Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1837–1915), Victorian England’s bestselling woman writer, blends Dickensian humor with chilling suspense in this “exuberantly campy” (Kirkus Reviews) mystery. The novel features Jabez North, a manipulative orphan who becomes a ruthless killer; Valerie de Cevennes, a stunning heiress who falls into North’s diabolical trap; and Mr. Peters, a mute detective who communicates his brilliant reasoning through sign language.
This edition includes a critical Afterword and endnotes by Victorian scholar Dr. Chris Willis.
Sarah Waters is the bestselling author of four previous novels: Tipping the Velvet; Affinity; Fingersmith; and The Night Watch. Winner of many literary awards, she has been shortlisted for both the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. She lives in London.
“The Trail of the Serpent is thoroughly engaging—vintage storytelling with more than a touch of sly wit.” —Sue Grafton
“Why have we been deprived of this treat for a hundred years? The Trail of the Serpent is a cracking good read, addictively ingenious, electrically energetic, engagingly entertaining, and above all fun!”—Reginald Hill
“The Trail of the Serpent is immensely vivid, sweeping you along with its character and vitality.”—Anne Perry
The Trail of the Serpent by Mary Elizabeth Braddon; Edited by Chris Willis; Introduction by Sarah Waters