Title: A Perilous Undertaking
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell, #2
Publisher: Berkley Books
Date: January 10, 2017
Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman’s noose in a week’s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.
But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer, a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia’s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed….”
I loved the first book in this series, A Curious Beginning, and this one was just as entertaining. The mystery is good, and no, I had no idea who the “bad guy” was until the reveal. That’s unusual for me. I read so many books, I generally have a good idea who the culprit is before the end of the book. Not knowing makes this an exceptional book.
Regardless of the mystery though, it is the relationship between Veronica and Stoker that I really enjoy. They like each other, and maybe a little more, but they had much rather argue than carry on a civil conversation. Veronica likes to enrage Stoker because it pulls him out of the dumps. At least, that’s what she says. Actually, she just enjoys arguing.
In this book, we find out a little more about Veronica’s past, but we really learn some things about Stoker. It’s not enough. It only whets my appetite for more information. It’s not like there are cliffhangers or anything. I hate those. We are just given tidbits to entice us. And man, did that work. I cannot wait for the next book.
To keep you going until this book’s release, here are a few quotes to entertain.
Veronica in Chapter 1: Men, I had observed, were never happier than when they believed they were imparting wisdom.
Stoker in Chapter 12: Veronica, you have a substantial intellect. Perhaps you could trouble yourself to use it occasionally.
Veronica in the same chapter referring to Stoker: That was the true measure of his character; even at the height of his irritation he would never let me fall.
Also, in the same chapter (and why would Stoker ever be irritated with Veronica), Stoker is trying to get Veronica to promise to run to safety if things go bad. :
“For once, do as I ask. Promise me.”
“Very well. I promise,” I said, crossing my fingers behind my back.
Again, in Chapter 12. I had not realized what a great chapter that was. I am not going to give you any context for this quote. I’m just throwing it out. : “Good heavens! I have never seen so many penises in one place,”
Veronica in Chapter 16: It has been my experience in dealing with the male of the species that the easiest way to get one to do as you wish is to encourage him to do precisely the opposite.
You know, I am fairly certain my mother taught me this exact same thing.
And I’ll leave you with an exchange between Veronica and Stoker:
“… That is a stroke of brilliance.”
He preened. “It is, isn’t it? I think I shall bask in this for a little while. I do like being right.”
And don’t we all. I hate that the book is not being released until January of 2017. I have no idea why it has been delayed for so long. It is well worth the wait though and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.