Monday, November 02, 2009



What Remains of Heaven goes on sale officially tomorrow, but from the sounds of things NAL isn't being too careful about "lay down" (which is really only important when a publisher hopes a book will hit the lists). Since I'm distracted at the moment, here are two more reviews, a nice one from Romantic Times, which gave the book 4 1/2 stars and made it a Top Pick, and a slightly snarky one from Publishers Weekly.

Romantic Times, Top Pick 41/2 stars:
"From dissolute and disillusioned to insightful and probing, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has evolved into a fascinating and effective detective as he moves stealthily among the ton to investigate murders in London's upper echelon. Harris' deft touch with atmosphere and history weaves a rich tapestry for this complex tale of a murderer driven by fear. This first-class historical mystery will put Harris in the stratosphere of some of the best historical writers.

"The Archbishop of Canterbury asks Sebastian to help investigate the mystery of two corpses found in ancient crypt, their violent deaths separated by decades. The first is the Bishop of London, who was the Archbishop's heir apparent, a controversial figure among the ton. But before he can solve that murder, Sebastian has to identify the second body and how it relates to the feisty bishop.

"Sebastian's suspect list includes some of the Prince Regent's closest friends and expatriate William Franklin, son of American patriot Ben. Along the way he must also confront some dark family secrets that will undoubtedly affect his life."

Publishers Weekly:
What Remains of Heaven: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery C.S. Harris. NAL/ Long-festering family secrets, treachery and worse threaten Sebastian St. Cyr in Harris's addictive fifth Regency-era mystery starring the dashing soldier-turned-sleuth (after 2008's Where Serpents Sleep). From the start, St. Cyr's mission is sensitive: finding out who killed the bishop of London, a leading candidate for archbishop of Canterbury, in the crypt of the same country church where the mummified body of another murder victim was discovered only hours earlier. It becomes downright dangerous once the charismatic viscount unearths the surprising connection between the men as well as the many powerful enemies with motives for their murder—including his own father. Harris weaves palpable period detail and romantic subplots with such ease that her occasional descriptive laziness, such as repeats of “fiercely blue St. Cyr eyes,” grates inordinately. But it shouldn't keep you from being swept up by her seductive antihero at his swashbuckling best."

Of course, this is why they invented the ellipsis, so that authors can take less-than-perfect reviews and make them sound like raves, i.e.: “Addictive...Harris weaves palpable period detail and romantic subplots with such ease…her seductive antihero at his swashbuckling best.”

25 comments:

orannia said...

I so can't wait to read What Remains of Heaven! I find it interesting that PW used the word 'addictive', which I completely agree with BTW, but then got snarky...and for something so minor IMO. Maybe they felt they needed too?

All the best for the release Candy!

Steve Malley said...

Ah, so it goes... I'm rather looking forward to this one too!

Project Cat said...

Mine should be arriving in the mail today or tomorrow (a friend at an independent bookstore is sending it-- they had it on the shelves by the middle of last week, apparently.) The only good part about having to wait for it to arrive via mail is that it has given me a chance to reread all of the previous books (well, all but one, but I'm starting a reread of that one right now!) Anyway, sorry to ramble, but I wanted to tell you how incredibly happy I am to be getting the next installment of the series in my hands, and how much I love these books!

Anonymous said...

Imagine my surprise when my copy of WHAT REMAINS OF HEAVEN arrived last week (earlier than expected) while THE SOLOMON EFFECT took a longer trip (comparatively). I'm still trying to figure out the cover of HEAVEN.

Reading all these reviews actually makes me smile. For now all I am going to say is all the best to you for this release, as well as for SOLOMON.

--Zinnuraain

Faith said...

I put my name on our library's reserve list back in July (I'm #1 in my system). But I might end up buying it before it can get here. I don't think I can wait any longer. :-)

Best of luck with the release.

Charles Gramlich said...

You're like me. One somewhat negative sentence and that's what I focus on. I think they are both pretty good.

Susan C. said...

Candy - I am a newbie to your blog, but I felt that I wanted to let you know that I really do enjoy your Sebastian St Cyr books. I got mine at midnight last night on my kindle and I have almost finished it - reading while brushing my teeth, etc. A great follow up to your last one. As for that review, don't let it get to you. I never pay attention to reviews, since I have been misled often enough that I have concluded that I will make my own opinions. I heartily hope that the Sebastian St. Cyr series continues for many, many more books!

ariellareau said...

