Title: A Curious Beginning
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Publisher: NAL/ Penguin
Publish Date: September 1, 2015
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "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."
My Two Cents:
I've read a couple books by Deanna Raybourn before but none of her mysteries. "A Curious Beginning" was my first shot with one of her mysteries and it was a great success. This book is the story of Veronica Speedwell, a young woman who grew up with her aunts. Now that they are dead, she is on her own and isn't really sure of her true origins. When she is thrown with Stoker, they fall into a murder mystery that may actually hold the key to where Veronica came from. This book is exciting and fun and a great look at Victorian life!
Veronica Speedwell is definitely my kind a character. She is sharp and she is also very funny, much to the chagrin of Stoker. Some of the things she said had me laughing out loud and I loved following her through the story. The relationship between her and Stoker also kept me reading. They're great together although at first they really don't like each other. As the book goes on, I thought that the author did a really good job of showing the natural progression of their relationship.
This is one of those books where I was reading the ending very slowly because I wasn't quite ready for it to end. So far on Goodreads, there are two Veronica Speedwell mysteries listed after this one however but of them are untitled and neither one of them have a release date listed. Here's to hoping for myself and other readers who love a great character and a good story that the release dates are not too far away. Count me among those who will eagerly be awaiting the next edition of Veronica's mysteries.