Title: A Perilous Undertaking
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Release Date: January 10th, 2017
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
“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….”
Summary from Goodreads.com
My Review: I had the first book in this series, A Curious Beginning recommended to me by a friend and while it is not something I would normally read, I ended up devouring it quite quickly. I was therefore thrilled to get my hands on the sequel to see what Veronica and Stoker were going to be up to next.
One of the reasons I love Veronica so much is that she says what she thinks no matter the consequences and she is just funny. I never thought I would laugh out loud as much as I do in this series, but I am constantly laughing. Part of that was also due to Lady Wellie, who Veronica meets in this book and is just as funny as Veronica. She and Veronica are both very direct and are not afraid to speak their minds, which I admired about both of them. Her first meeting with Veronica over dinner was a hysterical conversation that was by no means polite for the time period, but I thoroughly relished every second of it.
In A Perilous Undertaking, Veronica and Stoker are tasked with trying to prove a man innocent of murdering his mistress. Veronica is hesitant to take the job, but the royal family who have never claimed her, practically dare her to prove this man’s innocence. Veronica plans on doing exactly that if only to prove to the royals that she can. She and Stoker are not officially on the case and there are many that want to see them fail, therefore there are many challenges and obstacles thrown their way as the novel progresses. One of the aspects of this book that has ensnared me is the respect that Veronica and Stoker have for one another. No matter what may happen, and no matter how they bicker with one another, Veronica and Stoker genuinely admire and have high esteem for one another and always have each other’s backs. While there is definitely some romantic tension between these two, they have a pretty solid friendship to build more upon which I am sure will continue to be explored in the future.
While I very much enjoy the relationship between Veronica and Stoker, I also enjoyed the mystery of this novel. I really had no idea who the killer was. Was it the man that was accused of it, or was there more devious work behind the scenes? Looking back, I see the clues that were dropped throughout, but I enjoyed trying to guess at who was genuine in this book and who was trying to let another man hang for their crimes.
I am sure this is not the last we have seen of Veronica and Stoker and I am eager to see what adventure they will go on next and if they will finally admit that they actually care quite deeply for one another. Whenever the next adventure is released, I will be anxiously awaiting my copy of the book to go on more adventures with them. Until then, excelsior!
FTC: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. No goody bags, sponsorship, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.