The Serpent and the Scorpion: An Ursula Marlow Mystery
by Clare Langley-Hawthorne
Cover Artist: Scott McKowen
Review by Gayle Surrette
Penguin Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780143113393
Date: 30 September 2008 List Price $14.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
Langley-Hawthorne picked an interesting time for her heroine, Ursula Marlow, to live in. The Pankhursts are rallying women to militant action to achieve votes for women. The Bolsheviks are fomenting unrest among the workers. Egyptian nationalists are struggling to throw out the British. There are rumblings and rumors of approaching war. It's 1912 and Urusla Marlow has inherited her father's factories and is struggling to keep them afloat in the face of increasingly costly breakdowns and damage (or maybe sabotage) at her factories. While in Egypt negotiating cotton contracts, she sees a friend murdered in the markets. Shortly later a women is found dead after a fire in one of her factories. Ursula believes these deaths are connected. From official release/information:
Product Description: A gripping mystery of scandal and intrigue starring a spirited and beautiful Edwardian heiress. It's the end of 1911 and Ursula Marlow, struggling to maintain control over her father's textile empire, finds her business trip to Egypt interrupted by two violent deaths. The first victim is her new friend, Katya—the mysterious wife of a wealthy Russian financier. Then when a young woman dies in a fire in one of Ursula's factories just days later, she returns to investigate and discovers the woman was already dead before the fire started. Driven by her need for justice, the headstrong Ursula is determined to unravel the possible connection between the two deaths, the return of her Bolshevik ex-lover, and disturbing events in the Middle East. The Serpent and the Scorpion is a tale of romance, betrayal, and murder that will appeal to fans of Elizabeth Peters, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Jacqueline Winspear.