Why Kings Confess
In the latest mystery featuring Sebastian St. Cyr, aristocratic sleuth in Regency England, a friend of Sebastian’s finds the mutilated body of a French physician in a London slum. The dead man’s wounded female companion remembers nothing about the killer. Sebastian has met the woman before, when he was serving with the British army in Portugal in 1810, and the sight of her reawakens memories of an atrocity that has left mental scars on both of them. The Frenchwoman hates Sebastian because of his actions in the war, but her skills in midwifery may be the only thing that can save the life of Sebastian’s pregnant wife, Hero, who faces a difficult childbirth. It turns out that the dead physician’s father had ties to the French royal family, and Sebastian’s investigation draws him into the mystery of the “Lost Dauphin,” the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, and earns him the hatred of the vengeful Marie-Therese, the Dauphin’s sister.
Sebastian is a fascinating protagonist, adventurous and courageous, but haunted by inner demons, and the reform-minded Hero is a worthy companion. The intricate plot kept me in suspense, and I am looking forward to Sebastian’s next adventure.