Why Kill the Innocent: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

C.S. Harris. Berkley, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-58562-3

Harris’s fascinating 13th mystery set in Regency-era London (after 2017’s Where the Dead Lie) centers on the plight of Princess Charlotte, heiress presumptive to the throne, who’s being encouraged to marry William, Prince of Orange, a union designed to benefit her father’s political agenda. Hero Devlin, Sebastian St. Cyr’s wife, and midwife Alexi Sauvage are hurrying home from helping with the delivery of an infant when they literally stumble on the body of a young woman, whom Hero recognizes as Jane Ambrose, Princess Charlotte’s piano teacher. An examination of the corpse indicates that Jane was killed elsewhere and dumped in the street. Soon Sebastian and Hero are investigating the death, in spite of aggressive efforts on the part of the palace to label it as accidental and so shield Princess Charlotte from any hint of scandal. Or is there a more sinister reason for their actions? Harris ably weaves real events into a satisfying mystery that’s chock-full of engrossing historical tidbits. [em]Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Apr.) [/em]
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