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Sunday, August 15, 2021

Review - An Unexpected Peril

I began with the first book in this series.

1. A Curious Beginning (click here)

3. A Treacherous Curse (click here)

4. A Dangerous Collaboration (click here)

5. A Murderous Relation (click here)  

Now we have the sixth entry in the series with an interesting premise.

Author: Deanna Raybourn

Copyright: March 2021 (Berkley) 346 pgs

Series: 6th in Veronica Speedwell Mystery series

Sensuality: Period references to mature material

Mystery Sub-genre: Historical amateur sleuth

Main Character: Veronica Speedwell 

Setting: 1888, London England

Obtained Through: Netgalley

Book Blurb: "A princess is missing and a peace treaty is on the verge of collapse in this new Veronica Speedwell adventure.

 January 1889. As the newest member of the Curiosity Club--an elite society of brilliant, intrepid women--Veronica Speedwell is excited to put her many skills to good use. As she assembles a memorial exhibition for pioneering mountain climber Alice Baker-Greene, Veronica discovers evidence that the recent death was not a tragic climbing accident but murder. Veronica and her natural historian beau, Stoker, tell the patron of the exhibit, Princess Gisela of Alpenwald, of their findings. With Europe on the verge of war, Gisela's chancellor, Count von Rechstein, does not want to make waves--and before Veronica and Stoker can figure out their next move, the princess disappears.

Having noted Veronica's resemblance to the princess, von Rechstein begs her to pose as Gisela for the sake of the peace treaty that brought the princess to England. Veronica reluctantly agrees to the scheme. She and Stoker must work together to keep the treaty intact while navigating unwelcome advances, assassination attempts, and Veronica's own family--the royalty who has never claimed her."

Veronica is highly intelligent with a sharp tongue and wit that is put to the test in this book.  Stoker (Mr. Ravelstoke Templeton-Vane) is her sleuthing partner.  He is cranky and reclusive but perfect for her.  Journalist J.J. Butterworth has a small role in the story and is becoming a regular supporting cast. Baroness von Wallenberg is the Princess's Lady-in-waiting and the chancellor, Count von Rechstein guide Veronica through the myriad of details in her role as princess and add to the story.

There is the princess's disappearance, Alice Baker-Greene's murder, and the dangers of posing as the princess that gets more dangerous as the investigation continues.  The plot has plenty going on and the pacing picks up after all the setup for the story is in place.  

Another fantastic killer reveal and tense show down.  Love the climaxes in this series.  The wrap-up provides closure and a nice surprise for Veronica and Stoker.  

There was a good bit of setup before the meat of the situation.  But once I was in the heart of the story, it was an absorbing read.  I liked Veronica disguised as the princess and everything she went through.  Even though the story takes place entirely in London, the fiction country of Alpenwald becomes so real that at times I felt the story partially took place there.  Excellent story and mystery, for the motive was slowly uncovered until things clicked into place.  If you enjoy historical mysteries, this is top notch like all the books in this series.

Rating: Excellent - Loved it!

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