I received my copy today - and I am throughly looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the fun.

cs harris said...

Orannia, thanks; "addictive" is good!

Steve, hope you enjoy it.

Project Cat, I'm so glad to hear you enjoy the series.

Zinnuraain, Thank you. The cover makes no sense; don't get me started on it!

Faith, thank you. And thanks for putting your name on your library's list. I've only recently discovered that influences the number of copies a library buys.

Charles, I guess we focus on what stings. When I first read it, I thought it was horrible. It wasn't until Pam said, "It was a good review otherwise," and I went back and reread it that I realized it was good other than for that one line.

Susan C, Thank you, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying it. I read while I brush my teeth, too!

ariellareau, I hope you enjoy it!

Janice said...

UPS just delivered "What remains of Heaven". Amazon.com is a wonderful thing. And it is a perfect afternoon to devour it, gloomy and wet. Set chores aside for another day and READ!!!!

Mariah said...

I just bought the last copy of What Remains of Heaven in Waco, TX!!! I am so excited to read it. The only problem I have is I read them in a couple of days and them I want to read the next one. I love Sebastian:) And the one line, whatever. Your books are amazing.

Project Cat said...

Enjoy? No. Adore. And, alas, devour. Less than 24 hours after receiving my copy, I have finished _What Remains_. I *loved* it. I want more *now*, which I imagine hearing from a reader is both a blessing and a curse. But I need to know what happens *next*. There will be more books, yes? Yes???? Oh please say yes.

Barbara Martin said...

Oh, I'm looking forward to reading this one, Candy.

Not to worry about Publishers Weekly, it's just that particular reviewer and only a wee bit they grouched on. I'd sooner go with what RT said about it, as they're in the know.

Did you still want a review?

Nicole said...

I finished What Remains of Heaven and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it. I was first made aware of this series this summer so I whipped through those books and only had to wait a few months for this one. I'm not sure how I will be able to handle waiting about a year because I am dying to know what happens next.

As for the review, it's not accurate because I think I only noticed two mentions of blue St Cyr eyes, and frankly wouldn't have noticed them had I not read the review prior to the novel. It's certainly not anywhere near the abuse of the adjective "dazzling" by a certain vampire novelist.

I purchased this through e-book on Sony, but did not get the cover with it. Even though it doesn't make sense, it is rather pretty. :-)

I look forward to many tidbits on the writing of the next St Cyr novel and hopefully the many more after that.

Lainey said...

My neighborhood Barnes & Noble finally emailed me that they had WROH in stock. Just returned from buying my copy. Stopped at World Market on the way out of the shopping village to get a package of Arnott's Mint Slices.
Really Candy - you must arrange to have more frequent book releases. :)

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Lainey said...

What Project Cat said!
The only thing worse than delayed receipt of a new release is the letdown after doing a marathon read. A whole year before I find out what happens next! I'm addicted.

Julie E. said...

I came home from work on Wednesday and the UPS package was on my doorstep. It was like an early Christmas! The only problem is now I have to wait another year for my next fix!

And, as far as the review goes, the reviewer is obviously missing the point. I once had a Freshman Comp professor who said that repeating a word or phrase in writing is a tool to reinforce. The point being: there's blue eyes...and then there's St. Cyr blue eyes. Shake it off, Candy. ;>

cs harris said...

Janice, hope you enjoy it!

Mariah, thanks so much.

Project Cat, Yes, there will be more--Number six underway.

Barbara, I'd love a review, thank you.

Nicole, I wanted to say the emphasis on the blue eyes was deliberate rather than "lazy," but then I reminded myself I'm not supposed to argue with reviewers. I'm glad to hear it didn't grate on you, even after having it pointed out.

Lainey, I'm through for a while, thank goodness!

Julie E, thank you, that was my point! I'm trying to shake it off.

Brenda said...

Dear Candy,
Thoroughly enjoy the St. Cyr series.
I have just re-read WROH and have two editorial queries:
1. p. 25 "Sebastian followed him out of the rank chill . . .warmth of the sunny June day." Isn't it July? 2. p. 80 "Which was important given that Yardley's sexual interests . . . Is Yardley another name for Russell Yates?

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Anonymous said...

Ok so around the 1st of june I read What Angels Fear. Now I'm done with all but Where Shadows Dance. I was so bummed when Sebastian and Kat were made to split. I don't know why I just can't accept him with Hero. Is there any hope for Kat and Sebastian in the next books???

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