Book #75: A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn


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.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley.

I love the Victorian era. I don’t know why, I just do. So, add that with mystery and I’m intriuged. This is mostly the reason why I chose to request A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn.

As mysteries go, I wasn’t surprised in the least. I figured out who killed the Baron and the secret he held close to him fairly quickly. I did like how Veronica and Stoker got the evidence and I did like the events that unfurled during the book. It was just predictable.

I chalk that up to setting up the world though. This is the first book in a series and in order to understand the relationship between Stoker and Veronica, this beginning mystery had to happen. Sure, it was easy to figure out, but that didn’t make the book less enjoyable.

There is a definite ust (unresolved sexual tension) around the two and their relationship is amazing. I found myself laughing and wanting to smack Veronica at times. I did read a review from another author who stated the relationship like Booth and Bones in the television series Bones. I personally don’t like that comparison. I didn’t find those two to have as much tension as Veronica and Stoker.

Veronica and Stoker are a league of their own and I find them much more interesting.

There is a bigger mystery that is left unresolved and I don’t see a resolution about it anytime soon, but I have a few ideas as to who it is. I’m not sure I’m right, but it would be interesting.

If you are looking for a pure romance, you may be disappointed in this book. If you are looking for a great character driven book that happens to have a mystery, then this is a book for you.

I currently have the sequel in request and I do hope I get accepted. If I don’t, I’ll have to wait, but I do want to see more of Stoker and Veronica.

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