Thursday, December 18, 2008

Great New Book


I just finished a great book, and even greater, it’s the first in a series. I always love finding a compelling new series to read.

The book is What Angels Fear by C. S. Harris, who is also know by the real life name of Candice Proctor. This is a historical mystery series set in England, primarily London, during the early 1800s, the “Regency” period. It features Sebastian St. Cyr, a nobleman who has been rusted a bit by the dark side of life that he’s witnessed, but whose basic goodness is untarnished beneath. St. Cyr hangs out with a lot of “undesirables,” or so they would seem to his noble father and to his social climbing sister. But St. Cyr finds that nobility, and depravity, can each wear fine clothes or foul.

The series stands at four books right now, What Angels Fear, When Gods Die, Why Mermaids Sing, and Where Serpents Sleep. The first one certainly made me want to delve right into the others, all of which I have on my shelves.

What Angels Fear begins with a brutal murder of a popular actress from the London stage, and our St. Cyr is accused of the horror. Rather than flee the country, as many of his friends urge him, he remains in England to solve the crime and clear his name. He gets more experience of the seamy side of London than he might have preferred. But he thrives, and even manages to rekindle a love he thought he’d lost.

The mystery at the heart of “Angels” is a good one, with several surprising developments, but the real joy here is characters and the chance to really “live” for a little while in a very different sort of life. Candy, who has a Ph.D. in history, knows her time period, and the intimate little details are wonderfully realized. And besides, how can you not like a book in which London’s “yellow fog” virtually becomes a character.

Check it out!





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47 comments:

Lisa said...

I've had this book for some time now and your rave review is just what I needed to move it up to the top of my (towering) TBR stack. Great review!

Steve Malley said...

I've got the newest coming from Amazon. She's awesome!!

laughingwolf said...

thx charles, will check em out asap :D

Miladysa said...

They read right up my street :D

Sidney said...

I need to read those. I like historical mysteries.

Georgie B said...

Thanks for the review.

Historical fiction is one of the few genres I love reading.

Charles Gramlich said...

Lisa, it's definitely worth a go.

Steve Malley, the atomsphere is amazing.

Laughingwolf, check out her website too. It's linked on her blog.

Miladysa, lol.

Sidney, I like a lot of historicals in general, as long as it's a good ways in the past. I like learning history.

Georgie B, I've always been a sucker for historical stuff too.

SQT said...

I need to pick these up. I've been eyeballing them for awhile-- good to know they're worth the purchase.

jennifer said...

Those sound interesting. Your comment about wanting books in your stocking tickled me. Not because it was funny exactly but just so YOU! Have you ever posted pics of your home library? I bet you have skads and skads of books!

When we moved we let go SO many of our books. We had to.

Cloudia said...

Intriguing review. As you say, it is peruliarly involving to escape into a well-researched ime & place different from our own. Thanks, Charles. Aloha-

Barrie said...

Oh, don't you just looove that feeling of being at the being at the beginning of a good series!?

X. Dell said...

Thanks for the recommend. I like historical novels, especially mysteries.

Jo said...

I have a friend who has just finished these books, and she recommended them as well. There is nothing better than a mystery in London, in a fog. The Regency period was also Jane Austen's time, but this book sounds a bit edgier.

Hmmm... you just gave me an idea for a Christmas gift for someone. Thank you!

Jack said...

This series sounds like something that would interest me. I like the period.

writtenwyrdd said...

I've seen these books. Now I'll put the first one on my tbr list!

David Cranmer said...

You are the second person I know who has mentioned this series. I will have to check it out... I'm with you on how nice it is to find a new exciting series. It's a wonderful way to reboot one's love of reading.

Ello said...

You know I had heard about this book a while ago and wanted to read it and forgot. So this is a very timely reminder although my TBR pile is unreal right now!

Charles Gramlich said...

SQT, Candy really takes care with her writing. She likes the kind of details I like in a book.

Jennifer, I have posted some pics of my library. I’ve got some others I’ll have to post up. Last time I counted I had about 5,000 books, but that’s been a while.

Cloudia, yes, it’s like time travel in comfort.

Barrie, yes, it’s like that new series smell! ;)

X. Dell, I’m not a huge mystery reader but I do like historicals.

Jo, this book, and the whole series, is definitely edgier. In fact, I was a bit surprised at how graphic it was in places.

Jack, I’ve not read a lot set in that period but this one certainly interested me more in it.

Writtenwyrdd, they’re definitely worth a try.

David Cranmer, I’ve had these books for a while, but because I don’t read a lot of mysteries I’d let it slip down on my TBR pile. Glad I picked it out the other day.

