A TREACHEROUS CURSE is the third book in the Veronica Speedwell
series by the stupendously clever Deanna Raybourn. If I
could pick anyone to be when I grow up, it would be
Raybourn. She's witty, well read, and fascinating. Go
follow her on Twitter right now (@deannaraybourn); she will introduce
you to all kinds of esoterica you had no idea you were
missing! Raybourn's female protagonists have a lot of the
same qualities that her authorial persona does, which is why
I love them so.
Set in Victorian London, this series features lepidopterist
and amateur sleuth Veronica Speedwell and her
partner-in-crime Stoker. Veronica is absolutely delightful.
She's acerbic and refreshingly direct. Definitely bucking
the trends of proper Victorian ladyhood, she has traveled
the world collecting butterflies and lovers. She now works
for the Earl of Rosemorran cataloging his holdings for an
upcoming museum he is opening with his own private
collection. Stoker, a prior naval surgeon, works beside her
as a naturalist and taxidermist, restuffing moldy old
platypuses and such.
The interplay between Stoker, who is reserved and has a bit
of a stick up his bum, and the jaunty Veronica is priceless.
This is a book that will make you laugh out loud in public.
Veronica and Stoker's current case involves a fake mummy's
curse which plagued an Egyptian antiquities expedition and
left Stoker's ex-wife's current husband missing. Veronica
must find out what happened to the missing man before Stoker
is condemned by public opinion and accused of the man's
Fiercely independent, Veronica is a viciously loyal friend.
I love how supportive she is of Stoker, and how delicate she
is in respecting his privacy while helping him become what
she knows he is capable of being. Veronica is the kind of
woman I would want to hang out with and have as my best
friend. The mystery keeps the reader guessing, and the pace
is lively and quick. RAYBOURN delivers another tour de force
in A TREACHEROUS CURSE, a masterpiece of Victorian mystery
and wit, with danger and a faint hint of romance. Superb as
always, Ms. Raybourn!
London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the
butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica
Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—
particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague,
Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from
an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed
from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess.
This disappearance is just the latest in a string of
unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial
expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the
vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy
figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.
But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only
challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and
malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a
tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the
public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must
separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity
that threatens to cost Stoker everything. . . .