Deanna Raybourn has been one of my favorite historical mystery writers since I first discovered the Veronica Speedwell series. I have since read all of her books and loved each of them, some more than others, but overall her books have been fantastic. The Veronica Speedwell series being my personal favorite of her books and series. Veronica is such a wonderfully non conventional character and her chemistry with Stoker has been solid through most of the series.
However, the last book left me a little disappointed, it was ok but just not my favorite in the series so I was really looking forward to this one and seeing how and if the dynamic of the books changed at all after the last one. If you love historical mysteries that are smart, cheeky, and of course with a hint of romance you will find a lot to love in the Veronica Speedwell series! She is such a great heroine and I have loved this series over all.
I can’t believe we are into the seventh book already! It seems like just yesterday I was discovering Veronica for the first time and now here we are seven books in and so much has changed for both Veronica and Stoker through the books. I went into this one expecting some of that familiar sizzle and chemistry to be rediscovered between Veronica and Soker as well as a smart mystery story and I was not disappointed!
While investigating a man claiming to be the long-lost heir to a noble family, Veronica Speedwell gets the surprise of her life in this new adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.
London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.
But now a man matching Jonathan’s description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family’s most valuable possessions–a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It’s a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo’s only hope.
Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good. (summary from Goodreads)
I went into this one hoping for one thing and then getting another and I don’t mean that in a bad way at all! When I picked this one up I was really just hoping to see more chemistry and progression between Veronica and Stoker than was in the previous book and I feel absolutely satisfied in that expectation with this book. But that wasn’t the only thing that I came away with in this one. This book was full of some new an interesting surprises in Veronica’s backstory! Up until this point I felt like readers were familiar with Veronica’s character and almost like there wasn’t really more to flush out and develop in some ways (at least that’s how I felt) but then Raybourn kind of throws in a curveball for fans and we realize that there is a lot more than meets the eye even at this point in the series.
In this book I really enjoyed exploring more of Veronica’s character and backstory. I had forgotten some of the bigger points of the larger narrative and I appreciated that Raybourn spent some time going back over some of the high points as a reminder. I personally feel that new readers to this series might miss some of the nuances of Veronica and Stoker having not read the other books but I don’t think they would be entirely lost in the series though. In this book we really see a different side of Veronica and while I didn’t necessarily love how her character handled some things, I felt like getting to explore this new side of her was really interesting and intriguing for long time fans of the series. And the ending—I won’t reveal anything but I need the next book! This one was a cliffhanger!
This series has great banter and witty dialogue, it’s one of the things I love best. The mysteries are smart but the dialogue is where it’s at for me! In this one, fans of the series will enjoy the banter and chemistry between Veronica and Stoker along with all the dialogue! So much sass and wit, I love love love the dialogue in this one (as well as the other books). Over all this book came out better for me than the previous one, especially with all the new revelations about Veronica. I am eager for the next book and I think fans will dig this one. It might have some controversy but I loved seeing a new side of Veronica even if I didn’t agree with her response at times.
Book Info and Rating
Format: 325 pages hardcover
Published: February 15 2022 by Berkley Books
Free review copy provided by publisher, Berkley Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: historical mystery