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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Latest Veronica Speedwell Mystery an Enchanting, Madcap Adventure

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  Although this review will not contain spoilers for A Treacherous Curse, it may inadvertently spoil plot surprises from earlier Veronica Speedwell mysteries.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

Unlike most women of her age and era, 26-year-old Veronica Speedwell has no use for stuffy Victorian sensibilities.  She prefers a life of adventure and intrigue unencumbered by the trappings of traditional life.  Her job organizing artifacts for a generous benefactor while living on his estate suits her just fine.  Especially since Ravelstoke "Stoker" Templeton, her handsome but irascible friend, is always close at hand.  Not only is he nice to gaze upon, but he's smart, protective, and strong—a perfect partner in (solving) crime.

Veronica becomes intrigued by the story of John de Morgan, a photographer with an Egyptian expedition, who has seemingly vanished into thin air.  A valuable artifact—a diadem belonging to an Egyptian princess—is also missing.  As the expedition has been plagued by bad luck from its very beginning, rumors of an ancient curse descending on its participants don't seem all that far-fetched.  Especially since a mysterious, Anubis-like figure has been seen lurking around London.  

Although there's no love lost between Stoker and de Morgan, Veronica and her enigmatic sidekick take on the case anyway.  Digging into ancient history—both Egyptian and personal—gets more dangerous by the minute.  Veronica's determined to find answers no matter the cost, but with Anubis roaming the streets, the price may be more dear than she ever imagined.  With lives and reputations on the line, she must solve the mystery and quick, before she and the man she loves become the next victims of a deadly curse.  Or worse.

A Treacherous Curse, the third installment in Deanna Raybourn's lively series starring the intrepid Veronica Speedwell, is as delightful as the first.  After the distasteful subject matter of the second book, I'm glad this one features a more traditional mystery.  Sure, it's a little predictable, but who cares?  A Treacherous Curse is tons of fun.  Veronica continues to be a charming narrator.  She's unconventional, to be sure; she's also brave, funny, loyal, and refreshingly frank.  I adore her.  Her slow-burning relationship with Stoker is also and always entertaining.  Together, they're simply irresistable.  With lovable characters, an engaging plot, and lively prose, this is another enjoyable, madcap mystery from Raybourn.  I loved it.

(Readalikes:  Other Veronica Speedwell mysteries, including A Curious Beginning and A Perilous Undertaking; also [this installment especially] reminds me of the Amelia Peabody mystery series by Elizabeth Peters)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for violence, sexual innuendo, and brief, mild language (no F-bombs)

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of A Treacherous Curse from the generous folks at Berkley (an imprint of Penguin Random House).  Thank you!
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Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Tress of the Emerald Sea by Brandon Sanderson

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain



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