cover image Who Slays the Wicked: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

Who Slays the Wicked: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

C.S. Harris. Berkley, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-58565-4

Harris’s solid 14th whodunit featuring Regency England aristocratic sleuth Sebastian St. Cyr (after 2018’s Why Kill the Innocent) puts St. Cyr in the unusual position of probing the murder of a man he himself once threatened to kill. Lord Ashworth was implicated in a series of killings of homeless children, but St. Cyr was unable to find enough proof of Ashworth’s guilt. Now, someone has fatally stabbed Ashworth and left his nude corpse tied to his bed. One suspect is the dead man’s wife, St. Cyr’s niece, which adds another level of awkwardness to his inquiries. Ashworth was rumored to have been cheating on his wife with Princess Ivanna Gagarin, an attendant to a Russian grand duchess, whose arrival in London in advance of a planned summit to celebrate Russia’s expected imminent victory over France makes the investigation into Ivanna’s possible involvement politically sensitive. Harris does a nice job of introducing red herrings and devising a surprising solution that fits with the clues she’s planted. If not the series’ best, this installment is sure to satisfy fans. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Apr.)