This was a series that I perpetually have no pre order. I was sold on it even before it came out. I saw the cover in 2015 and immediately knew I needed this book so I pre ordered a copy. I fell in love with Veronica Speedwell the moment I started reading.
She was refreshing, unconventional, over the top, and just so sassy. I loved the chemistry between her and her leading man, Stoker. Since the inception of this series, I have been first in line with the next installment comes out.
The last book left me feeling a little wanting in the relationship department though, so I was extra eager to get my hands on this book to see if Veronica and Stoker finally finally finally, admit that they are clearly made for each other.
Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker’s brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly’s house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée–much to Stoker’s chagrin.
But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly’s wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband’s mind.
As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker’s help to discover the host’s true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund (summary from Goodreads).
While there were a few little things that I felt were frustrating, by and large this book met every one of my expectations. This book was really about Veronica for me. She was the front and center star with Stoker taking a back seat to her sleuthing. In this book we see her really coming into her own but also having to address some of her own issues that she’s tried to hard to bury.
At times I found Veronica so frustrating. Throughout the series there has been such an emphasis placed on her independence as a scientist and how unconventional she is. For an intelligent woman, she is daft when it comes to Stoker. It should be glaringly apparent to her that he loves her and what her feelings are toward him, but she struggles. While I might have found her frustrating at times, that did not diminish my feelings on this book—in fact it enhanced them.
Her struggles were authentic to her character and I think many strong women struggle with marrying or falling in love, because they fear that they will have to relinquish their independence to a measurable degree. Veronica clearly embodies this struggle and I love it. As a reader I feel a strong connection to a heroine like that.
Though Stoker takes a back seat in this book and the two don’t have a lot of ‘face-to-face’ time, I thought it was appropriate and they still managed to maintain their chemistry. I also enjoyed having Stoker’s brother in this book and hope we see him in future books.
I adore this series and am happy with the direction it’s going in and I can’t wait for the next Veronica book. I have recommended this series to a number of people (including my entire family) and I have heard nothing but positive reports!