What Darkness Brings: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery

Written by C.S. Harris
Review by Ilysa Magnus

One simply cannot help but adore Lord Devlin, aka Sebastian St. Cyr: witty, intuitive, handsome, fearless – and a great investigator of crimes, particularly ones that touch his friends and acquaintances.

Set in 1812 in Regency England, Devlin spends the night dealing with the tragic death of his old military comrade, only to learn of the murder of a well-known (and otherwise notorious, we learn) diamond merchant. The man who has been arrested for the crime is the (gay) husband of the love of Devlin’s life – and naturally, it is Devlin who must unravel the convoluted history surrounding the merchant’s dealings in order to free the wrongly accused prisoner. We are transported back to the French Revolution and the theft of the French crown jewels, one of which became, apparently after some hacking away, the Hope diamond.

As the revolting, deceased diamond merchant becomes ever more revolting, Devlin becomes more intrigued by the ignominy of his dealings. Along the way, Devlin’s new wife, Hero, whose father is one of Devlin’s greatest enemies (of course), interviews and attempts to help poor street urchins who are more clever than most of the adults, it seems. Secondary characters are all amazingly well developed; the horrors of the prison system and the legal system don’t escape scrutiny. Fascinating detail is paid to the prevalence of the homosexual lifestyle in London.

What a great ride! Loved this book.