Set in Victorian London, Veronica Speedwell is asked by the Princess Louisa to investigate a murder that her friend, Miles Ramsforth, is about to be hanged for. Veronica and her friend Stoker reluctantly agree, and we are launched into an investigation that, as with the first novel, reveals even more about their own backgrounds. In A Curious Beginning their investigation unveiled Veronica’s high class parentage, but in A Perilous Undertaking the secrets revealed give us more insight into Stokers family, and an understanding for why he and Veronica are drawn to each other, as they have much in common. Deanna Raybourn’s words paint such a vivid picture of her two main characters, that the story plays out as a movie in my head, each word a brush stroke adding depth and color until the whole picture is revealed.
The mystery they are investigating is the murder of a female artist. Her lover, a high born aristocrat and already married man. Veronica and Stoker interview each member of this artist community the victim belongs to, and we find, even though set in a prudish era, all of their suspects seem to have very loose morals as everyone is sleeping around with everyone else. The salacious subject matter adds tension to the relationship between Veronica and Stoker. Admittedly, very good friends, but the underlying tension turns very sexual, with Stoker posing nude for one of the artists, and Veronica being affected by his masculinity (but hiding her reaction really well!). Veronica, a self proclaimed modern woman who has had lovers and likes to throw that in Stokers face to watch him blush, has a rule that she will not choose an English lover. However, as their lives become threatened, and each of them become very protective of the other it is apparent (or at least I am really hopeful!) that their relationship will eventually become something more than friends.
I enjoyed this story even more than A Curious Beginning (❤❤❤❤ review), as I came to understand Veronica and Stoker even more. The intricacy of the mystery and the intellectual way they solved it was filled with humorous dialog, and I found myself laughing out loud at some of their rather “earthy” discoveries. Trust me, those scenes will be re-read, the delight Ms. Raybourn had in writing them (as I’m sure researching Victorian era dildos had to be pretty humorous) came across the page in vivid technicolor.
I was given an ARC by the publisher through NetGalley, and have written my honest review. Delightful! ❤❤❤❤❣
Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe A Chick Who Reads All Rights Reserved