Music, Royal Scandals, and Murder Await The Viscount Devlin

“Why Kill the Innocent” is a recent installment into the series featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, which has been written by C.S. Harris for some time now.  The series takes place in early nineteenth century England where a young aristocrat and former intelligence officer has a talent for murder investigation.  He is married to a woman whose father is never far from royal scandal.  Sebastian has found out several haunting secrets of his own family background in this series.

The basic plot is that Sebastian’s wife and a friend come across a corpse half buried in the snow in the winter of 1814.  The dead woman is identified as Jane Ambrose, a piano teacher for one of the princesses, who has had a troubled marriage and not nearly the recognition she deserves for her talents as a composer and musician.  Apparently, that particular winter in England was quite fierce, although Sebastian gets around quite easily as his curiosity is once again aroused enough for him to look into this matter. Of course, more murder is afoot as his investigation progresses.

I may have read too many of this series.  It was fine, but nothing that kept me on the edge of my seat.  There was quite a bit of lamenting of how unfairly women were treated in that era, which sometimes was distracting from the main story.  It is kind of cool to see that Sebastian actually is a devoted husband and father in spite of the contention that had been present when he and his wife first encountered each other.  The mental chess game continued between Sebastian and his powerful, sly father-in-law who often turns up as a suspect whenever royalty is involved.  It’s still an engaging idea for a series in a fascinating era of British history, however I am not sure this particular entry is all that captivating.

Time to explore a more recent author who delves into more complicated family dynamics herself.  Next up is “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite.

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