Ello, my TBR pile is the same. I’ve actually broken mine into two sections, those for immediate TBR, and those for sometime later down the road.

SzélsőFa said...

I'll be sure to check these out once they are made available in my country :))
Thank you for the rewiev.

pattinase (abbott) said...

This looks terrific. Thanks.

ARCHAVIST said...

I love these historical mysteries and will have to check out this author.

Charles Gramlich said...

Szelsofa, I know her books have been translated very widely.

Patty, yes, they are. At least the first one was dynamite. Haven't yet read the others.

Archavist, it's down your geographical alley as well.

JR's Thumbprints said...

With those titles, I'm beginning to think C.S. Harris is a journalist too. It sounds like she can really put the reader into the moment; nothing like good escapism.

Heff said...

Do ALL of C.S. Harris's Book titles consist of 3 words ?!?

Barbara Martin said...

Great review, and now I have to go and get the others, though I have 'Where Serpents Sleep' in my reading pile. I love the time period and London, in some ways, hasn't changed.

Rick said...

Charles, you keep costing me money. I would say I'm going to wait for them to hit the library, but the just sound too good to pass up.

laughingwolf said...

i had her linked before, forget who recommended her... she sounds like a wonderful writer :)

December/Stacia said...

Oooh, this sounds awesome! Thanks for the rec! I love historical mysteries.

Charles Gramlich said...

J.R, yeah she did good with the titles. I like a good title.

Heff, I think that was just part of the "signature" of that series. Not all of her other books have titles like those, or three word ones.

Barbara, I like to start with the first one in a series like this, although you don't always get to.

Rick, my wife asked me tonight why I didn't check books out of the libarry more and I just said for some strange reason I feel like I want to own the books I read so I'll have 'em around the house for reference.

Laughingwolf, she is.

December/Stacia, I think you'd like 'em.

DonnaLuvsHeff said...

I don't read. I wiggle. I just came over to say Heff treats me right. Tahnks for being such a good commenter on his site!

BernardL said...

I appreciate the review. It definitely perked up my interest in the series.

Erik Donald France said...

Way cool! So, seems almost like a surreal bridge from Jane Austen to Sherlock Holmes?

lyzzydee said...

I have seen this book but never read it, but hearing what you have had to say about it, I think it would be one that I would enjoy!! Thanks!

MarmiteToasty said...

Isnt it great when you discover an author and you just cant get enough of em LOL - Im addicted to Harlen Cobin at the moment and cant lay me lands on enough of him, and Martina Cole also..... and now Kathy keitch or however the hell you spell it....

x

Charles Gramlich said...

Donnaluvsheff, yes, I was only teasing him. Seems like you two have a great relationship. Lana and I get along so well too. It's very nice.

Bernardl, so many good books, so little time.

Erik, that's a good way to describe it.

Lyzzydee, check out Candy's website, linked through her blog on my post, and you can get a more complete idea about the books.

Marmite Toasty, I've heard good things about Cobin. I may have to give him a try.

Shauna Roberts said...

I hearily second Charles' recommendation. I've read the first three (the fourth is sitting on my to-read-soon pile), and all were great.

Shauna Roberts said...

That should have been "heartily."

L.A. Mitchell said...

I need to get these based completely on your enthusiastic review and the great covers. Thanks for the recommendation :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Shauna, we all understood your enthusasim. ;)

L. A. Mitchell, Definitely try that first one.

CrazyCath said...

This sounds good. Full of mystery and psychological drama. A real treat.
I'm off to check them out.
Thanks for the review.

Charles Gramlich said...

Crazycath, hope you enjoy.

Vesper said...

Thank you for the review, Charles! It definitely looks like something I would enjoy reading. I’ll check it out!

eric1313 said...

This is not the first recommendation I've heard for this series. I'll have to check into it when I get some time.

Yep, I'm moving to Hot Springs Arkansas. I've talked about it for a long time, but I kept trying to make it all work up here in Michigan.

It's not working. So right after Christmas, I'm hitting the road.

The good thing is I have a place to stat down there, work lined up and a cable internet connection already procured. Not necessarily in that order.

It's all about priorities.

eric1313 said...

And a merry Christmas to you and Lana.

Charles Gramlich said...

Vesper, let me know if you do.

Eric1313, good luck with your relocation. HOt springs is very nice. And I'm glad you've got a job lined up. Excellent.

Sarai said...

Oh this one has been sitting in the must buy pile for a while and I'm afriad it just moved up! Thanks for the heads up!

Rachel said...

I wanna read this! Sounds kinda like some other murder mysteries I really love. Yay! Thanks for letting us know.