In this first installment of the Veronica Speedwell mystery series, we meet Veronica, a foundling raised by two elderly aunts, the last of which has recently died, leaving her alone in the world. A passionate naturalist with an enthusiasm for butterflies, Veronica has traveled the globe in search of prized specimens and steamy romantic entanglements, according to her own strict terms. Independent, tart, bold, non-traditional, and terribly unapologetic, Veronica sets out to start her own life just before Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee when a German baron warns Veronica that her life is in danger. He takes her to London and puts her in the care of his friend, a reclusive malcontent named Stoker, but before the baron can explain things further, he is murdered. Stoker and Veronica, at first reluctant allies, must work together to learn who killed the baron and why they are now targeting Veronica. Of course, Stoker has his own secrets to keep and as their anonymous enemies close in, Veronica and Stoker must stay steps ahead of people who very much want them dead.
Filled with sparkling wit, witty repartee, and palpable romantic tension, this book is a delight from beginning to end. There is only one (slight) complaint I have with the ending, but I can’t reveal it here, as it would spoil it for others. Let’s just say I’m looking forward to revisiting Veronica and Stoker in the next installment.
On Facebook, Ms. Raybourn announced that the second book in the series, “A Perilous Undertaking”, will be available for pre-order shortly!
Amazon link is here.