Where Serpents Sleep

Written by C.S. Harris
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

Set in a grim version of Regency London, this fourth outing for Sebastian St. Cyr has him teamed up, almost against his will, with the daughter of his archrival, Lord Jarvis. Soon the reform-minded Hero leads him on a labyrinthine path to discover the perpetrator behind a brutal killing of eight prostitutes in a Quaker house of refuge.

Still reeling from being parted from his lover and seething with resentment against his father, the troubled hero still exudes both honor and courage as he wanders though places like Seething Lane, a leper graveyard under St. James Park, and a brothel called “The Academy” (whose owner paints sun-dappled churches and nude women in his spare time), with Hero as a formidable ally.

With short, clipped chapters, Harris weaves her spell in a richly imagined, atmospheric world. The plot and characterizations are complex and rewarding, and the ending left this reader breathlessly awaiting the next installment from this gifted storyteller. Highly recommended.