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When Maidens Mourn: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery Hardcover – March 6, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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)

About the Author

C.S. Harris graduated with a degree in Classics before earning a Ph.D. in European history. A scholar of the French Revolution and 19th-century Europe, she has lived in Europe and various far-flung parts of the old British Empire. She now lives in New Orleans with her husband, a retired Army Intelligence Officer, and two daughters.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery (Book 7)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: NAL; 1 edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451235770
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451235770
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By S. Paulsen on March 8, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Oh, how I love Sebastian St. Cyr novels. The previous entry, "Where Shadows Dance" may be on my list of top 20 books ever. But, unfortunately, "When Maidens Mourn" won't make that list. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad novel, it's just not great either. The appeal of the St. Cyr series is threefold: gritty fascinating history, tangled dark mysteries, and subtle wrenching romance. So, let's take a look at each of those in this newest installment.

1. History - once again, Harris creates a regency era that you can almost see and smell. This time we are also immersed in tales of Arthurian legend, the search for Camelot and the burgeoning hopes of the era's English subjects that a "savior" is on the way. However, while interesting, the novel fails to follow this storyline through to any sort of conclusion, and instead offers us a totally unrelated solution to the mystery while the Arthurian legends and regency era political twists simply drift away leaving us feeling vaguely frustrated and dissatisfied.

2. As previously mentioned, the mystery portion of the story meanders along a couple of complex routes, one based on the Arthurian legends, and the other based on troubles within the regency, leading the reader to try to guess which one will pan out as the source of the murder. Then, suddenly in a few pages, the mystery is solved by a vehicle wholly unrelated to the existing two, and not anywhere near as interesting. It's almost as if the author didn't go into the plot with a notion of how it would wind up and then, stuck without a resolution in mind, resorted to something so much less than what this series is capable of.

3. The romance of protagonist Sebastian St. Cyr and his new wife, Hero Jarvis St.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this series and always love when a new one comes out and hate the fact that I will have to wait a year for the next book. I had When Maidens Mourn on pre-order from Amazon and started reading as soon as it arrived. While I like the mystery I have mixed feeling about the book as a whole. It did not catch me like the previous book.

The story picked up after Sebastian and Hero were married. They have shared 4 passionate nights and 4 uncomfortable days. Despite the passion of the night they are still wary and uncomfortable around each other during the day. Sebastian suggests they travel to his country estate and Hero agrees but before they can leave Hero's friend Gabrielle Tennyson is found murdered. Their trip is put on hold and both move to investigate the murder but here their paths diverge. There are secrets both keep for the other.

That is what gives me mixed feelings about the book. I love when they work together and I have been pulling for them for a long time. I for one never liked Kat and always thought Hero was a much better match for Sebastian. The secrets Sebastian and Hero are keeping while they do their separate investigations are driving a wedge in their already fragile relationship. Instead of kicking up the tension I just wanted to take both and shake some sense into them. I did enjoy the mystery and was surprised when the crime was solved. There were also some new elements and one very intriguing character introduced this time.

I checked C.S. Harris' blog and the next book is already written and turned into the publisher and the book after that is in the works. I will have both on pre-order when the time comes. This is not my favorite of the series but it is a good solid book and I will be rereading while I wait for the next one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
C.S. Harris' Sebastian St. Cyr and Hero Jarvis novels comprise one of my favorite historical mystery/romance sagas. "When Maidens Mourn", the latest of the novels a solid entry, detailing the progression of St. Cyr and Hero's relationship and involving them in a complex murder case. It is not absolutely necessary to have read the previous books in the series, but it is highly recommended. Readers who are familiar with the previous volumes may appreciate and enjoy this one more.

St. Cyr and Hero have been married for four days when the book opens. The couple intends to leave England for a holiday, but their plans are put aside when Hero's friend, Gabrielle Tennyson, is found murdered at Camelot Moat, an archaeological site linked to King Arthur. St. Cyr agrees to look into the murder not only for his wife's sake, but also to assist his friend, Sir Henry Lovejoy, a Bow Street magistrate, who is at a loss as to how to investigate the incident. Hero also is determined to discover who murdered her friend. She conducts an investigation of her own, mainly separate from her husband's, but their paths do cross -- from time to time. The solution to the crime is unexpected. Red herrings are plentiful. Maybe Harris has played a little unfair in this aspect, but it hardly ruins the novel.

One of the most interesting themes of the book is divided loyalties. Hero's love and loyalty is divided between her husband and her father, the powerful Lord Jarvis, who may know more about Gabrielle's murder than Hero would like. Hero's struggles to keep both men safe from each other, to maintain her integrity as a daughter as well as a wife, and to retain her own independence of thought and action are very well portrayed. St. Cyr has his own problems with loyalty and love.
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