical mystery I've read that involved them as a main plot device. I feel the need to go brush up my world history now. In any event, this debut book by C.S. Harris, a female author, serves up an intriguing male protagonist in Sebastian St Cyr and an equally engaging murder mystery. The details of the murder/s are pretty horrendous and the chain of suspects le
Apr 12, 2010 SarahC rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Regency historical mystery fans
I love historical mysteries, but even in my limited experience with them, I have become choosy. I don't mind trying series mysteries, but am also past the honeymoon with them too. Too many times, I don't feel I'm getting my money's worth from buying all the books throughout the series -- in other words maybe I feel I have read 3-volume's worth of actual story for every six volumes purchased.

But let me focus back to first of the latest series I am trying, What Angels Fear, a Sebastian St. Cyr mys
Pure escapism. Not extremely well-written, but I am a sucker for mysteries, especially when they are set in a foreign country. It is a weird mix of bodice-ripper and detective novel, though. I was kind of surprised by the sex scenes, they seemed unnecessary for the plot development. I guess it was to make sure you understood the relationship between two of the characters, but I think I got it before they rekindled their physical relationship. Maybe it was just meant to satisfy the usual audience ...more
Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is charged with murder when a young actress if found mutilated in an old church and a gun marked with his name is found on the body. Smelling a setup, Sebastian runs from the authorities and decides to find the killer himself. In the process he hooks up with another actress named Kat Boleyn, a woman he once loved who ended up breaking his heart. The story was really good and it was difficult to deduce the killer, but with good reason -- the author didn't share ...more
Regan Walker
Suspenseful Regency Mystery with a Worthy Hero and an Intriguing Heroine—and Many Twists and Turns!

Having loved Candice Proctor’s historical romances (all keepers!), I thought to read her Regency mystery series featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin. I was not disappointed. Like her other novels, these are masterfully written with vivid descriptions of Regency London, both the aristocracy and the underbelly of society. The mystery itself is absorbing, even riveting—and very hard to put dow
Meh. I liked the characters in this book and the author gave me some authentic sensory experiences of London which allowed me to become immersed in the setting. I am not a huge fan of mysteries though and I need a bit more than "light romance". Kat and Sebastian obviously have an intense romance, but we as readers are not privy to much of it. I may research which of these books is heaviest on the romance because I would read that. Otherwise, I won't be picking up another one.
Changing it up, I started reading this series, a Regency mystery series with a dashing protagonist. Definitely melodramatic, but I truly enjoyed the pace and the characters. I adore period mysteries, so this was a win for me!
What Angels Fear
4 Stars

When the body of a young woman is discovered on the steps of an alter in a London church next to a distinctive pistol, Sebastian St. Cyr becomes the prime suspect. In order to clear his name, Sebastian will have to go on the run and investigate the crime himself with the aid of Tom, a snarky street urchin, and Kat, the woman who broke his heart. Can he uncover the truth before the real killer strikes again?

A very entertaining historical mystery. Harris seamlessly merges th
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, espec ...more
By all accounts, I should have enjoyed this - a period piece, heavy on the place-as-person sort of living setting, the British gent solving crime with a plucky lad as a sidekick. A healthy dollop of the Theater's influence. A decent amount of gore. A lot of the things I like in a book were in this story.

And yet, it bored me. It's really hard for me to admit this, but I was bored by this story. I never much cared for Sebastian St. Cyr, I did not have any real feelings on the relationship he once
Cover Gushing Worthiness: I think the cover of What Angels Fear is hauntingly beautiful. There’s a certain darkness to it, which captures the mood of the book perfectly.

What do you think an angel would fear? Love. I think an angel would fear falling in love with a mortal- someone who could be theirs for only a short time and them would slip away forever. – Kat Boleyn.

I admit it was the title and the cover that drew me to this book. Both the cover and the title are so chilling in my opin
(340 pgs.) A mystery/murder that takes place during the Regency period. I liked this book except for the explicit sexual passages which were totally unnecessary. Also, this book had two problems that I spotted. pg. 71 The lady of the house has asked her servants to fold the newspaper (Morning News) up and set it at her place at the breakfast table. Ladies as late as the Victorian and into the beginning of the twentieth century would NOT have read the newspaper. It was considered to be full of th ...more
The blurb copy on What Angels Fear, the first of C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr series, says that if you are a fan of the Julian Kestrel series, then you'll like this one too. And it's really rather on the money. I do like me some Regency-era mystery, and like the redoubtable Julian Kestrel, Sebastian St. Cyr is a nobleman of dubious reputation and a mysterious history. He's got the obligatory relationship with a woman of equally dubious reputation, and the plucky young sidekick off the streets. ...more
WHAT ANGELS FEAR (Historical-England-1811) – Ex
Harris, C.S. – 1st in series
New American Library, 2005- US Hardcover – ISBN 0451216695

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
This is the first book of a murder mystery series set in Regency London, featuring a young nobleman forced to become a sleuth when he’s falsely accused of murder. You know, 'cause the only way he can clear his name is to find the real killer.

