When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris #Review

When Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris #ReviewWhen Falcons Fall by C.S. Harris

Series: #11 Sebastian St. Cyr
Published by NAL on March 1, 2016
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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four-half-stars      three-flames

The last book left me in tears and shock in the end, but also a stronger need for more from this ongoing story of Sebastian St. Cyr and his wife, Hero.  The promise of a strong clue into his mysterious and unknown father was the end of that book and is what sends Sebastian and Hero into the adventure and mystery of this latest book.

While each book supplies a new mystery for Sebastian to solve with Hero’s help, this is a series that works best read in order as the story of Sebastian’s past and his relationship with Hero and others builds on the books before it.

The book opens with Sebastian and Hero journeyed to a small Shropshire village to fulfill the last request of a man closely connected to Sebastian and at the same time the quest will hopefully give Sebastian the answers he has been seeking about the mysterious necklace connected to his mother along with the identity of his birth father.

But before Sebastian and Hero are barely settled in at the inn, Sebastian is approached to help the young, new squire and magistrate solve the killing of a young widow, Emma Chance, who is also a visitor to the area.  Many want Sebastian to leave it be and assure the young squire that the young woman took her own life.  But Sebastian’s need to champion justice for the dead will not allow him to stop look and sifting through the village’s past.

Sebastian is convinced that in the dark, disturbing past is where the answers lay even as he must consider the presence of Napoleon’s brother and his family in the area might very well be the motive behind Emma’s death.  As always, Hero is there to support Sebastian and help him with the case even while he encourages her in her new study of how The Enclosure Acts affect the poor people.

But someone is disturbed by Sebastian’s investigation and more death follows.  Sebastian worries now that nobody is safe including his wife and child.  He has to decide whether to go on or to leave things alone.

Again, I can only spout high praise over a book in this series.  From the beginning, I’ve loved the blend of accurate historical Regency/Napoleonic Period setting and topics, cunning mysteries, well-drawn characters that engage the reader, and of course a bit of hard-fought romance makes it even better.  Each book not only presents a good mystery to keep the reader guessing, but also addresses the social norms of the day giving the reader more to ponder.

With this one, the setting is new and far from the usual London and near environs and takes it into the English country village.  Both Sebastian and Hero are amazed at what bubbles beneath the surface in a place that looks so placid and bucolic on first glance.  The author addresses so many elements of the past- religion, politics, disabilities, born out of wedlock, suicide, and so much more.  It is blended into the story so it’s not just dry information, but shows motive and thought for her characters.  I enjoy how with each encounter Sebastian and Hero become more a partnership both in solving the murders, but also as a married pair and grow more settled in their own right particular Sebastian.  He still desperately wants to discover the truth of his past, but it doesn’t eat away at him like in earlier books.

The mystery was particularly challenging because there are several motives and several suspects.  Just when I thought I had teased out the right thread then there was a new twist that had me starting over.  It wasn’t until Sebastian knew that I had to give up.  It says something for the stories that the author writes her suspects so that I feel many things and not just hate.  Sometimes I actually like them and am sad or feel pity to find out who and why at the end.  But there are a few where I cheer Sebastian on when he triumphs over them and settles the score.  This book provided both types of villains.

So, I am sad to see another Sebastian St. Cyr book done and now I must wait again.  If one enjoys complex mysteries, deep characters, authentic historical settings, and a romantic sleuthing pair, I can most definitely recommend this series.

I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #87 RS

Literary Pickers #83 mower

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

Latest posts by Sophia Rose (see all)

  • This looks like a great series. I have not heard of it before. Or if I had, I had forgotten about it. *sigh*. Eleven books in at that. It seems like I will never keep adding to my TBR pile. I love the idea of the author adding in the aspects that you mentioned like the children out of wedlock, suicides, etc. I love when authors add in the tougher topics that are part of real life. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • Oh this is. I love it. I fell in love with Sebastian in the first book before he even met Hero. It was a twisty intense and gritty mystery, but I was also taken with how well she wrote the background history for Sebastian’s world. Each book brings a new mystery and another facet of that world along with more of his story. Hope you get the chance on these sometime, Melanie!

  • RO

    Hart to Hart from back in the day,, huh? I know it’s not supposed to be my focus, but had I been paying attention strictly to the cover, I would not have picked this one up (lol), but I do have to admit to loving a good mystery, and having a married couple do the sleuthing is even more intriguing. Love the review, and love the new look of the site! Hugs…RO

    • Well hey, that’s a good one, Ro. They are the Hart to Hart team.

      LOL, yes. the covers are all more historical art looking so they don’t scream husband and wife detecting team. Actually, the first few books they aren’t married or even in love. It’s a progression.

      Thanks, Ro! Shari’s working here and there on the site and she does a great job, right?

  • Whew that cover! I love a mystery well done and that keeps me guessing. I’ll have to go hunt down book one for the series. 😀

    • I know! So atmospheric. They all are and it usually fits somehow once you get into the story. I love Sebastian and Hero so hope you get the chance.

  • I love the combination of historical events, characters all blended with a mystery. I must try this series!

    • Yes, I love this series. It’s got it all. 🙂 Hope you like it if you get the chance.

  • They solve them together? I like that 😀

    • Yes, their a great pair. Sebastian usually does all the leg work, but Hero has good ideas and does her own line of questioning, too.

  • I like that there is a sleuthing pair (with romance). Sounds like a good series to start when in a historical mystery mood.

    • Me, too! Me, too! Although, this series doesn’t get the romance for a few books so you have to be patient for that. 😉

  • Those long series can be really good if the author manages to keep each book interesting and I always like seeing those changes in the characters and relationships once the story progresses. The mystery surrounding his father sounds very interesting! The historical aspects sounds really well done and that sounds interesting with how it addresses the social norms of that time. I love a mystery that keeps me guessing. And in the cozy mysteries I’ve read so far I’ve also seem a few different types of villains, it’s always interesting to find out who’s the murderer and why they did it. Great review!

  • Trin Carl

    I came across your blog as you wrote a great comment on a post related to disaster crafts so I thought I’d stop by.
    The cover for “When Falcon Falls” reminds me of the character from Fantastic Beasts by JK Rowling. theglobaldig.blogspot.com

    • Oh how neat, Trin! You must mean at Mary’s blog. 🙂 Yes, it does have spooky cover like Fantastic Beasts. Looking forward to the next one in that movie series. 🙂