Wednesday, February 16, 2022

An Impossible Imposter - Historical Mystery

Goodreads:  An Impossible Imposter (Veronica Speedwell #7) by Deanna Raybourn

Rating: Liked It
Source:   Publisher

Description:  London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.

But now a man matching Jonathan's description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family's most valuable possessions--a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It's a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo's only hope.

Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good.

Genre:  Mystery - Historical

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed this series and the premise of this one really caught my attention.  

My Impression:  This was not my favorite of the series.  For starters the mystery part mentioned in the blurb is resolved very quickly and the rest is not really a mystery but a bit of a heist situation with a look into Veronica's past.

I had two main issues with this book.  The first was the pacing.  Honestly, this felt a bit like it could have been a short story but it had to be a full length novel so a lot of extra conversations and other matters were thrown in to increase page count.  The real story didn't start to gain any traction until halfway through. The second issue I had was that Veronica seemed to spend a lot of time wringing her hands and worrying about what to do or what to tell Stoker.  It didn't really fit in with her usual personality which is straight forward even if it isn't comfortable.  Stoker knows she had a past and while not telling him the "secret" would have been a touch awkward it just doesn't seem to be as big of a deal as she makes it given the circumstances.  As well the various things that keep her from sharing seem contrived and also not fitting to her character.

Raybourn's writing style is strong enough that I did enjoy it.  As well, I think this book brings Stoker and Veronica to a bit of a watershed moment and forces them to seriously consider a few thing that they have been putting off dealing with.  I'm curious to see how that develops and am looking forward to a stronger plot with the next book.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would!  This is still a favorite series and one I'm looking forward to seeing more of.

Would I Recommend this Book? If you have been following this series then you should definitely pick this up though be prepared for a somewhat different story.  If you are new to this series the this is not the one to start with.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. Hi Katherine! I have seen this series, but haven't read it yet. Sorry to hear the latest instalment didn't work all that well for you. I guess it's true what they say - you win some, you lose some. Hopefully the next one will be a hit again!

    Elza Reads

  2. I agree that the premise sounds great. Too bad you didn't love this one. I hope the next book in the series is better!

  3. I recently read this and had a good time. It was interesting getting to know more of her backstory.

  4. I can't believe I haven't read any of this series yet, and it seems almost everyone else has! I will look for the first book to start off and hopefully I will keep reading them through.

  5. When I saw "liked it" as I came onto the page I thought "What?" However you give detailed reasons for your rating. I've only read the first one in this series but thinking I am going to catch up with it.

  6. I haven't read this one yet, so we'll see if the things that bugged you about it bug me as well. It is unfortunate that not every book in a series can be as amazing as the others, but that's definitely what I find. Some I adore, some are just okay. I love this series, regardless!

  7. One of the many series I hope to get caught up on someday. I am sorry this wasn't one of the better books in the series but am still glad to see you liked it. I have a feeling the issues you had with it will be ones I have too. I guess we'll find out for sure if I ever get to this one! I sure hope I do!

  8. I enjoyed this one, on the whole... but then, I've always been as interested in Veronica and Stoker's relationship as I am in the mysteries they become embroiled in. I agree that Veronica wasn't her usual decisive self in this book, but a) I think she's still adjusting to the changes in her relationship with Stoker, and afraid of screwing up or losing him; and b) she's caught off balance by her past coming back in such a dramatic manner, and by the fact that her feelings about a particular character are mixed. (Not in a romantic sense, but certainly that character engenders a host of conflicting emotions in her.) At any rate, like you, I am looking forward to the next one already.

  9. I did enjoy this one quite a bit. I liked that the story really surprised me in a way that I did not expect. I am really curious to see where the series will go from here.

  10. So glad it was not just me who wasn't a huge fan of this one! I felt like I had to push myself to finish and this series is always in my top ten of the year but sadly it has fallen short this year. :( The ending....ugh.