I enjoyed this. It’s darker and grittier than the cozy Julian Kestrel series, to which it has some similarities. This book has more historical scenery, but less humor. The troubled hero St. Cyr, a Napoleonic war veteran, isn’t as charming as Kestrel - he isn
Barbara ★
This is the first book I've read by C.S. Harris but it won't be the last. I really liked Sebastian St Cyr. What an interesting character. A noble who actually acted nobly.

I had difficulty understanding the urchin Tom and his authentic gutter-speak (or whatever it's called). I was thankful that Sebastian interpreted his meaning at times otherwise I wouldn't have had a clue as to what he was talking about. Regardless I really did like Tom and felt that Sebastian made a life-long friend in him jus
This was fun!

I was really into how well the author manages to take you along with the procedural of catching the murderer. It was a lot of fun, even if very grim.

The only thing I have is that Kat still feels very wooden and incomplete to me. So much "telling" with her and not anything shown, basically. Which doesn't endear me.
Could not put this book down! I am definitely going to read more of this series. Intricate plot with lots of suspense. I liked the main characters too.
Susan Johnson
I had read book number 6 and enjoyed it so much that I started at the beginning of the series. It's a good thing I did as it explained many of the relationships I didn't quite grasp in the later novel. This is a good historical mystery and I enjoyed it. Sebastian St. Cyr is framed for murder of a beautiful actress. He attempts to find the real murderer so he can free himself. He has to avoid the police and the people out to get to get him and those trying to blacken his father's political reputa ...more

I have a somewhat unsophisticated love for novels set in 1800s England and modern gothic romances. I blame it on my high school obsessed reading of Victoria Holt, Susan Howatch, and Phyllis Whitney. Mary Stewart came later, but is just as engrossing. Then Georgette Heyer and Joan Smith. My love of mysteries is older still, dating back to Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden. When friends from the 52 books in 52 weeks group recommended CS Harris' Sebastian St Cyr novels, I found I couldn't get to
I am very much disappointed in this book. I expected more, especially since it was recommended to me by several people whose opinion I generally trust. However, I found the story repetitive and boring.
London is foggy, yes, we get it; and war is bad; and evil men do terrible things to poor women and children; and Kat and Sebastian love each other oh-so-much, yes yes, we get it!
Part of the reason why I was so bored with this book was that I couldn't care a teensy bit for any of the characters. N
Terrific historical mystery with political intrigue and a dose of humor. Though its reliance on the historical setting led to a glacial pace, I appreciated the rich detail that completely transported me. If you like Regency London and an interesting murder mystery, this is your book.
Sharon Penman
I highly recommend the Sebastian St Cyr Regency mysteries. She creates three-dimensional characters that are both flawed and sympathetic, and her "people" seem firmly rooted in their time and place--England circa 1810.
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  • Dangerous to Know (Lady Emily, #5)
  • The Sudbury School Murders (Captain Lacey, #4)
  • India Black (Madam of Espionage, #1)
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  • The Gilded Shroud (A Lady Fan Mystery #1)
Candice Proctor, aka C.S. Harris and C.S. Graham, is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than a dozen novels including the Sebastian St. Cyr Regency mystery series written under the name C.S. Harris, the new C.S. Graham thriller series co-written with Steven Harris, and seven historical romances. She is also the author of a nonfiction historical study of the French Revolution. Her books ...more
More about C.S. Harris...

Other Books in the Series

Sebastian St. Cyr (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • When Gods Die (Sebastian St. Cyr #2)
  • Why Mermaids Sing (Sebastian St. Cyr, #3)
  • Where Serpents Sleep (Sebastian St. Cyr, #4)
  • What Remains of Heaven (Sebastian St. Cyr, #5)
  • Where Shadows Dance (Sebastian St. Cyr, #6)
  • When Maidens Mourn (Sebastian St. Cyr, #7)
  • What Darkness Brings (Sebastian St. Cyr, #8)
  • Why Kings Confess (Sebastian St. Cyr #9)
  • Who Buries the Dead (Sebastian St. Cyr #10)
  • When Falcons Fall (Sebastian St. Cyr, #11)
When Gods Die (Sebastian St. Cyr #2) Where Serpents Sleep (Sebastian St. Cyr, #4) Why Mermaids Sing (Sebastian St. Cyr, #3) What Remains of Heaven (Sebastian St. Cyr, #5) Where Shadows Dance (Sebastian St. Cyr, #6)

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“When one lived a life that was, essentially, a lie, appearances were everything.” 0 likes
“There’s lots o’ bad things ’appen in this world. Lots o’ bad things what ’appen, and lots o’ folks what do bad things. But there’s good, too. Lots o’ good. Me mum, before they put her on that ship for Botany Bay, she told me never to forget that. She said that things like ’onor, and justice, and love are the most important things in the world and that it’s up to each and every one of us to always try to be the best person we can possibly be.” 0 likes
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