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Consequences of Sin
An Edwardian Mystery

by Clare Langley-Hawthorne

      Ursula Marlow's grandfather may have been just a miner, but her widowed father is a self-made industrial magnate. His wealth has made it possible for her to live luxuriously amongst the gentry in London, and venture beyond it to an Oxford education, still an unusual thing for a woman at that time. Ursula works to help feminist and other radical socialist causes, and is determined to create a career as a reporter. Her father is equally determined that now that she's had her Oxford fling, it's past time she married suitably and settled down to life in the society he's raised her to.

That ongoing conflict becomes the least of their worries when Ursula gets a late night call from one of her radical friends, who has awakened to find her lesbian lover lying next to her... murdered. There's only one person Ursula can think of to deal with such a mess, unfortunately the last person in the world she wants to be indebted to - her father's highly superior and condescending attorney, Lord Wortham.

Resisting the determined attempts of her father, Wortham, and the police to keep her away from the scandal, Ursula fights to save her friend, whose manner and lifestyle have practically guaranteed she will be found guilty, with little effort made to look elsewhere. The resulting investigation takes her from London society to her own Yorkshire roots to the Amazon jungle, through personal danger and loss, and deep into mysterious secrets from the past that are behind the present-day death and danger. The investigation and its answers will change her life forever.

Consequences of Sin is subtitled "An Edwardian Mystery". There's enough genuine detection for it to work as a true mystery; but it's really more likely to appeal to fans of romantic suspense, who will find it a fun read with plenty of action, emotion, and drama. Ursula is an intelligent, appealing heroine and the story rattles along at high speed, with barely a chance to catch your breath. The set up for the romance underlying the mystery story is a bit obvious and clichéd in spots, but still enjoyable to follow. Despite reading like a standalone, this is the first book in a series. I'll be very interested to see where Ursula's next adventure takes her.

The Book

Viking Adult / Penguin Group USA
March 2007
0670038202 / 978-0670038206
Historical Mystery [1910 England and the Americas]
More at
NOTE: First in a new series

The Reviewer

Kim Malo
Reviewed 2007
© 2006