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#NEW #RELEASE 9-1 #REVIEW "A Curious Beginning, (Veronica Speedwell Mystery #1)" by Deanna Raybourn
In her thrilling new series, 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. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.
But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
I loved this book, and it's going to be a fun series of three books to read! I will tell you why! You'll notice this takes place in London in 1887. Veronica is a lepidopterist (I never knew they even existed!) which happens to be someone who studies butterflies. Hmmm! Veronica is also quite the outspoken, opinionated, a headstrong woman (whom you'll never hear a woman speak like she does back then), literally shocking people at times, and I loved it! Also, she’s not specifically against marriage, just in the past, instead, she has taken on her own lover, or lovers (five to be exact) of her own accord instead of marriage so far. I love it, a woman who definitely knows what she wants! This book is definitely NOT your average Victorian mystery, nor would I want it to be after reading this now! I just LOVED the sexual tension between Veronica and Stoker (I’ll tell you about him in a moment!). This book went completely against what you would ‘think’ a Victorian mystery would/should be like! Just how I LOVE it!
There are actually two mysteries that take place in this book. One is why is someone after her, as she does get abducted in her aunt’s home after returning from that aunt’s funeral. The other mystery ends up being why did someone murder the German man, the man who put Stoker by Veronica's side to help keep her safe, although, she did not need him or any man to keep her safe as far as that went! She has a special hat pin for that, although he was quite handsome! The German was going to give her more information about her parents and her abduction, too, but not now. There is some heat between Veronica and Stoker, and I wanted to see more of that, but at times, instead the author would take us off in a different direction when all you wanted was her and Stoker to continue on! These two even ended up joining in on a traveling caravan, but this is when you were hoping to see these two make more heat together while investigating the crimes, but we were taken away from that direction. This is my only complaint about the book. Every now and then the author would take us off into another direction rather than the direction I believe the reader wanted to go! Maybe she thinks we need to cool down or doesn’t want ‘that’ in her books? I don’t know? LOL! Rather, off to the next deviation! Veronica and Stoker do find the answers to what they were looking for, but it really turned out to be anti-climatic. Strange, or possibly with the rest of the story coming in two more books we’ll learn why there was not much to the answers? We’ll see!
This will stick with me as well. The last line in this book says, ‘As the excellent Arcadia Brown, Lady Detective, so often proclaimed, “EXCELSIOR!”
I absolutely LOVE the cover of this book, don't you? It's beautiful! Well, I have found a new author of whom I am in love with her writing! I want to go now and read ALL of her books! She has quite the series about a 'Lady Julia Grey'! I don’t want to wait to read them, either, although there are a LOT of volumes to that series! Wow! You'll have to check those out, too!
I want to thank Penguin/Berkley/NAL for the wonderful opportunity they gave me to read and review this wonderful book in exchange for a review of my own opinion. Thank you!