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A Curious Beginning (A Veronica Speedwell Mystery)
By: Deanna Raybourn
List Price: $15.00
Your Price: $8.92
(as of: 08/18/17)
Manufacturer: Berkley
ISBN: 0451476026
Publication Date: 2016-07-12
Release Date 2016-07-12
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours


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Product Description:

In her thrilling new series, Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England...and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell. 

London, 1887. After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.



The death of her guardian, Miss Nell Harbottle, has given Veronica Speedwell freedom, and she’s eager to spread her wings and fly away from her home in Little Byfield. Her plans firmly set, she returns to her cottage after the funeral to a ransacked mess – and an intruder!

Her safety temporarily ensured, Veronica must rely on her intuition and trust her rescuer, a very mysterious man indeed. Baron von Stauffenbach holds many secrets, but he cannot, or will not, share them quite yet with Veronica. Instead, she is tucked away in the most unlikely of places, a warehouse inhabited by the most fascinating Mr. Stoker.

At this point, Veronica’s life becomes a series of events and discoveries, each more stunning than the last. Stoker becomes an unlikely ally in her quest to find the truth about her own beginnings, a truth that holds more danger than either Victoria or Stoker could ever have imagined . . .

A Curious Beginning is just that – the beginning of a new series from author Deanna Raybourn featuring the most curious and interesting Veronica Speedwell, lepidopterist, explorer, and all-around decrier of social norms for woman of the period. Veronica is a dream character – sassy, intelligent and witty, yet just vulnerable enough to interest the very intriguing Stoker. The plot sets off at a gallop and doesn’t change pace, yet the story never feels rushed; if anything, you’ll want to read faster to find out just why there are so many people chasing after Miss Veronica Speedwell! The repartee between Stoker and Victoria is pure magic, establishing a relationship of sorts yet leaving it undefined enough that readers will immediately want more! One of the best books this reviewer has read in 2015, A Curious Beginning is not to be missed!

 
By: Joyce Greenfield, ReaderToReader.com

Veronica Speedwell is an exceptional woman, especially in Victorian England. Modern in her outlook and sensibilities, she is a professional lepidopterist and has chased butterflies in several expeditions to exotic climes, including a deadly one in Sumatra as the volcano Krakatoa erupts, killing 36,000 people.

After the death of her guardians, Veronica is finally in control of her life and destiny, ready to leave England and adventure onwards, collecting unusual butterflies and indulging love affairs with foreign men. But on the day of the funeral of her guardian, her cottage is ransacked and she is almost kidnapped. The stranger who rescues her knows her true background and has vowed to keep her safe. Though she is a foundling and has no idea of the identity of her mother and father, her rescuer, a German Baron, believes there are those her know her true parentage and want her dead. With the help of the Baron, and Stoker, a rakishly handsome outcast nobleman, she seeks the answers to her birth.

A Curious Beginning is full of sly humor and sarcastic banter, and features clever plot twists, government cover-ups, and convoluted conspiracies. Prolific author Deanna Raybourn has created a memorable character in Veronica. She is forthright, independent, and adventurous. She is decidedly opinionated and exceptionally and annoying vocal about those opinions. Because of the thoroughly modern Veronica, A Curious Beginning has the feel of a steampunk novel, but without the fantastical elements and anachronistic inventions.

If you loved Raybourn’s Lady Julia Grey mysteries but want even more humor, the vastly entertaining A Curious Beginning is an excellent choice, and the brilliant start of a new series.

 
By: Joanne Hamilton-Selway, ReaderToReader.com


 
     
 
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