The Snake of Luvercy

The Snake of Luvercy

( French - La Vipere De Luvercy, Histoire d'un Mystère - 1927 )

novel by Maurice Renard

translated by Florence Crew-Jones

Published: E.P. Dutton - hardback - 1930
ISBN: none

Mme de Prasse and her son Lionel are intent on luring young Gilberta Laval ( Mme de Prasse’s niece ) away from Jean Mareuil, her intended fiancée. The countess and her son want Gilberta’s fortune, inherited from Mme de Prasse’s dead sister, for themselves and are hoping to marry Gilberta to Lionel. So the scheming de Prasse family enlists the aid of a crooked former butler to follow Mareuil. They soon discover that Mareuil is leading a double life – by night he becomes Charlot the Snake, a ruffian of the Parisian underworld with a girlfriend who does a snake charming routine for café patrons.
There is much discussion about about multiple personality and memory throughout most of the book. The de Prasses think that Charlot was somehow involved in the bizarre death of Mme de Prasse’s sister, Jeanne Laval who was bitten by a deadly South American viper. The twisting plot then alternates between the scheming countess and her son doing their best to expose Jean as a criminal and Jean’s desperate attempt to prove Gilberta’s mother was murdered by one of the de Prasse family members.


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