So as many of you might have noticed, I have been on a Deanna Raybourn book binge read!
I first discovered Raybourn’s books a few years ago when I read Night of a Thousand Stars, which I thought was pretty good as a stand alone book.
It wasn’t until last year that I rediscovered Raybourn and picked up the first Veronica Speedwell book and absolutely fell in love with the series.
Needless to say, I’ve been waiting a long time for this book to come out…..I literally couldn’t wait until January for it to come out, fortunately for me I got my hands on an ARC of the next book!
In this latest installment, Veronica receives an invitation from a friend to a ladies only club for eccentric women. While lured there under false pretenses, Veronica meets a member of the royal family who desperately needs her help to solve a mystery.
The mysterious benefactor begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron, Miles Ramsforth, from execution.
Miles has been accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, he will be hanged in a week if Veronica cannot find the real killer.
Together with her colleague (and sometimes love interest) Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer. Stoker and Veronica become entwined with a secret sex society, the royal family, and many other dark secrets that someone is willing to kill for.
One thing that distinguished Raybourn’s stories from many others are the eccentricities of the characters. In this series I love that Veronica isn’t the quintessential ‘lady detective’. She’s a lepidopterist (someone who studies butterflies) and Stoker is a naturalist/taxidermist…..so they aren’t the typical amateur detective and lady sidekick duo that solve crimes.
They basically just rely on their scientific minds and form hypothesis like the scientists that they are. I love how unique that is. While they are not the typical detectives, they are still able to solve the mysteries using methods they use in science…..it’s just not the typical approach and I love that Raybourn strays from tradition and explores different approaches to mysteries.
The other thing that I love about her books is she does a brilliant job creating sexual tension between her characters but spreads it out over the books rather than wrapping it up neatly in one. In this book, Veronica and Stoker continue to figure their attraction to one another. It’s evident that Veronica feels and attraction to Stoker and he reciprocates her feelings but there are ghosts between them that must be resolved before their relationship can grow into something more. I love how there are still loose ends to resolve in future books. The tension and attraction between the two is palpable and intense….I simply love them together and hope the sexual and romantic tension continues to build in future books. I can’t wait to see how their relationship evolves.
My only complaint with this book was it took a little bit to get into the actual mystery. The mystery didn’t really start until quite a few chapters in so I kind of felt like the beginning was slow for me however once the mystery started there were a ton of little tidbits to keep me engaged and interested.
I felt like there was a lot of plot building that wasn’t necessary, not only that but there wasn’t a lot of recap from the previous book. I personally had forgotten some details from the first book and I think I would have appreciated this book more had there been some cues to remind me of the previous story. Besides those two things, the book was absolutely wonderful. Veronica is a heroine that has completely grown on me and I absolutely love her sass and brashness. She is a heroine for the ages and if you love your lady detectives ‘sassy’ and unique then I highly recommend picking up this series. There are tons of things to love about this one!
Kindle Edition, 352 pagesExpected publication: January 10th 2017 by Berkley Books
- Review copy provided by: Publisher/Author in exchange for an honest review
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4.5 out of 5
Genre: historical fiction, Victorian lit, mystery, gaslight fiction, detective novel
Memorable lines/quotes: NA