Tag Archives: Veronica Speedwell

A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell, #3) by Deanna Rabourn

A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell, #3)A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: A Treacherous Curse
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell, #3
Pages: 352
Publisher: Berkley
Date: January 16, 2018

Summary:

Members of an Egyptian expedition fall victim to an ancient mummy’s curse in a thrilling Veronica Speedwell novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries.

London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.

But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything. . . .

Review:

I have yet to read a Deanna Raybourn book that I did not like. I might not like particular plot points, but I liked, okay loved, all the books. I have to say though, the Veronica Speedwell books are my favorite.

Veronica is a woman after my own heart. I just wished I had her strength of character. She does as she believes is right, regardless of what others might think. I don’t know how realistic this is for the Regency time period or any time period, but I love her anyway.

She doesn’t have much use for most men and even Stoker is subject to her managing ways. Most of all, she is funny. A lot of the humor is found within her thoughts rather than what she actually says or does, but it is quoteworthy nonetheless.

He proceeded to lecture me for the next quarter of an hour, about what I cannot say, for I turned my attention to the contents of the packing crate. I had long since discovered upon my travels that men are largely the same no matter where one encounters them. And if one is prepared to let them discourse on their pet topics of conversation, one can generally get on with things quite handily without any interference.

As for managing Stoker, she knows him, and herself, well.

I pressed my lips together, holding back the question that rose to them. Whatever had caused him to react so strongly, he had no wish to share it and I had no wish to pry.

(I have pledged myself to honesty in these pages, gentle reader, so I will admit that in point of fact I had a rather ferocious wish to pry, but I had learnt through painful experience that Stoker responded far better to the oblique approach than to more direct methods . . .)

And just a general touch of humor:

I turned to the post, sorting the various envelopes into pigeonholes. BILLS TO PAY. BILLS TO PRETEND I HAVE NOT RECEIVED. LETTERS TO ANSWER. LETTERS TO IGNORE. LETTERS FROM TEDIOUS PEOPLE.

Been there, done that. Haven’t you?

I just realized that I haven’t said a word about the plot. The entire thing turns around a archaeological find in Egypt. There is a missing team member, a missing (or was it stolen) diadem belonging to an Egyptian princess. And to just stir things up, a woman from Stoker’s past. Just how does Stoker feel about her after all these years?

If I have any criticism of this book, it is the use of words that I have never heard before. Just as an example: eclose, froideur, exsolutus, and vulneraverunt. The silver lining is that my vocabulary is definitely increasing. Thank goodness for my Kindle. It was able to define most of these for me.

Having said all that, my initial thought when I reached the last chapter was “when is the next book coming out?” As I said earlier, I love the Veronica Speedwell books and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Quote-tastic: A Book to Look Forward To

I have already reviewed A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn, but it has some great lines.  Therefore, I am going to share one of them again.  I am not giving any context.  You will just have to wait for it.  And I do mean wait.  This book is not scheduled for release until January 2017 which should be considered cruel and unusual punishment for anyone who loves Ms. Raybourn’s books like I do.  Anyway, drum roll please, today’s quote (and yes, I know it’s Wednesday, not Monday) is

“Good heavens! I have never seen so many penises in one place,” — Veronica Speedwell

perilous undertaking
quote-tastic final with green border

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A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2) by Deanna Raybourn

A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell, #2)A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: A Perilous Undertaking
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell, #2
Pages: 352
Publisher: Berkley Books
Date: January 10, 2017

Summary:

“London, 1887.”

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….”

Review:

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.

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Quote-tastic: A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn

quote-tastic final with green borderI am re-reading A Curious Beginning, the first of the Veronica Speedwell series, to get ready for book two.  A Perilous Undertaking is not due out until January of 2017, but I scored an early reviewers copy, so it is the next thing on my TBR list.

When I first read A Curious Beginning, I gave it five stars.  I seldom do that, so I must have really enjoyed it.  After re-reading about half of it, I know it deserved five stars or better.  I love this book.

In Melissa’s review on GoodReads of the second book, she compares Veronica and Stoker to Peabody and Emerson.  I did not pick up on that, but she is right.  The personalities and relationship does feel the same, which is a good thing.

Anyway, on to the quotes:

Veronica:  “I have faith that men can be as reasonable and logical as women if they but try.”

Veronica again: “I gave it to him because, in my experience, it is far better to tell a man what he wants to hear and then do as you please than attempt to reason with him.”

And finally, Stoker:  “Pay attention when I am lecturing you.  You can woolgather later.”

I mean, what’s not to love?

A Curious Beginning

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A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell, #1) by Deanna Raybourn

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell Mystery, #1)A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: A Curious Beginning
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell, #1
Pages: 352
Publisher: NAL/Penguin
Date: September 1, 2015

Summary:

London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

Review:

I have to make something clear right from the start about this book. I loved it! I absolutely loved it! Stoker is wonderful and Veronica is one of my all time favorite heroines. If ever there was a woman who knew what she wanted, Veronica is that woman.

As stated in the description, Stoker and Veronica are “in search of the villainous truth.” The plot has twists and turns. Backstories that are alluded to, but not fully explained. Heroes, or are they villains, keep popping up.
And some of the best dialogue I have ever read. Let me give you just a few examples.

Stoker and Veronica are trying to determine why someone is trying to abduct her and Veronica does not accept his hypothesis at all.

That is a tale straight from one of Mrs. Radcliffe’s thrillers, Stoker. I expected better from you.”

It is a perfectly logical hypothesis, he returned.

Now, do shut up and stop interrupting whilst I’m being interesting.”

I love that last line.

Another one:

Stoker has recently introduced Veronica to a friend of his – another strong willed woman.

“I was merely thinking it may have been a very grave mistake to introduce you to Lady C. If the pair of you ever put your minds to it, you could probably topple governments together.

One thing at a time, dear Stoker. One thing at a time.”

And finally, and this so represents their relationship:

“Of course, as had become our habit, we quarreled over what the end should be — or at least Stoker quarreled and I carried on doing precisely as I wished.”

I adore Veronica. She reminds me a lot of Amelia Peabody (by Elizabeth Peters) or Alexia Tarabotti (by Gail Carriger). If you enjoy either of these series, you will love this one.

I am a big fan of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia books, but this book tops those. I cannot wait for the sequel. No word on that yet, but I’m watching for it.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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