ARC Review: A Curious Beginning


A Curious Beginning
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Genre: Mystery
Series: Veronica Speedwell #1
Rating: B

Veronica Speedwell is a lady of adventure. After a prolonged period of taking care of her dying aunt, she is more than ready to embark upon her next journey. To Veronica’s delight, an adventure and riddle immediately lands in her lap with the arrival of a German Barron, who claims to know her mother. Despite her reassurances otherwise, he is convinced she is in grave danger. Curious to discover what he knows of her past, Veronica agrees to hide-out with the Barron’s surly taxidermist friend, Stoker. When the Barron is killed, Veronica and Stoker are forced into fleeing London and must work together to uncover the murderer.

While a little repetitive at times, “A Curious Beginning” is a fun romp. Veronica is a headstrong heroine who reminded me a lot of the intrepid Amelia Peabody from Elizabeth Peter’s books. The novelty of Stoker being a taxidermist was pretty entertaining as well. His often baffled responses to Veronica were the highlight for me.

The only places where “A Curious Beginning” failed to hit the mark were with its side characters. This was the most disappointing when Stoker and Veronica were hiding as performers in a traveling circus. The setting was ripe for interesting and complex characters, but instead we got ones like Salome, Stoker’s jealous ex. I would have liked to have seen more time devoted to a couple of the side characters to make them seem less contrived.

I would recommend reading this one primarily for the entertaining relationship between Veronica and Stoker. Fans of the Amelia Peabody books would find something to enjoy here. I’ll definitely be checking out the next book in the series.

ARC provided by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


8 thoughts on “ARC Review: A Curious Beginning

  1. This was a book I was interested in. Thanks so much for your review, I know exactly what you mean by your description of this book! Sounds like a light read, nothing too mind blowing but still very entertaining kind of read. Reminds me of the way I felt about The Invisible Library. I’m glad you had a good time with this!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, sounds good. Her previous series reminded me of Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily mysteries- they seemed very similar and I think this is a new series by her? I’ve seen a few good reviews for this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome review!!! Very fair. I almost want to say, “thanks for taking one for the team” but seems kind of rude, right? Well, it just seems like it could have been so much more, esp. with the side characters. I’m so rude lately… I blame the meds I’m on – I’ve been sick lately (watch out, I’m feeling better slowly!)

    Hope your week is going good!


  4. Okay, after seeing this series mentioned in your latest Stacking the Shelves post, I definitely need to get a copy of this! Personally I think side characters can make or break a series, so hopefully the lack of strong ones won’t bug me too much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good! I hope you enjoy this one. I thought it pretty fun. I’m excited to read the next one. Hopefully the rather weak side characters don’t bother you too much. Who knows, maybe you won’t think they’re as weak as I did. 🙂


  5. Pingback: August Monthly Wrap-Up | Book Minx

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