Consequences of Sin (Ursula Marlowe Series #1) - Clare Langley-Hawthorne,  Hawthorne Langley

Fans of the series of books by Gillian Linscott will probably like this, as it treads much of the same ground with a Suffragette protagonist in the early 20th century. There's a couple of rough patches in the writing where the non-English background of the author seems to come through, but generally it's not too bad...

In the case of Consequences of Sin, our hero is Ursula Harlow, an Oxford-educated heiress and ardent Suffragette - she becomes involved in a sordid tale of murder when she gets a late-night telephone call from one of her friends and is summoned to a murder scene. Knowing she's somewhat out of her depth, Ursula calls a friend of her father, a barrister who has given him advice, and is summarily hustled out of the house and back home.

What Ursula doesn't initially realise, since the murder is being painted by the press as a crime of passion, is that there is a connection between the murder victim and her own father. As the bodies begin to stack up, she comes to see that her own life is in danger, though she seems to spend as much time either avoiding her would-be betrothed or mooning over a certain Darcy-clone barrister.

In the end, it was the heavy-handed romance angle that vexed me the most, when pretty much anything Ursula did that demonstrated a spark of independence was swiftly followed by Wrotham popping up again like a bad penny. There's a sequel, The Serpent and the Scorpion, but I'll want to flick through it first and see how much of a role Wrotham plays, given how annoying I found him.