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What Darkness Brings: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery Hardcover – March 5, 2013

171 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Eighth in Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series, this volume is perhaps the best yet, with its air of Regency intrigue and its abashed, somewhat bewildered hero. The story begins with newly married Sebastian, still grieving after the death of a friend, caught up in the murder of a wicked gem dealer whose demise is blamed on St. Cyr’s acquaintance Russell Yates, now languishing in prison. Found bloodied and standing over the corpse, Yates needs Sebastian’s sleuthing expertise, though it’s Yates’ wife, Kat Boleyn, St. Cyr’s former lover, who begs for help. It’s a delicious, complicated tangle made even tastier by Sebastian’s bride, the wise Hero, and by Harris’ tender treatment of the newlyweds’ affection and growing love for one another. Harris’ acute characterizations and her facility for portraying the complexities of human emotion are similar to Imogen Robertson’s in Anatomy of Murder(2012), while her view of social niceties hiding dark motives conjures Anne Perry. --Jen Baker


Praise for the Sebastian St. Cyr Series

"Best historical thriller writer in the business!  Sebastian St. Cyr is…uncannily clever, unwaveringly reserved, and irresistibly sexy.  The entire series is simply elegant.”—New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner

“Deftly combines political intrigue, cleverly concealed clues and vivid characters.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“A crescendo of suspense and surprise.”—Library Journal (Starred Review)

“Thoroughly enjoyable…kept me enthralled.”—Deanna Raybourn

“A ripping read...captivated me to the final page.”—Will Thomas

“Harris crafts her story with the threat of danger, hints of humor, vivid sex scenes, and a conclusion that will make your pulse race.”—The New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Harris delves deep into the mores of Regency England…”—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

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Product Details

  • Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1st edition (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045123927X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451239273
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

An Air Force brat who grew up exploring castles in Spain and fishing in the mountains of Oregon and Idaho, Candy later worked as an archaeologist and earned a PhD in European history. She now writes the Sebastian St. Cyr historical mystery series under the name C.S. Harris and coauthors a series of contemporary thrillers as C.S. Graham. Married to retired Army Colonel Steve Harris, she lives in New Orleans. Visit her website at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After 8 installments, Harris's Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries are still intriguing and thoroughly entertaining! I won't give a synopsis, as it has been done and in truth, no synopsis is good enough to supplement the actual reading. If you are new to this author and the series, I suggest you backtrack and read it from the start; if not, you'll be missing some REALLY good readings!

Unlike some readers, I didn't feel that Hero was relegated to the back seat! Yes, her scenes were reduced in comparison to previous installments (namely, When Maidens Mourn). The investigation in When Maidens Mourn was centered area one of Hero's closest friend's death, therefore her prominent presence was to be expected. On the other hand, Hero's limited (in comparison to WMM) screen time in WDB isn't unnatural considering the persons involved in the murder (Yates, thereby Kat).

I am a huge fan of Hero, so of course I want her to be more involved, but I'd rather not have her show up at random moments (without cause) simply just to be there. That isn't something I expect to see from the crafty hands of Harris and I'm glad that didn't happen! And what scenes we had of Hero (especially with Sebastian), that's more than enough for us to feel the intimacy and commitment these two characters have for the other.

As for the complaints about Sebastian's internal conflict about the "WHAT IF's" in regards to his relationship with Kat. Some may find it tedious, but I find that absolutely humanizing! First loves are more often than not, the hardest to let go - and those who've been following the series would understand the complexities that revolves around this EX-couple. And note, Sebastian and Hero married out of obligations and necessity, NOT LOVE!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By G. Plude on March 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed all the prior books in this series and this installment was just as good. I very much enjoy the historical threads Harris uses as the basis for her plots. Invariably they have me looking up the historical references and learning additional fascinating details along the way. Yes, at times it gets a bit convoluted but the characters are so enjoyable that it doesn't bother me.

I really like the equality between Hero and Sebastian. She's every bit his match, and he hers, which lends a lot of tender humor to the story.

Why then only 4 stars? A couple reasons. The main one is that I think the continual pining by Sebastian over what might have been (only in his mind) with Kat has become tiresome. There are moments where I'd have liked to have reached into the book and smacked him. The other issue I have is the timing of the books themselves vs. the timeline of the stories. These last few have started literally where the prior book ended. While this makes sense because of the pregnancy storyline, it is disorienting when the books themselves are actually released a year apart. It makes things like the Sebastian/Kat saga feel like it has been going on FOREVER when in actually by the calendar of the story, not nearly as long. Anyhow, maybe Kat can go abroad for awhile?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. PIERCE on March 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First let me say I don't know what book people are reading when they say Hero's role is diminished, because it certainly's not this one. One of the things I liked best about this book is that Sebastian and Hero really worked together. They really seem to be settling in to being a married couple. I love the fact that Sebastian didn't try to hide the fact he was helping Kat. And the fact that Hero didn't react badly because he was. They're starting to trust one another. This was a story that needed to be told. People don't realize how little time has been covered by all of Ms. Harris' books. Kat and Yates have been married exactly a year. It is now September of 1812; Hero fell pregnant in May. She and Sebastian have been married all of six weeks. It seems like Sebastian has been pining over Kat forever, but he hasn't. You'd expect it to take time for someone to get over a person they had considered the love of their life. But now he's committed to Hero, the rose-coloured glasses are coming off. He's realizing he never really knew Kat. After all even though Sebastian was faithful to Kat, she wasn't faithful to him. She has different values and goals. And I think Sebastian finding to his surprise and pleasure that Hero's values and goals are much the same as his. The 800 lb. gorilla in the room is Hero's father. I think the time is coming when Hero will be forced to choose between the man who she's growing to love more each day, and the father who she loves, but doesn't like very much. It will be a wrench, but I have confidence Hero will make the right choice. I read on C.S. Harris' blog that Hero will be nine mos. pregnant in the next book. Hopefully that means the baby will be born then(Poor Hero's pregnancy has been worse than soap opera pregnancies).Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By reader on March 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been impatiently waiting for this book since I finished the last one! I enjoyed it, and am glad the wait is over. I like that there are so many characters that keep making appearances. Kat is still a part of Sebastian's life, but I am glad that her relationship with Sebastian has changed. Hero is a great character. I'm glad she is loyal to her father. Sebastian is human, and I think that is why I like him so much. I am anticipating the next book already. This is a fantastic series!
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