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The Serpent and the Scorpion: An Ursula Marlow Mystery (Ursula Marlowe Mystery #2)

3.46  ·  Rating Details ·  135 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
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, Katyathe mysterious wife of a wealthy Russian financier. Then when a you
Hardcover, Large Print, 485 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by Thorndike Press (first published September 16th 2008)
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The Library Lady
This book has a blurb comparing it to,(among others) those of Dorothy L. Sayers and Jacqueline Winspear.
And there are similarities to Winspear. But Dorothy L Sayers? The creator of Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane? One of the greatest detective writers ever?

I think not. This is flat and barely believable. I had a pretty good idea of a great deal of the mystery early in. And if Ursula is so bright and independent why does she have to be rescued repeatedly a la Nancy Drew and Ned Nickerson?

Jul 03, 2009 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of period mysteries, Brit lit, historical books with a feminist bent
Shelves: series, mystery
A delightful Edwardian mystery with a feisty, likable heroine named Ursula Marlowe. The period details were well done, and Langley-Hawthorne certainly did her research on the lesser-known aspects of Edwardian life, life women studying at Oxford, the suffrage movement, socialism and the minute details that distinguish the class structure within the upper class. My only wish is that I'd read the first Ursula Marlowe mystery before I picked up this one, since now I know all the details of the first ...more
Jake Rideout
Jul 13, 2009 Jake Rideout rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We were fortunate enough to host Clare for a reading last night, and it was fabulous! She's one of those authors who, even if you've already read the book, makes you want to read it again. This is the second book in her Ursula Marlow series, which are woman-detective novels set in Edwardian England. Ursula, a militant suffragette and member of high society, finds herself caught up in another murder investigation when her new friend is stabbed in an Egyptian marketplace. Ursula takes up the case, ...more
The young heiress Ursula Marlow is in Egypt to find sources of cotton for her mills in England. While there she meets a young woman Katya Vilensky. Katya is wife to Peter Vilensky a wealthy financier.

While on a trip to the Bazaar both women are sorrounded by a group of ruffians and separated. Ursula hears Katya cry out and suddenly the group is gone. Katya lies dead in the street. The Egyptian authorities are not inclined to pursue the matter.

Ursula receives information of sabatoge at the cotton
Nov 22, 2008 Shandana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i love mysteries set in egypt so i enthusiastically picked this one up. it was a disappointment.

the heroine is set up to be a strong-willed suffragette who has had many lovers. mind you, this is set in england in the early 20th century. the woman would have been ostracized, no matter that she was a coal heiress and had friends in high places.

the mystery wasn't much of a mystery. it was easy to tell who was behind all the nefarious happenings. and the heroine really began to annoy when she screa
Apr 20, 2014 Cate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A misleading cover implies that the mystery in this volume takes place in Egypt, which would have been much more exciting. We find Ursula struggling to maintain control of her father’s business and chafing under the guardianship of Lord Wrotham. When a new friend is murdered, and a young woman dies in one of Ursula’s factories, her quest for the truth also includes the return of her ex-lover, an exiled Bolshevik. Fraught with complicated geo-political details, this mystery is more complicated th ...more
Jan 05, 2009 Littlegolynda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Just starting to get interesting. I had to get my head in the British writer mode. It is also taking place in 1912 which also causes me to make a change in mind set.
This book is taking so much longer to read. It reads like the era it it written in,old cars that need a crank to start, only snail mail, and ocean liner travel.
I'm to much in the now era. Fast cars, cell phones, and air travel.
Jan.8,2009 finished this book and glad of it. Unless you really like period mysteries on the line of Agatha
Jul 21, 2011 Juli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is definitely slow in developing, but about halfway through it started to pick up. It is not really that much of a mystery but more like a quiet thriller--one where you are not quite sure who will survive. It won't be for everyone, but I would still recommend it for people who like period mysteries.
Jan 31, 2010 Gail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Urusula Marlow, beautiful heiress and radical thinker returns. She now owns her father's factories and goes North when a fire reveals a dead worker in the fire. The woman was dead before the fire was started.

Again a good mystery moving from the bazaars of Egypt, to the mills of the North, to the radical times of 1911-1912. Ends on a cliff hanger.
I wasn't as vested in this mystery as I was in the first Ursula Marlowe book, Consequences of Sin. The whole Egyptian/Russian past lover story wasn't as interesting as the plotline of Ursula dealing with business and her relationship with Lord Wrotham. The ending leaves quite a cliffhanger, so the next book should be interesting.
Fred Rauch
May 05, 2015 Fred Rauch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second in a series which I really enjoyed. Checked with Barnes and Noble and book 3 "Unlikely Traitor" is print on demand. Phooey!!!!!! Wanted to read it as book 2 (this one ends with Lord Worthen being arrested for treason. I will not know how book 3 goes and/or ends. I will simply assume that Ursula gets him off and they marry. (Just read some other reviews - all is well.)
Another simple read. I really did not like how this story ended setting up the next book. But otherwise the story was okay. The character development was good on some but a bit stiff on others. If I had time and my to be read pile wasn't so large, I would potentially pick up the next book.
Apr 28, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first one and loved the second. Hope there will be a third as we're left with a real cliffhanger. The attention to detail and amount of research the author goes into is impressive. Ursula Marlow is a complex and compelling heroine.
Sep 28, 2008 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love my historical mysteries and I hope that this author keeps going. Ursula Marlowe is a good detective and great character for those who like the Maisie Dobbs series, I highly recommend Clare Langley-Hawthorne.
Jul 03, 2009 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009booksread
The sequel to Consequences of Sin, I enjoyed this book quite a lot as well. I'm eager for the next in the series.
Dawn Sherlock
2 1/2 stars. A fun little mystery. Very predictable. Lovely references to pre WWI UK and Middle East.
Nov 02, 2011 Craig rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, historical
Eh. Pretty much the same problems as the first book. And it becomes even more obvious that the heroine isn't really very heroic - she's mostly a whiner who constantly needs to be rescued by men.
Nov 08, 2008 Hope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this second Ursula Marlowe mystery and am looking forward to the next one. Marlowe is a great new sleuth with a new angle.
Apr 07, 2009 Jessie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this book.
Feb 28, 2009 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although the second in the Ursula Marlow books was decidedly better than the first, and I more or less got over her not being Maisie Dobbs, I doubt I will read any future Marlow mysteries.
Mary G.
It was a really nice story. Well done.
I enjoyed this Ursula Marlow book more than the 1st one (Consequences of Sin). I would give it a 4.5. If you enjoy historical fiction and mysteries, I'd highly suggest this book.
Aug 07, 2011 Joanna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very intriguing book. I am glad another one seems to be in the works but so far cannot find a publication date on the third in this series.
Sherry rated it really liked it
May 08, 2016
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Nov 17, 2016
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May 09, 2011
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Clare Langley-Hawthorne was raised in England and Australia. She was an attorney in Melbourne before moving to the United States, where she began her career as a writer. Her first novel, Consequences of Sin, has been nominated for the 2008 Sue Feder Memorial Historical Mystery Macavity award. The second in the Ursula Marlow series, The Serpent and The Scorpion, is due out in October 2008. Clare li ...more
More about Clare Langley-Hawthorne...

Other Books in the Series

Ursula Marlowe Mystery (3 books)
  • Consequences of Sin
  • Unlikely Traitors

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