cover image Who Cries for the Lost: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

Who Cries for the Lost: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

C.S. Harris. Berkley, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-10272-5

Set in 1815, Harris’s outstanding 18th mystery featuring aristocratic sleuth Sebastian St. Cyr (after 2022’s When Blood Lies) opens with ex-Army surgeon Paul Gibson, a close friend of the detective, examining a corpse recovered from the Thames. The dead man’s features have been destroyed, possibly by a gunshot fired at close range, and he’s been “emasculated.” Those horrors take on added importance when Alexi Sauvage, the French expat physician who’s become Gibson’s lover, recognizes the murder victim as her husband, Maj. Miles Sedgewick, based on a pattern of saber scars on his chest, neck, and left arm. Sedgewick once served on Wellington’s staff, but St. Cyr, who knew him, considered the officer a “treacherous, untrustworthy bastard.” The search for Sedgewick’s killer takes on a different dimension after St. Cyr learns that his Machiavellian father-in-law, Lord Jarvis, may have employed the major on an espionage mission. The pressure to solve the case ratchets up when another mutilated corpse is dragged from the river. Harris does her usual superior job of combining a page-turning fair-play plot with plausible period detail. Both series fans and newcomers will be captivated. Agent: Helen Breitwieser, Cornerstone Literary. (Apr.)