For today’s Monday give away, I have… an ARC of C.S. Harris’s ninth St. Cyr novel, Why Kings Confess.

Here’s the official blurb:

Why Kings ConfessThe gruesome murder of a young French physician draws aristocratic investigator Sebastian St. Cyr and his pregnant wife, Hero, into a dangerous, decades-old mystery as a wrenching piece of Sebastian’s past puts him to the ultimate test.

Regency England, January 1813: When a badly injured Frenchwoman is found beside the mutilated body of Dr. Damion Pelletan in one of London’s worst slums, Sebastian finds himself caught in a high-stakes tangle of murder and revenge. Although the woman, Alexi Sauvage, has no memory of the attack, Sebastian knows her all too well from an incident in his past—an act of wartime brutality and betrayal that nearly destroyed him.

As the search for the killer leads Sebastian into a treacherous web of duplicity, he discovers that Pelletan was part of a secret delegation sent by Napoleon to investigate the possibility of peace with Britain. Despite his powerful father-in-law’s warnings, Sebastian plunges deep into the mystery of the “Lost Dauphin,” the boy prince who disappeared in the darkest days of the French Revolution, and soon finds himself at lethal odds with the Dauphin’s sister—the imperious, ruthless daughter of Marie Antoinette—who is determined to retake the French crown at any cost.

With the murderer striking ever closer, Sebastian must battle new fears about Hero’s health and that of their soon-to-be born child. When he realizes the key to their survival may lie in the hands of an old enemy, he must finally face the truth about his own guilt in a past he has found too terrible to consider….

The St. Cyr novels are Regency-set mysteries, highly recommended for fans of Kate Ross, Tasha Alexander, or Deanna Raybourn. If you haven’t read them yet, you might want to start with the first one, What Angels Fear.

This one revolves around the mystery of the fate of the lost Dauphin. So, for an ARC of C.S. Harris’s Why Kings Confess, here’s your question:

— What’s your favorite unsolved historical mystery? And do you believe the Dauphin died in prison?

The winner will be announced on Wednesday. (And on Thursday we have another installment of Pink Carnation cookery: May Madeleines!)

Why Kings Confess came out on March 4 and is available wherever books are sold.


  1. erica on May 19, 2014 at 11:11 am

    I think the Dauphin was killed right away before he could be spirited away or rescued. They did not want a prince that could rise up and gain popularity.

    I wonder about the 2 boys found in the castle that are traced back to Edward, I believe

  2. Jessica Baughman on May 19, 2014 at 11:24 am

    The two princes that went into the tower! I’ve always wondered what happened to them!

  3. Catie on May 19, 2014 at 11:48 am

    The two princes!

  4. Sheila on May 19, 2014 at 11:57 am

    The NaZca lines in Peru, Stonehenge, and the two princes (technically one king and one prince) in the Tower.

    • Sheila on May 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      O forgot about the Dauphin question. The romantic in me would like to think otherwise ,
      but I think he dies in prison, but probably of disease

  5. Laurie Canady on May 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Have wondered about the Dauphin since reading Mark Twain in high school but Phillipa Gregory really made me wonder about the two princes. And of course, Diana Gabaldon has made me wonder about standing stones–why are they there? Where did they come from? How did they move them? Who did it? Oh and where is Nefertiti’s tomb? Can’t pick one. Good books make you think about things you haven’t before or think in a new way and every answer in history leads to a new question. There are so many mysteries in the world–that’s what makes it such an interesting place!

  6. Daniele K on May 19, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Jack the Ripper

  7. Dani on May 19, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I love the Sebastian St. Cyr books! I’ve always wondered about the whole Amarna period in Egypt …
    I haven’t really thought too much about the lost Dauphin although in one series of books they mentioned the Audubon theory.

  8. Moira on May 19, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I’ve been wondering about Richard and the two princes ever since I read Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Of course I had to follow that up with the Jacqueline Kirby mystery by Elizabeth Peters about Richard as well 🙂

  9. Kam on May 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I’ve always wondered what happened when Agatha Christie disspeared for 11 days and was found in a hotel under an assumed name.

    In terms of the lost Dauphin, I like to think he was spirited out by the musketeers…

  10. Ducky on May 19, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    I think they must have killed the Dauphin right away. From their POV there was no benefit to leaving the poor child alive.

    As to favorite unsolved mystery, ever since I read Josephine Tey’s DAUGHTER OF TIME it has been the two princes.

  11. Lindsay on May 19, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Oh this looks good I’ll have to check out the first one!

    As much as I would love to have had the Dauphin survive, logically I think he was a loose end that was ultimately tied up.

    My favorite unsolved mysteries are the Taman Shud Case (I do love spies and a bit of unsolvable cipher) and a childhood favorite of the lost Roanoke Colony

  12. Momma Sue on May 19, 2014 at 5:31 pm

    Where did Amelia Earhart go down? (I thought of the princes in the tower first, but decided to be different…) And I think the dauphin was rescued by the Scarlet Pimpernel, of course!

  13. Bekah on May 19, 2014 at 5:55 pm

    Jack the Ripper is a great unsolved case in history. For the fate of the poor Dauphin, I like to think that he was rescued and taken far away from France. 🙂

  14. bn100 on May 19, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Bigfoot, not sure

  15. Lisa Wingeard on May 19, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    There are so many great unsolved historical mysteries to choose from but I’ll go with D.B. Cooper and his plane heist; the sheer logistics of it astounds! As for the fate of the Dauphin, I’d like to think he escaped and found sanctuary some place safe, however, history has taught us that not many leaders were given that kind of lenient fate.

  16. Betty S. on May 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    First off, the two Princes.

    Next Jack the Ripper.

    Third would be the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island since I live an hour away and it is always in our history books.

    Have also wondered about the Grand Duchess Anastasia, and would like to hope she escaped the Bolshevik ruthlessness, although it seems pretty certain she didn’t.

  17. Leila on May 19, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I have many. The two princes in the tower. Also, what did Henry VIII’s son die of? How did King Tutankhamen die? What was the purpose of the stone circles/standing stones like Avesbury and Stonehenge? And I have many more!

  18. Olivia on May 20, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Princes in the Tower. Or Lizzie Borden.

    And yes, the Dauphin definitely died in prison.

  19. Tiffany on May 20, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    As a kid, I always loved the thought of Princess Anastasia escaping. I know they identified the skeletons as Romanovs via mitochondrial DNA, but still – I can’t help but hope maybe science made a mistake…

  20. Ren on May 20, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    My favorites are anything with missing people, especially the lost colony of Roanoke. I would also love to know if there was any medical explanation behind the Salem witch trials.

  21. Rebecca Antill on May 21, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I do think the Dauphin died in prison, simply because there’s never been any proof otherwise, but anything is possible.
    My favorite historical mystery is what happened to the Ninth Roman Legion when they disappeared in Scotland. I love any books or movies about the subject.
    And I also really really like C.S. Harris series 🙂 I hope I win!!!

    • Betty S. on May 21, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      Did you read Susanna Kearsley’s Shadowy Horses, Rebecca? Also, I believe the legion is mentioned in Finding Camlann by Sean Pidgeon.

  22. Kristy on May 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Momma Sue (#12) – you had my answers first. 🙂 Amelia Earhart has always intrigued me, but I’ll also add Grand Duchess Anastasia, daughter of Czar Nicholas. And of course the Dauphin survived. He was rescued by the Scarlet Pimpernel and Marguerite. You can read about it in Eldorado. 😉

  23. leslie on May 22, 2014 at 11:05 am

    I loved this book and I can’t wait for the next one!

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