We are introduced to Veronica Speedwell, in this first novel in this series. Veronica is an abnormality for her time, she is a scientist, earning a living collecting butterflies. Traveling the world, by herself, a single woman and adventurer. She is unmarried, and enjoys taking lovers, although she has a rule that they must not be Englishmen. In 1887, these things make her very unusual, and as this story unfolds, the mystery of Veronica Speedwell and her unusual-ness (is that a word?) gets even more strange… In a good way!
Veronica finds herself in the center of a mystery, her life in danger, and in the company of a scruffy, violent prone, ex circus performer and former upper class man named Stoker. Deanna Raybourns skill as a writer of witty dialogue made this novel, and the interaction between these two characters in particular so much fun to read. Veronica’s inner monologue as she watches Stoker go through every mood swing, and the admiration she feels, but doesn’t allow him to see, ramps up the level of tension. As a reader, I rooted for them as a team, and hoped for them to become a couple. As this takes place in the Victorian era, there was more thinking about sex than the actually partaking of it. That contributed to their tension, with sexual frustration a parallel to the frustration of the mystery they were trying to solve.
I have been a fan of this author’s books, and her writing style, and will eagerly await the next novel in this series to find out the next step in the relationship between these two fascinating characters. Thank you Kensington Publishing for sending me a copy through NetGalley, for my honest review. This book comes out in paperback on July 12, 2016.
Copyright 2016 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved