by Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell #1
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
In her thrilling new series, 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. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime. But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
A Curious Beginning is the first novel in the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series by Deanna Raybourn. The tale takes place in Victorian England and introduces us to the feisty character Veronica Speedwell. Action, mystery, strong characters and excellent writing made A Curious Beginning a wonderful adventure.
Five reasons to add A Curious Beginning to your bookshelf
- The characters in A Curious Beginning are fully developed and Raybourn offers a unique heroine who finds herself in quite the predicament. Veronica is independent, passionate, feisty and fearless. Her skills at deduction and inquisitive nature were refreshing. I enjoyed the way she interacted with other characters. Raybourn brought her to life in vivid three-D from the clothes she tailored herself to her outspoken nature. Veronica Speedwell is a remarkable character from the clever way in which she dresses herself to the way she stands up against those around her. I imagined her as Clara Oswald, companion to the Doctor, in the hit show Doctor Who. The German baron begins the mystery and introduces us to Stoker, a fallen, troubled man who risks peril to aid Veronica. Villains, constables and nemesis add interest to the tale keeping the reader on edge.
- The tale takes place in London 1887, but we are also transported to the countryside where we stay with a traveling caravan. Raybourn brings the world to life from her vivid descriptions to colorful characters.
- We have two mysteries that intertwine as we gather information along with Veronica and Stoker. The first is why Veronica is in danger and the second is who murdered the German. The plot unfolded at a wonderful pace, allowing us to become intimate with the characters. While at times, I wanted them researching instead of taking little excursions to get their bearings I must admit it helped to endear me to the characters.
- While the story belongs to Veronica, Stoker is very much a key player. He is quite intimidating in the beginning and at first; I could not imagine him as a love interest even as Veronica described his toned physique. However as we learned about him, and witnessed him in action I must admit I fell for him.
- The friendship that develops between Stoker and Veronica was delightful, from the way she utterly annoys him to later in the relationship when she gets him to open up. The possibility for a romance to develop is there and it made this relationship an interesting one. It is my hope that we see them investigate on adventures together and the ending left it as a possibility.
A Curious Beginning was a wonderful start to this series and is one I recommend to fans of historical fiction, mystery and sassy strong willed-characters who are up for an adventure.
Lovely review. This is one that I’m going to have to read because I just like these types of books. 🙂
Enjoy Tressa, I am delighted I tried this one 🙂
I enjoyed your review and have added this to my Audible wish list. I might even get it with August credits I haven’t used yet. It is so hard to decide what good books to get first!
Enjoy Marthae, this should be delightful on audio
The title has me curious, haha. And also “she utterly annoys him to later in the relationship when she gets him to open up” <– I love the sounds of this! Great review, will have to keep my eyes open for this guy!
It was such a good read Cyn 🙂
love the Victorian era and that cover … gorgeous!!
The cover is stunning.
I’ve already heard this is a very good book, but what attracts me most is the interaction between the characters – and the fact that Veronica is mischievous 😉
I loved their chemistry and banter. Yes Veronica is a breath of fresh air.
This sounds SO GOOD! I read one of her books and LOVED it! I’ll have to add this to my list for sure!
This was my first by her, good to know you loved another. I plan to add some of them
Ooh, Victorian England and a feisty female – sounds like my kind of read.
Right. Plus a little mystery, humor and banter.
Their friendship sounds so fun. Sounds like a good mystery. The cover is really cool.
It was, and there was a hint of attraction, so I am curious as to what will develop.
Sharon - Obsession with Books
I really need to read a historical fiction one of these days; Veronica sounds like a great character!
A great review Kimba! Sharon – Obsession with Books
I hope you decide to try this Sharon, I loved Veronica.
Sounds great! Great review. I am excited to one day read all of book on my TBR pile…hehe
You are not alone my friend.
This sounds great and I can’t wait to read it.
Enjoy Nise’ this was a good one 🙂
I can’t wait to get to this one it’s on my review list that has kind of gotten a bit out of control!!!! 🙂
Eep. I hear ya! I hope you enjoy it Stormi
The Bibliophile Babe
Veronica sounds like a great heroine!
She was, I am looking forward to more adventures with her.
Melissa (Books and Things)
Love the sound of Veronica and the possible love interest with Stoker. Oh yea, you have me curious about this one as well. Btw, you know that you are one of the reasons my library will probably have my sanity checked with all the books I want them to get. LOL They had a couple of her other books but not this one.
LOL, just have them follow my blog so they know what to order..LOL
I was on the edge of my seat waiting for that romance to blossom and a bit disappointed when it didn’t it kind of felt like Mulder and Scully.
I wasn’t looking for one, but I do hope we see it develop..the chemistry is there.
I skimmed because I have this one coming up for review, too. I love her books and am glad this first of a new series was satisfactory for you.
Enjoy Sophie, I look forward to your thoughts 🙂
I love Deanna Raybourn’s books and I’m so excited about this new series. I can definitely see Veronica as a Clara Oswald type character. Can’t wait to read this one!
This was my first, but I do love the characters she has created and her story just unfolds wonderfully.
Sounds really good, and I also love that cover. Interesting angle, her tailoring her own clothes as a statement. Also interesting is that friendship that hints at romance 😉 Really good review, Kimba.
Her clothes are designed for ease of movement, she was quite clever
This was such a delight! My jaw dropped on the big reveal. OMG, I can only imagine the chaos it can cause!
It got intense there, and yes it was jaw dropping, but I thought V was very clever 🙂
I read one book in her other series and didn’t care for it but this sounds appealing; I want to try it. I like that Veronica is feisty and not a wallflower.
This was my first by her, and yes Veronica was fun.
“Action, mystery, strong characters and excellent writing made A Curious Beginning a wonderful adventure” — has me hooked. Thanks for the post!
Glad to hear this interests you.
I LOVE this! This book sounds like you. I wish I had another brain so I could read all the books I want to read!!! Hell, I’ll just add this and make sure my library has it on order. If I’m not reading it, everyone else I know will 😉 You share the best books!!!!!!
Yes..I could use multiple clones. Some could clean, others could cook, exercise etc and I would read with a few others…of course all information would be shared with me. Yeah, I might have thought about this more than once.
Oooo I am definitely curious about Stoker! It sounds like it’s going to take a while for the romance to develop, but those types of relationships always have the biggest payoffs. I think this needs to go on my list Kim!
The big lughead..he really is charming under all the gruff.
Woo hoo! So happy you liked this as much as I did. I just thought it was so much stinking fun! I can’t wait for more. Raybourn truly is one of my most favorite authors in the genre. Her female characters are always so strong willed and fun.
I loved the interaction between these two and really hope they team up for the next book!
I love Deanna Raybourn. Her books always intrigue me. I have this one added to my TBR list.
This was my first by her, but won’t be my last.
Not my kind of book but thanks for the great review.
It’s ok, hopefully I will tempt you later this week 🙂
I need to try this author one day
I am glad I finally tried her.
Hahaha … she annoys him. Okay, that alone makes me want to read this, because they sound very entertaining.
She really does..she pushes and he has no idea how to handle it..LOL