Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Curious Beginning

Title: A Curious Beginning
Author: DeAnna Raybourn
Published: September 1st 2015 by NAL/Penguin
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery / Romance
Source: My thanks to Netgalley and PENGUIN GROUP Berkley, NAL / Signet Romance, DAW for an opportunity to read an advance copy of this book.
Series: Veronica Speedwell Mystery #1

Is it possible to be in love with a character after just one chapter?

Veronica Speedwell is attending to the funeral of Nell Harbottle, a woman that was not her aunt though that was a title that she had claimed for herself out of convenience. Both Nell and her sister Lucy had taken in Veronica and reared her though she was a foundling, orphaned and illegitimate. The small family moved a great deal when the gossip became too much and if it were not for the kind and loving nature of Lucy, now deceased, Veronica would have been the victim of the resentment that Nell had felt at the exclusion from the Christian folks that she had so longed to be a part of.

Veronica’s wit is biting and a bit crass for the time, but I am completely entertained by her. She never intends to shock anyone, it simply happens. She speaks her mind and lets the cards fall where they may and from the looks of it, it is a habit that she does not tend to curb.

For a woman of her time, she is direct and determined to be a mistress of her own fate. Being an obstinate and willful child has prepared her for her future – lepidoptery and her next butterfly expedition where she has found that men can be just as interesting as moths. Making it a rule that she never got involved with English men, foreign trophies were collected and quickly forgotten once she returned to England.

Baron Maximilian von Stauffenbach comes to Veronica’s aid and in doing so, she has embarked on the single most significant decision of her entire life. She is a woman in search of an adventure. Little did she know that this adventure would culminate in death and finding out her true heritage.

With Max now unable to continue helping, she has been placed in the care of Stoker (Revelstoke Templeton-Vane) a man with his own troubled past. They are quite a partnership – when one sees the forest the other studies the trees. This does not mean that they are constantly battling. There will always be a feisty discussion and a battle of wits, there is a strange connection that is not yet finished.

The first book in a continuing series will have you wanting to read more. From the main characters on down, they are well drawn and quite colorful. You will find yourself laughing at the banter and at a point or two gasping. This is the first book that I have ready by Deanna Raybourn and I am so glad that she has created a world that I look forward to returning to.

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