I think it’s no secret that I love history, so the fact that I liked the Sebastian St Cyr Mysteries by C.S. Harris was no surprise. As a historical mystery series, it seems pretty obvious that I would be interested but what came as a shock was how much I loved them and enjoyed reading them over and over.
The Sebastian St. Cyr Mysteries are set in Regency England (think Jane Austen) but instead of just portraying the glittering, beautiful upper-classes this series also delves into the darker side of England’s upper class, that wealth, privilege and power can corrupt and allow people to get away with their crimes. But that is where our protagonist Sebastian, as part of the nobility, can investigate his peers that are above the reach of the people who aren’t in the same social strata. The series begins with Sebastian accused of a crime he didn’t commit. Along the way, readers meet people who help and become indispensable to Sebastian throughout the series.
I love this series for a variety of reasons. The first one is the historical settings in each of the novels. The author includes various true historical events from the Regency period that are incorporated into the story and plot. The author has a background in history and it clearly shows in her novels, she does a great job of intertwining the fictional and the true. At times it was like a springboard to learn about different historical events.
The second thing that I love about the series is also my favorite thing from the novels: the characters. They are incredibly fleshed out (haha) and are made three dimensional and complex with their emotions. Throughout the series, readers discover the motivations behind the characters as you keep reading the series. This book series is definitely a character-driven one almost as much as it is driven by the mystery.
The relationships between the characters is also a reason I love the series. spoilers Especially the relationship between Sebastian and Hero. Their beginning is rough but they eventually overcome their initial animosity and end up realizing that they make quite a team.
Honestly, I have to admit that the mysteries aren’t exactly what drives me to read these novels, the aforementioned reasons are the real reason I read these series. But as this is a mystery series I figured I should probably discuss the mysteries. The mysteries are usually very good and addicting enough to keep me reading. Occasionally, however, the mysteries can get a little-overcomplicated leading to a lengthy explanation or rather the infamous an info dump. But on the whole, the mysteries are intriguing.
This series is a favorite of mine and has become something of a comfort read for when I need a palate cleanser, break a reading slump or to just as a pick me up. I would recommend this as a good place to start with mysteries, especially for any romance reader. 5/5 stars.