In this installment of Veronica and Stoker's Victorian England mystery-solving, they enter a sinister, gothic scene--and despite spending much of the book keeping their distance, their relationship ultimately progresses in a significant, intriguing manner.
I loved A Curious Beginning, the first book in Deanna Raybourn's feisty Veronica Speedwell series of historical fiction mysteries, as well as the second book, A Perilous Undertaking, and the third, A Treacherous Curse.
Raybourn is masterful at providing a captivating main character with depth and flaws; a tantalizing will-they-won't-they tension that doesn't feel like a tease, and dialogue that makes me laugh out loud--all set against the backdrop of a Victorian-age mystery.
In this fourth book of the series, Veronica is lured by the promise of an elusive butterfly and an invitation from Lord Templeton-Vane, her partner Stoker's brother, to a gothic, gloomy estate on an island--and an unsolved disappearance that just may have been a murder.
I was initially disappointed that Veronica and Stoker spend (a fast-forwarded) six months apart at the start of the story, which picks up immediately following book three's events. Where were the banter and sexual tension and match-up of will and intellect between Stoker and Veronica that are my favorite aspects of the series?
When Veronica returns from a long journey, partially undertaken in order to avoid Stoker and the heartache and brokenness due to his ex-wife's cruelties...there remains a lack of banter and sexual tension. Boo, hiss!
But at long last, the funny and tantalizing tension reemerges, spurred along by Lord Templeton-Vane's flirtations with Veronica, the healing tincture of time, and Stoker and Veronica's irresistible attraction.
And ahem, there's also a mystery to solve. It wasn't my favorite of the series mysteries thus far, but I enjoyed the dark, gothic feel of twisting passages, hidden nooks, and sinister secrets.
And in this installment of the series, Raybourn allows for The Situation Between Veronica and Stoker to progress in significant, satisfying ways. Eeeep!
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?
Raybourn is also the author of the wonderful stand-alone title Killers of a Certain Age.