A Curious Beginning
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Series: Veronica Speedwell #1
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.