Reviewer Christine Zibas has spent all of her life in love with books, and most of her life working with words. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Western Illinois University and did advanced studies in politics and publishing at WIU, Oxford University, George Washington University, and Stanford.
For many years Christine was an editor in the
think tank world, editing books and reports on international
relations and military studies. She worked at the Center for
Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. and the Johns
Hopkins Foreign Policy Institute, where she served as director of
publications. In London she was the editor at the International
Institute for Strategic Studies. To read more of Christine's Reviews CLICK HERE
Author: Clare Langley-Hawthorne
Title: Penguin Books
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.