Now in paperback, the first in a new series from Deanna Raybourn, A CURIOUS BEGINNING sets
the stage for the adventures. The next book in the series, A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING, is
available for pre-order, so get ready!
A CURIOUS BEGINNING is book one in the new Veronica Speedwell Victorian
historical mystery series by the fabulous Deanna Raybourn. Raybourn is a
favorite author of mine, and I've been mourning the end of her Lady Julia
Grey series with her old publisher. I'm happy to say that Raybourn's magic
is still very much in evidence with her new publisher NAL/Penguin. Veronica
Speedwell and her surrounding cast have much the same slapdash charm as Lady
Julia and her nutty family. Fans of the redoubtable Amelia Peabody from the late
lamented Elizabeth Peters will eagerly lap up this story. Fans of Alan Bradley's
Flavia de Luce will enjoy Veronica as well -- she feels to me like a grown-up
but still somehow precocious Flavia.
Orphaned and illegitimate Veronica is raised by her two peripatetic "aunts,"
moving from village to village as she grows up. She is quite the independent
thinker, and as an adult becomes an avid explorer, capturing butterflies for
other collectors and traveling to many exotic locales where she indulges in
torrid but emotionally restrained affairs with foreign lovers. When the last of
her guardians dies, Veronica is cut free from her ties to England and plans to
leave on another expedition. However, she returns home one last time where she
foils an abduction attempt with the help of a stranger, Baron von Stauffenbach
(I dare you to read his name out loud without chuckling). The elderly Baron
takes her to London, informing her along the way that he knew her mother and is
in possession of a dangerous secret about Veronica's past. The Baron deposits
Veronica with a friend for safe-keeping, the reclusive natural historian
Revelstoke "Stoker" Templeton-Vane. The Baron is murdered before he can inform
Veronica about the mortal danger she is in.
Veronica and Stoker then embark on a beautifully convoluted journey to discover
who murdered the Baron, and who is threatening Veronica's existence. The mystery
is intricate and utterly compelling, the characters fantastical, and the banter
and sexual tension between Veronica and Stoker all but leap from the page. This
highly entertaining book keeps me captivated from charming start to exuberant
finish. The unwittingly dryly witty Veronica and the grumblingly broody Stoker
keep me in stitches. I adore Raybourn's new series, and A CURIOUS BEGINNING
lives up to its name, leaving me anxiously awaiting book two to see what hijinks
will next ensue.
Review by Make Kay
Veronica Speedwell Mystery
In her thrilling new series, Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times
bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to
Victorian England...and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell.
London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica
Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific
inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting
butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the
journey of a lifetime.
But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction
with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care
of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before
the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found
murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as
wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
[NAL, On Sale: July 12, 2016, Paperback / e-Book
(reprint), ISBN: 9780451476029 / eISBN: 9780698198203]
Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn,
the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries...
London, 1887. Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica
Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only
establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady
Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task—saving society art patron
Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist
mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman’s noose in a week’s time if
Veronica cannot find the real killer.
But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity
is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her
natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true
murderer—a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia’s life in cold blood but
is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists’ colony to
a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the
investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....
[Berkley, On Sale: January 10, 2017, Hardcover /
e-Book, ISBN: 9780451476159 / eISBN: 9780698198456]
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