I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell #2
Published by Berkley Books on January 10th 2017
Genres: Mystery, Historical, Fiction
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries...
London, 1887 . . Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman's noose in a week s time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.
But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover.
Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia s life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime.
From a Bohemian artists colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....
A Perilous Undertaking is the sequel to Deanna Raybourn’s A Curious Beginning. Like the first novel, Veronica Speedwell and her partner Stoker find themselves tasked with solving yet another mystery. This time, however, the duo’s circumstances are much better. They are no longer fugitives on the run, but have found themselves working on a new museum project. Not only that, but Veronica has finagled an invitation to the Curiosity Club, a female club of modern women. While there, Veronica meets the acquaintance of Lady Sundridge, who begs her to solve the brutal murder of a local artist, and thus free the man scheduled to hang for the crime.
I actually liked this novel more than the first as the writing was tighter, and the mystery wrapped up a lot speedier and neater than the previous novel. Unlike the first this mystery was easier to keep up with, which caused me to read parts again less frequently. I also loved how this novel takes place shortly after the first, and readers still learn more about Veronica’s family. Though there was a lot of referencing to the first novel, I honestly think someone could pick up A Perilous Undertaking without having read A Curious Beginning. However, I wouldn’t advise it, because you’d miss a lot of fun. Not only that, but many plot elements continue over to the 2nd novel.
Aside from the mystery and plot continuity, I still loved Stoker and Veronica’s scenes together. These two are meant for each other, and seeing how they get there will be a pleasure. Many of their escapes reminded me of Lucy and Ethel on I Love Lucy, in that they are crazy hilarious. Their arguments are also highly entertaining, and I loved how uncomfortable they made those around them. Especially Stoker’s brothers! It was wonderful learning more about his family, and past as well as Veronica’s.
Overall, this is a great historical series. The characters have become even more complex, and I enjoy the addition of the new characters. I also love how much the royal family is getting drawn into the series, and can’t wait to meet more of them, and see their reaction to meeting Veronica. We meet Veronica’s aunt in this novel, and you can definitely see some familial resemblance. While those scenes weren’t as fun as Veronica’s and Stoker’s, I still enjoyed seeing Veronica (a very self-assured woman) uncomfortable. As I stated previously in the review for the previous novel, if you’re looking for a good mystery, you can’t go wrong with Deanna Raybourn’s Veronica Speedwell series.