Monday, January 30, 2017
A Perilous Undertaking - Another Fun Adventure!
AUTHOR: Deanna Raybourn
PUBLISHER: Berkley Books
PUBLISHING DATE: January 10, 2017
FROM GOODREADS: Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries...
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....
Having loved the first Veronica Speedwell novel I had high hopes for its sequel and Raybourn did not disappoint. Miles Ramsforth, a high-society art patron, is due to hang for the murder of his mistress, Artemisia, yet many people feel the wrong person had been found guilty. A member of the royal family secretly hires Veronica and her colleague Stoker to find the real murderer and save Miles' life before it is too late.
This mystery in "A Perilous Undertaking" is quite complex and weaves in and out of high society like a kite caught on the wind. Many people had motive to kill Artemisia and just as many people have hidden reasons for sitting back and letting Miles take the fall whether he is guilty or not. I enjoyed meeting some new faces and revisiting some old. Lady Wellingtonia is a great addition to the cast and she contributed several humorous moments. While I suspected several individuals of actually killing Artemisia, the ending was fantastic and even if the reader might catch on to the real culprit, the book provides so much fun getting there that I highly doubt anyone would be bored.
It's really hard to say a lot about this book because much of it ties in so closely with the first installment. However, hands down the best aspect of the novel is the relationship between Veronica and Stoker. Veronica is clearly unlike any woman Stoker has previously encountered and as their friendship and working relationship continue to grow, one can't help but wish for some kind of romance between the two. They clearly grate each others' nerves at times and the banter between the two is often quite comical, even though neither of them find it one bit funny. At one point in the book, Veronica is talking so frankly about sex and orgies and the hidden activities of London's rich and elite and I could honestly visualize the shock on Stoker's face. "A Perilous Undertaking" also provides some back story on Stoker himself which enriches the tale.
If you liked "A Curious Beginning" then I have no doubt you will enjoy this next installment as well. It's a well written and fun addition to Veronica Speedwell's world and my only regret is having to wait for Veronica and Stoker's next adventure.
I received a free copy of this book from the published and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
RATING: 5 PAWS