If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll already know that the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourn is one of my absolute favorites. (You can read my reviews of the others here.) The newest installment, An Unexpected Peril, was one of my most anticipated reads for this year and I'm happy to say it didn't disappoint!
|Pub Date: 3-2-21|
Adult - Historical Mystery
As a member of the Curiosity Club, Veronica is tasked with putting together a memorial exhibit for Alice Baker-Greene, a pioneering mountain climber who recently passed away on an expedition. While getting things together, Veronica, along with her natural historian partner/beau Stoker, discover evidence that Baker-Greene's death may not have been an accident as reported but murder. Veronica and Stoker relay their findings to Princess Gisela of Alpenwald, the patron of the exhibit, and are put out when Gisela's Chancellor refuses to look further into it. With Europe on the brink of war, the tiny country of Alpenwald can't risk making any waves that could potentially turn any allies against them.
Not to be deterred, Veronica and Stoker take it upon themselves to uncover the truth behind Baker-Greene's death, but they soon find themselves in way over their heads when Gisela suddenly goes missing. Noticing that Veronica bears a striking resemblance to the princess, the Chancellor begs Veronica to pose as the royal to fulfill the duties they came to England for. Namely, signing a peace treaty that is imperative to the safety of Alpenwald. Veronica is reluctant, to say the least, but she agrees to the ruse as a means of furthering her and Stoker's investigation. Somewhere between brushing elbows with royals, breaking-and-entering, and assassination attempts, Veronica and Stoker will have to uncover who the true murderer is before it's too late.
No other series hooks me the way this one does. I just always have such a blast being in this world with these characters trying to figure out whodunit. Veronica and Stoker both work so well together and this installment was no exception. The way they banter and bounce off one another continues to be my favorite aspect of this series. I love how Veronica felt much more brazen and ready for another mystery, whereas Stoker was just like, "Ugh, again?" It just perfectly summed up their personalities. I also couldn't get enough of their romantic dynamic, it's so fun and realistic. They bicker constantly, but they have such respect and fondness for one another and take the other as they are whole-heartedly. The mystery itself was fun, but I'm starting to notice them getting a bit predictable as the series goes on. I was still satisfied by the end and liked how it played out, but I would just like to see something that'll totally shock me going forward. No matter what, I'll continue to eat this series up with a smile on my face.