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Consequences of Sin Hardcover – February 15, 2007

3.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Langley-Hawthorne's debut, billed as the first in a new Edwardian series, introduces an aspiring journalist and an Oxford-educated heiress, Ursula Marlow, who has a lot to learn about good detective work. Ursula's sheltered life begins to unravel after she receives a frantic late-night call from her friend Winifred Stanford-Jones, who's awakened to her lesbian lover's bloody corpse in her bed. Ursula summons Lord Oliver Wrotham, legal adviser to her industrialist father, but she bristles at the condescending, restrictive male power structure of Edwardian London and launches her own probe into the murder—with limited success. More deaths follow, including that of Ursula's father. Suspecting the crimes may be linked to a botanical expedition to South America, Ursula embarks for its jungles to confirm her theory. Whodunit fans may feel let down by the chance discovery of the culprit's identity, though romance readers should appreciate the conflict between the heroine's attraction to the dark, handsome Lord Wrotham and her sense of duty to marry the man her father intended for her. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Ursula Marlowe is not a typical Edwardian heiress. An Oxford graduate who hopes to become a journalist and an active suffragette, she is a disappointment to her father, a self-made magnate who would like his daughter to marry and settle down. When one of her friends is accused of murdering another woman, the friend calls Ursula for help. With assistance from her father's lawyer, Lord Wortham, she begins investigating and, in the face of overwhelming evidence against her friend, finds indications of a sinister plot that endangers herself and her family. This debut novel introduces an intriguing new female sleuth with broad appeal. An action-packed plot, rich period detail, and a bit of romance will ensure that readers of cozies and historical mysteries will find much to enjoy. Barbara Bibel
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (February 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670038202
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670038206
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,757,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Consequences of Sin" is a wonderful read that kept me up all night. There is no easy way to categorize this book which is both a satisfying mystery and a historically true romance. The author, Clare Langley-Hawthorne, understands the complexity of divided loyalties. Her heroine, Ursula Marlow, is an Oxford graduate, a rich heiress, and an aspiring suffragette living in Edwardian England. She is a young woman who must deal with a world where the rigid societal hierarchies based on class, wealth, and gender are only beginning to be questioned. The death of her friend's lesbian lover not only sets up the plot of this fascinating mystery, but details the choices that a young spirited woman must make as she leaves a cosseted world of privilege. This is an immensely satisfying book where love, commitment, and passion must all be weighed against the strict conventions of a country that has yet to be touched by the upheavals of the First World War.
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Format: Paperback
I guess I must have missed buying a copy dusted with the 'good review' hypnosis powder, because unlike the other reviewers I believe this thing is a stinker. It's written as if the author's only contact with the word 'research' is reading Barbara Cartland and Georgette Heyer. The plot is good, that's the only thing that kept me reading, but the characters are cardboard. You just want to reach out and slap the heroine who is alternatively passive and aggressive, then smart and stupid, by turns. During the first chapter I thought this book was just a slow building parody of the woman detective romance novel, but in Chap 2 I realized the author was trying to write a serious book. If she had spent some time reading P.G. Wodehouse or Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Merz) and applied their over the top technique to her writing, this thing could have been a delightful romp. As it is, it's painful to read more than one or two pages at a time. Awful, awful, awful writing.
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Format: Hardcover
Given that this debut novel and first installment in a series by Clare Langeley- Hawthorne features an Oxford educated young woman of the money classes, who is also a suffragette, comparisons are bound to be made between this new series and Gillian Linscott's excellent Nell Bray series. Being a fervent fan of the Nell Bray series, and given that I really enjoyed "Consequences of Sin" my verdict is that while there are more differences than similarities between the two series, there is much to enjoy about "Consequences of Sin" and that there is much about Ursula Marlow that Nell Bray fans will approve of and take to.

While Ursula Marlow's father, the self-made industrialist wants his only daughter to marry well and settle down, Oxford educated Ursula (who also happens to be a suffragette) wants to decide her own fate, without any parental pressures. And when a fellow suffragette, Winifred Stanford-Jones, and close friend finds herself accused of murder, Ursula decides to do all in her power to help Winifred, much to her father's dismay. And when in the course of her investigations, Ursula discovers that Winifred may be taking the fall for some kind of vendetta against her father and his business associates, Ursula's resolve to discover the truth and absolve Winifred only strengthens. If only she can get her father and his lawyer, the maddening Lord Wortham, to see that she is no longer a child to be placated and soothed...

Like the other reviewers, I stayed up all night to finish this book. "Consequences of Sin" may not be the most suspenseful read of the month, but the author has cleverly layered her book with enough intriguing plot twists to keep things humming and interesting, and so kept me happily ensnared till the very last page.
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Format: Hardcover
If you've got anything crucial to do, I suggest you do it before sitting down with Consequences of Sin! Once you get into it... there goes your weekend. This one is a little gem, packed with international intrigue, well-researched history, a little love, a marvelous touch of humor, and enough dead bodies to keep you guessing. Toss in the wonderfully appealing, sharp, yet naïve Ursula Marlow and you've got a book that, in the end, leaves you eager to find out what sorts of sinister mischief will come in book two! Hats off to Langley-Hawthorne for a smashing debut.
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Format: Paperback
In this historical mystery, the heroine is an unlikely Edwardian character: Ursula ("Sully" to her intimate friends) Marlow is an aspiring journalist, an heiress living in London's posh Belgravia neighborhood, and an Oxford graduate. Clearly, she is a young woman with her own mind. One indication of that is her role as a suffragette, something frowned upon by many in her social circle, who wonder how she will ever gain a husband when she is so very willful?

Ursula lives with her father, who seems to understand her better than anyone, but he worries about her, particularly her reckless bravery and determination to do the right thing. He knows the world is more complicated than that, but shielding his only daughter from harm may be more than he can achieve.

The mystery truly begins when a close friend of Ursula's from the suffragette movement calls her in the middle of the night to come help. There's a dead woman in her house, and she has no idea how the murder occurred. Ursula is convinced of her friend's innocence, despite what the police have to say about her background and likelihood as the perpetrator of the crime.

Everyone around Ursula, including her father and his trusted counselor Lord Oliver Wrotham, try to convince her to drop her pursuit of the case. Certain that her friend is innocent, Ursula digs deep and uncovers startling information that links the case to her own father and his friends. The connection is a mysterious scientific expedition down the Orinoco River in Venezuela and a massacre of the local Indian population.

Ursula follows the trail to its end, but more murders occur, and pieces of the missing puzzle gradually come to light. In all, it's a satisfying mystery, with just the right amount of character development and clues meted out along the way. It's also a charming story for its period detail and unusually modern heroine.

Christine Zibas, Book Pleasures
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