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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read; a couple small quibbles, 4 Dec. 2008
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
First Sentence: When the telephone rang downstairs so early that Saturday morning, Ursula Marlow knew it could only be bad news.

Ursula Marlow is the daughter of a wealthy businessman. She is Oxford educated and a suffragette; a transitional woman in a period of change. A friend has woken next to the body of her murdered lesbian lover and calls Ursula for help.

After the victim's father commits suicide, Ursula uncovers a link to an expedition 20-years' ago to Venezuela. In spite of danger, tragedy and men trying to protect her, Ursula is determined to prove her friend innocent.

At the beginning, I was afraid both the book and the character was going to be quite light and vapid. Boy was I wrong. The protagonist, Ursula, does begin as indulged and a big whiney but transforms into a brave, determined and strongly independent woman. She is a woman caught in an interesting time of social revolution; women moving from the Victorian era to a modern era of independence and the right to vote.

The author did a wonderful job of conveying sense of place. Even more so, and more rarely, the author creates a very strong, evocative description of sense of loss and grief. The story has good suspense, and excellent twist, a climatic ending wherein the protagonist saves herself, and a nice romance that is very well done.

I did have a couple small quibbles: the author overused the description of "a single lock of hair falling..." and, when the heroine is rendered unconscious, it is always for several days. I really did enjoy the story and shall definitely read the next in the series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read, 1 April 2007
tregatt (Portland, Oregon) - See all my reviews
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...

I stayed up all night to finish this book; and although "Consequences of Sin" may not be the most suspenseful read of the month, I thought that the author had cleverly layered her book with enough intriguing plot twists to keep things humming and interesting. Add the absorbing storyline to the book's taking and engaging heroine, and you have a novel that pleases on every level. So that while "Consequences of Sin" did not quite compare vintage Nell Bray novel, "Consequences of Sin" still was a very good read, and I for one, am eagerly looking forward to the next installment in this series.
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Consequences of Sin: An Edwardian Mystery
Consequences of Sin: An Edwardian Mystery by Clare Langley-Hawthorne (Paperback - 1 Feb. 2008)
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