Why Kill the Innocent is the thirteenth book in C.S. Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series of Regency-era historical mysteries. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I read the twelfth book last year and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is thrust into yet another mystery when a well-born woman is found dead on a London street. Jane Ambrose was no ordinary woman; she was a talented musician, who was working as Princess Charlotte’s piano instructor. The palace insists that Jane’s death was merely an unfortunate accident, but Sebastian suspects that something is being covered up. As he conducts interviews, Sebastian realizes that there are multiple possibilities surrounding Jane’s murder, but he remains determined to explore all avenues in his search for justice.
I absolutely loved this book. Harris immerses the reader into a vivid Regency world, and although this book is entirely a work of fiction, there are numerous historical figures. The book takes place during the winter, and features the Frost Fair, in which the Thames froze over, and vendors set up booths right on the ice. Harris employs multiple points of view, offering insight from her well-developed secondary characters. The mystery portion was quite compelling, and the “big reveal” was quite surprising.
I would recommend Why Kill the Innocent to fans of historical mysteries as well as Regency-era fiction. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve only read one other book in the series. This book does function reasonably well as a standalone; a reader can easily pick up on the acrimony between certain characters. That said, I do plan to read the series from the beginning in order to gain a fuller appreciation of the overall story arc. The Sebastian St. Cyr books have already become one of my favorite mystery series, and I am already looking forward to catching up on the earlier books!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book.