Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Curious Beginning - Historical Mystery Review

Rating: Very Good
Source: Library

London, 1887.

After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

Genre: Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed previous books by Deanna Raybourn and this one was highly recommended.  

My Impression:  
Oh wow!  I went into this book with high expectations.  I've really enjoyed everything I've read by Deanna Raybourn and this series sounded like a lot of fun so I expected it to be great.  However, this not only met but exceeded my expectations and was just a true delight to read.  Veronica Speedwell is a fantastic character.  She doesn't quite fit in with what is considered fitting for a lady but she quit worrying about it and does what she wants and what see feels is right.  She wasn't particularly fond of her Aunt Nell though she is attending her funeral at the beginning of the book and is busy setting all the affairs in order but she believed her and did feel some debt to her.  I liked her from the start but when Stoker showed up on the page I was completely in love with this book.  They are so funny and so perfect together.  Their banter is often hilarious and they can both hold their own with the other.  I loved how Stoker couldn't quite tamp down his gentlemanly instincts and how Veronica called him on it.  Not only were the characters wonderful but the mystery itself kept me turning pages excited to find out just what was going to happen next.  Who had killed the mysterious Max and just what were the people who were chasing them after?  The conclusion to the mystery was surprising and I enjoyed the history lesson.  The end of the book was a delight and set the series up perfectly for any number of adventures.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Yes!  Raybourn is a favorite and I think this series might just be the best yet.  

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy historical mysteries with strong female characters then this is a series you must not miss. 


  1. I need to try this series. It's been recommended to me by many people, including my own daughter who mostly reads through audiobooks. I have read other books by Raybourn. I think this series now has 3 books? I should get started before there are more! Ha!

  2. As you know I am not a mystery reader but if I were I think this would be perfect. Love the strong characters and a mystery that kept your brain working.

  3. Sounds like a lot of fun- and I love the time period!

  4. I get this series mixed up with others. I did like this first book. Oh boy, another series I need to catch up on.

  5. She is an author I want to get hold of - and your great review has whetted my appetite!

  6. I am glad you enjoyed it! I love this series so much!!!!!!!!! :)

  7. Isn't this a fabulous series? I love it! It's funny and entertaining and just a total delight. I'm glad you enjoyed this first book. There's lots more fun to come!

  8. Yay, I’m glad you enjoyed this book as well! I really want to catch up with both of her series now because I enjoyed the first books so much! Great review!

  9. I don't read a lot of historical fiction but I do love a good Tudor book! I plan to read a few of them this year!