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...
Hardcover, 352 pages
January 10th, 2017, Berkley Books
A Curious Beginning is the first book in this Veronica Speedwell Series and while A Perilous Undertaking does not give too many clues or back flashes to the first book I do recommend going back and starting with that one. Not only is it that good, it was great getting to know Veronica and Stokers from the start.
There are so many things I loved about this book, with the first one being Veronica, she is not your average heroine but rather someone who has spunk, is witty, rather feisty and loves her butterflies, she brings this story to life. While there is definite sexual tension in the air her relationship with Stoker played out with its witty bantering giving this book a humorous and engaging tone. At times I found myself forgetting about the mystery and just enjoyed their relationship. They both have haunting pasts creating stumbling blocks that I hope resolves in the not to distant future.
Deanna Raybourn has a writing style that I love. How everything in this mystery wove together and was revealed kept me guessing. There was enough action to keep the story moving right along and and it wasn't hard to feel the elements along the way. I am not sure how many books will be in this series, but I know I am looking forward to the next installment.
Thanks to Berkley Books (via Netgalley) for arc.