A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

February 21st, 2017 Kimberly Review 62 Comments

21st Feb
A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
A Perilous Undertaking
by Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell #2
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries...

London, 1887 . . Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman's noose in a week s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime.

From a Bohemian artists colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed...


A little mystery, snark, family troubles and a smidgen of romance await you in A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING by Deanna Raybourn. This is the second novel in the Veronica Speedwell series featuring a feisty, modern thinking heroine and her dashing business partner and friend Stoker. Enjoy a classic whodunit with the liveliest of characters.

The setting is 1887 London, and Stoker and Veronica’s travel plans are thwarted when their benefactor trips over a tortoise. Oh yes, things are quite interesting when you spend time with this duo. When Victoria’s invited to the Curiosity Club, she meets the mysterious Lady Sunbridge. The lady implores Veronica to save Miles Ramsforth from hanging. Miles is accused of brutally murdering his mistress. Veronica knows that Sunbridge is withholding information, but nevertheless agrees.

The mystery served is a classic whodunit, and Rayburn took us into the unspoken worlds within the art world and the ton. Stoker and Veronica are hilarious together from their back and forth bickering to Veronica’s way of shocking Stoker with her open-mindedness, curiosity, and forward thinking. Not only do we spend time within the Bohemian artist colony we also visit an eighteenth-century sex club and opium den. I thought the mystery was well done with red herrings, believable suspects, and a few surprises.

For me, the best part of this series is the dynamic friendship and developing romance between Stoker and Veronica. Their personalities are different despite the fact that both love adventure. Despite his gruffness and pirate appearance, Stoker is still very much a product of his upbringing. For those who have read book one, we finally discover why he loathes his family. Veronica is a breath of fresh air, from her modified attire to her outspokenness. When they visited Stoker’s brother, I had tears from laughing as Stoker squirmed and Veronica shocked. Delightful!

Aside from the chemistry dancing around Stoker and Veronica that is driving me crazy, I loved everything about this novel and the series.

Fans of whodunits, snark, and strong heroines will want to grab A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING. Laugh aloud moments, danger and suspense await you! I cannot wait for the next book!

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

62 Responses to “A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn”

  1. Lampshade Reader

    I’m so interested in this series. I love the premise and the covers are gorgeous. Did you read the first one? Do I have to read it from the beginning? ~Aleen

  2. Cyn

    I’m loving the title and the cover! And yay Victorian mystery! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this series before! I really like the sounds of the friendship/romance brewing Veronica and Stoker! Great review, Kim!

  3. Melliane

    I remember really liking the first book but I was denied on NG for this one so in the end I didn’t read it. I should do that and will add it on my wishlist after reading your review

  4. Tiffany

    I loved this book! It was so good. Like you, I enjoy Veronica and Stoker’s bantering. Normally slow-build relationship leave me itching for the payoff, but Raybourn somehow makes me enjoy their slow burn. Stoker’s brothers are all hilarious in their own ways as well.

  5. Angela Adams

    I’ve seen these framed butterflies. I didn’t know they were real butterflies! I thought the butterflies were art/paintings/drawings…those sad, beautiful butterflies…

  6. Lily B

    oh I love when the Main characters bicker XD especially in mystery series. I think I would love them both, when I get around to reading them.

  7. Michele

    I’m so happy to see this here and learn that you enjoy this series! I won a beautiful copy of the first book and still haven’t gotten around to it. Mystery, snark, and a bit of romance are my must-haves! I bet I’ll make time now! 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  8. Katherine

    I love Deanna Raybourn and I have no idea why I haven’t gotten to this series yet. I’m super curious to see what you didn’t like about the chemistry and I’m glad you enjoyed the 2nd book. I definitely need to read the first soon!

  9. Lorna

    It does sound delightful! I like the banter and snark and the slow romance. The who done it part and the fact that its historical are just the icing on the cake for me. I need to check this series out for sure!

  10. Emma

    Although this isn’t my normal type of book, I have heard nothing but good things about it and it does make me want to read it.

  11. Genesis

    I hadn’t heard of this author or this series before but thank you for putting it on my radar! I’m adding it to my TBR for sure. I love when a mystery also has humor. Makes everything lighter. Like Sherlock Holmes!
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

  12. Nadene Reynolds

    This sounds like a fun and intriguing read. I can see that you enjoyed it. I never heard about a butterfly hunter before, interesting profession.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You probably have. The profession is known as a lepidopterist. When you go to a science museum or nature museum, you often see framed pinned butterflies. These butterfly hunters capture, kill and mount them.

  13. Sophia Rose

    Yep, this definitely is on the list. I read book one and all her others.

    Veronica and Stoker in action are not to be missed.

  14. Stormi Johnson

    I love this series its so much fun. The banter between the two is so fun! Can’t wait till the next one comes out, the only reason I hate being caught up with a series…lol.

  15. Bookworm Brandee

    I’m going to have to get on the waiting list at my library for this series, Kimberly. It sounds like such a good time and I don’t want to pass it up! 🙂

  16. Jess Fairday's Blog

    This is the second time I have heard about this book and series this week. The other review I read had a different cover- but I LOVE this one. Sounds like a book I will really get into. Must start this series soon. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  17. kindlemom1

    I’m so glad you loved this Kim! It has quickly become a favorite of mine I think. I just love this author.
    I’ve been posting comments on blogs through Bloglovin’ and I just noticed some of them haven’t been showing, so strange and I have no idea why! So sorry about that. 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You had me go over and look at Bloglovin. Yep, apparently if you comment there it stays there and oddly they don’t notify the blogger. You would think they would.
      I too adore this author.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is the second book, and while the mystery aspect is self-contained, I think you would appreciate the relationship dynamics better if you started with book one.

  18. Prabhleen

    Great review Kimba! Plus your blog designs and graphics are awesome, keep up the good work! Also, I have never been to London, so I think I can only visit it through books lolol. Friendship and romance-YESSSSS.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Thanks, Prabhleen. I would love to go to London. If I could time travel a week in historical London would be neat..but only a week due to the lack of air conditioning and modern medicine.