cover image Who Speaks for the Damned: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

Who Speaks for the Damned: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

C.S. Harris. Berkley, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-399-58568-5

At the start of Harris’s solid 15th whodunit featuring aristocratic Regency sleuth St. Cyr (after 2019’s Who Slays the Wicked), St. Cyr is astonished to learn from Jules Calhoun, his valet, that Nicholas Hayes, an old friend of Calhoun, has been fatally stabbed at a London tea garden. St. Cyr believed that Hayes, an earl’s son, had died a few years after being convicted of murder and transported to Australia 18 years earlier in 1796. Calhoun reveals that Hayes, who managed to return to England by stealing a dead man’s identity, got in touch with him and asked for his help, but didn’t specify what for. St. Cyr delves into the related questions of why Hayes took the step of coming to London at the risk of summary execution and who was responsible for his murder, which inevitably require probing the crime that led to Hayes’s being sent to Australia—the killing of the wife of a French count. Once again, Harris weds a twisty plot with convincing period detail. This long-running series shows no sign of losing steam. [em]Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Apr.) [/em]