Monday, February 06, 2017

Hold Onto Your Carriage Strap . . .

So I guess I'm not doing so well on my New Years Resolutions! Oh, well...

At any rate, here is the charming review Kirkus just gave WHERE THE DEAD LIE. They think the book is a tad "bleak." Because Kirkus has a tendency to give away too much, I have edited it slightly. But be sure not to miss the last couple of sentences; they're real charmers!




In Regency England, a viscount pursues the sadistic killer of London's most vulnerable denizens. Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his former comrade in arms, surgeon Paul Gibson, have seen more than their share of violent death in wartime. But neither one can look calmly at the body of Benji Thatcher, a street urchin who [was tortured and murdered]. The death of one more homeless pickpocket is unlikely to cause a stir among most of fashionable London, but Gibson and Sebastian specialize in solving crimes that others can't or won't. 

Sebastian's wife, Hero, is a social reformer who's writing a series of articles about the poor of London, and while she interviews some of the street children who knew Benji, Sebastian uses the testimony of an old soldier who saw and interrupted someone digging Benji's grave as a starting point for finding out what happened not just to Benji, but to a number of other homeless children who've disappeared. The owner of a secondhand store helps direct Sebastian to a brothel catering to clients who like their prostitutes young, and contraband copies of a book by the Marquis de Sade bring Sebastian closer to identifying the person responsible for the pitiful collections of children's bones buried near the shallow grave meant for Benji. Unfortunately, Sebastian's suspects—an actor, a French count, a dissolute marquis' heir about to marry into Sebastian's family, and an even more highly connected person who's also a relative of Hero—all have alibis. 

But Sebastian's power-hungry father-in-law presents the biggest obstacle to his sleuthing in a tale that, despite top boots and tall hats, velvet spencers and gowns à la grecque, and even a cat named Mr. Darcy, is a far cry from the world of Jane Austen. Harris (When Falcons Fall, 2016, etc.) is as determined as her lead couple to explore London's underbelly. Hold onto your carriage strap: the tangle of familial, criminal, and political conflict makes for bleak reading.

14 comments:

Lynne said...

Okay, Candy - "bleak" made me laugh out loud. It's not totally inaccurate with regard to your stories but just a bit - well, bleak. No laughing, please. I would have used "dark" but then I haven't read the book yet. The review definitely makes me eager for the book so I doubt it will keep people away. Love that you shared it with us. It's always interesting to get the professional's opinion on a book and Kirkus has been around for awhile. April cannot come too soon for me.

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

Seriously? They were expecting Jane Austen? Even she would recognize that the underbelly of society is not sunshine and roses. It is that tension between the glitter of high society and the depravity - stirred to a broil by ambition and lust for power - under the crust that make this series so compelling. And yes, I am on tenterhooks for April.

Charles Gramlich said...

Well, that would probably intrigue me but I can see the issue

Ali said...

I'm with Barbara! Are there murders that aren't bleak? According to one dictionary bleak means - lacking in warmth, life, or kindliness. Sounds like someone got murdered to me. Anyway, I am counting the days to BLEAK!. Best, Ali

JustWingingIt said...

The book sounds awesome to me whatever adjective is used. I can't wait to read it.

Veronica

paz said...

I can't wait to read this, especially because... Jarvis, my favorite nemesis! March 1st come fast!

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

Saw news about tornadoes in your area and am hoping you are well!

cs harris said...

Lynne, yes, I think "dark" would have fit! I suspect the reader must have seen that it was set in the Regency and so expected something lighter and less historically accurate.

Barbara, I know! And given that it's called "Where the Dead Lie" she should have expected a lot of bodies.

Charles, I guess anyone put off by the review really would not enjoy the story. It is very dark.

Ali, yes, there is a lot of warmth and kindness on the part of both Hero and Sebastian!

Veronica, not long now!

Paz, yes, he's especially evil in this one!

Barbara, yes, we're okay--we just had a scare. But I can't believe the damage they did. I don't remember tornados around here before the last few years.

Lynne said...

Good to hear that you are all okay. Pictures on the news were a bit scary so it's good that the Harris household is safe!

paz said...

Jarvis wasn't really evil before?! LOL Poor Hero though. Evil parents must be hard.

paz said...

Oh, I forgot to ask -- have you been watching Victoria? I am curious what you think, mostly because I am not quite sure what to think myself...

Barbara Butler McCoy said...

So glad you're okay. I can't begin to imagine those moments or the destruction. (On a different note, have I mentioned I love the cover?)

Willa said...

Love the cover - and am counting down the days. In Sebastian's time life was indeed bleak for many - and we have had an accurate taste of it before, in previous novels with Hero's studies.

Looking forward to seeing Gibson again - did miss him last year! 😊

cs harris said...

Paz, I haven't been watching it. I must admit I almost never watch TV, although I often think I should because I hear about programs that sound interesting.

Barbara, yes, I really like this one, too.

Willa, not long now!