Modern Library Classics

The Trail of the Serpent

Publisher: Modern Library
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.


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