A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
Review by Michele Bolay
Are you like me? Have you been missing the Amelia Peabody mysteries by the late, great Elizabeth Peters? Well, Raybourn’s newest mystery may just help fill that Peabody-shaped hole in your heart. Whip-smart, opinionated, forward-thinking, fearless heroine? Check. Irascible, worldly, talented, clever, sexy hero? Check. Victorian-era mystery enhanced by travel, adventure, science, danger, humor, and romantic tension? Check.
When Veronica Speedwell’s final living relative dies (or so she thinks), she doesn’t waste time or opportunity and sets out to travel the world pursuing her favorite hobby (collecting and classifying rare butterflies) and her second favorite hobby (no-strings-attached romantic dalliances). After someone ransacks her home, Veronica has a chance encounter — or is it? — with a mysterious but kindly baron, derailing her plans.
The meeting sets in motion a string of events. This sees Veronica thrown together with Stoker, a reclusive but intriguing scientist. Stoker is suspected when the baron is found murdered. He and Veronica must go on the run and join forces to clear his name and to solve the mysteries of her past.
A Perilous Undertaking, the second installment in the series, set to be published next year. I can’t wait!
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About the reviewer: A few years ago, Michele was lucky enough to attend a panel lecture with Deanna Raybourn and meet her. She is not only every bit as gorgeous as her author photo, she is also incredibly smart and funny. If you get the chance to hear her speak, take it!
Michele loves mysteries but, paradoxically, hates puzzles. Go figure.