Friday, September 4, 2015
A Curious Beginning - And A Good Beginning Too!
AUTHOR: Deanna Raybourn
PUBLISHING DATE: September 1, 2015
FROM GOODREADS: 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.
When I picked up this book, I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to run into, but I was in the mood for something with a historical feel. I definitely got what I planned. Having not read a Raybourn book before, I'll admit the cover of this book drew me in. As beautiful as it is, there is something about the colors that appeals to me.
Veronica Speedwell is my kind of character. When the book starts out, Veronica's remaining "aunt" who raised her has passed. The beginning of the book has Veronica giving the vicar's wife a verbal whipping when she implies Veronica needs to settle down with a widow of 6 children or risk always being a spinster. I knew right away I was going to connect with Veronica. She is spunky and independent. Early on Veronica gets thrown into a mystery involving her background and she meets a motley crew of characters.
I really enjoyed the relationship between Stoker and Veronica. I admit it was hard to read "Stoker" over and over and not think of vampires, but soon enough it wasn't a problem. Stoker is a formidable "opponent" to Veronica and they go from working together reluctantly, to working together for a common goal. The sexual tension between Veronica and Stoker is tremendous, but I am glad Raybourn didn't just throw them into some "insta-love" situation.
This book held a satisfying mystery. A few things bugged me about it, but not enough to dampen my overall enjoyment. I am still uncertain the role The Traveling Show of Curiosities" played, yet I also cannot imagine the book without it. Seems to me if you are trying to solve a murder, you needs to stay in the proximity of the town in which it occurred, not run off into the country. However, everything said, the traveling show was very entertaining.
I will definitely be picking up future installments of this series. In fact, I am kind of sad to have to wait, as this would easily be a series I would love discover about 5 books in so I could read them all at once. Oh well, patience is a virtue...one which neither I nor Veronica seem to possess.
RATING: 4 PAWS
COYER SCAVENGER HUNT CHALLENGE #11- Read a mystery novel.