ARC Review: A Murderous Relation

a murderous relationTitle: A Murderous Relation
Author:
Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 320
Publisher: Berkley
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Victorian England setting, sex-positive protagonist
Recommended Readers: Anyone who wants to start reading mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you, Net Galley and the publisher, for offering this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Once again, Deanna Raybourn returns with a Veronica Speedwell mystery that is unabashedly fun and a sheer delight to read. I flew through A Murderous Relation with a speed I regret, because I think this might be the last book? I heard a rumor that more mysteries might be in store for Veronica, but until that Goodreads page updates, I will consider this series has ended on a satisfyingly high note.

This time, Veronica and Stoker are drawn into an investigation involving her half-brother, Prince Albert Victor. He’s given a diamond to Madame Aurore, the female owner of the most exclusive club in London known for its anonymity and offerings of sexual freedom. The diamond must be reclaimed before it can be traced back to the prince and erupt scandal within the monarchy and across the country. The timing couldn’t be worse, for London is also gripped in terror over the gruesome attacks of Jack the Ripper, and Lady Wellington, a friend of Veronica and a protector of the crown, suspects that the prince might be responsible. As Veronica and Stoker investigate the brothel, secrets surrounding the royal family and Veronica’s place in it begin to present themselves—along with another dead body.

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march 2019 book releases

March 2019 Book Releases

It’s time for another anticipated releases post, this time for March 2019 book releases! Sorry this one is a tad bit late. The end of February ran away from me, and March has been speeding ahead.

Hope all’s been well with you. Without further delay, let’s jump on in.

What’s the book I’m most looking forward to this month?

the waking forest
Release Date: March 12 | Goodreads

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

Why I Want to Read This: Creepy, magical forests speak to me so consistently in a way that so few other things can. I’m looking forward to meet Rhea, and the fact that there’s a cool Witch and a mysterious boy who’s somehow affecting things only sweetens the deal.

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reading challenge

Reading Challenge Update – February 2019

February is gone, and so is another month of reading challenges! February felt like a long month to me, despite its shortness, but at the same time, the last week barely existed. Isn’t time strange?

This month was a great success for me. While I didn’t get to everything I wanted to read (who does?), I did accomplish a great deal: Seven books during the shortest month, five of them ARCs! Catching up on ARCs has been a huge goal for me, so I’m happy to be doing it, and I’m finding some great books to be excited for release besides.

Let’s check them out!

The Five-Star Favs

language of thorns
Finished: 2/1/19 | Rating: ★★★★★

Challenges met:

Plants are a feature of both the title and that sexy black cover of The Language of Thorns. Leigh Bardugo has crafted a short story collection full of original fairytales inspired by our own but applied to her fictional Grishaverse, and they’re all amazing. I’m always super impressed with people who can create new fairytales like this and make them feel like we’ve forgotten them but are now remembering them because that’s never easy.

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www wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 2.13.19

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of Words. If you participated in your own post, please feel free to leave a link in the comments, so I and others can see! Otherwise, feel free to leave a comment with your responses. I’m always happy to hear what other people are reading.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Things have been busy, so here’s an update!

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Book Review: A Dangerous Collaboration

a dangerous collaboration

Title: A Dangerous Collaboration
Author:
 Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Version: ARC – eBook
Page Count: 336
Publisher: Berkley
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Victorian setting, Sex-positive protagonist
Recommended Readers: Anyone who wants to start reading mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The mystery and adventure continue with A Dangerous Collaboration, the fourth novel in the Veronica Speedwell series. It’s rare to find a series that maintains its charm, fun, intrigue, and accessibility, but Deanna Raybourn has done exactly that. I love that I gave this series and new author (for me) a chance.

After the almost-revelation that Veronica and Stoker had in A Treacherous Curse, Veronica takes a few months to go on her own excursion without Stoker. When she returns, she finds she’s struggling with dissatisfaction, and there’s a distance between her and Stoker that she doesn’t like but doesn’t know how to bridge.

Her slump is broken with the arrival of Tiberius, Stoker’s half-brother and the Lord Templeton-Vane, who invites Veronica to attend Lord Malcolm Romilly’s house party with him on a remote island off the tip of Cornwall. Sensing a new adventure, Veronica jumps at the chance, even as Tiberius convinces her to pose as his fiancée, to Stoker’s annoyance (oh, hello, trope I absolutely love with all my heart). But there’s more behind this invitation than just a house party, and Veronica and Stoker find themselves investigating the party-goers and their connection to Rosamund, Romilly’s missing wife who disappeared from her own wedding three years ago.

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Book Review: A Treacherous Curse

A-Treacherous-Curse-Veronica-Speedwell-3-Deanna-Raybourn

Title: A Treacherous Curse
Author:
 Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Version: ARC (Uncorrected Proof)
Publisher: Berkley
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Victorian setting, Sex-positive protagonist
Recommended Readers: Anyone who wants to start reading mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

 

Thank you, NetGalley and Berkley, for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I think, in terms of mystery, A Treacherous Curse is now my favorite of the series.

Immediately, Veronica and Stoker meet up with a sick Inspector Montgomerie, who warns them about a storm about to break, one that will dredge up Stoker’s past and destroy beyond repair what reputation he’s built back up for himself. John de Morgan, a former expedition partner of Stoker’s, has gone missing along with a priceless diadem belonging to an Egyptian princess, leaving behind a wife too distraught to answer any further questions.

Signs point to foul play with Stoker as the likeliest culprit since de Morgan had no known enemies save for Stoker. Worse, that wife he left behind? Meet Caroline de Morgan, formerly Caroline Templeton-Vane, Stoker’s ex-wife and the woman responsible for leaving Stoker for dead and destroying his reputation in the first place.

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Book Review: A Perilous Undertaking

a perilous undertaking

Title: A Perilous Undertaking
Author:
 Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Version: eBook
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Berkley
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Victorian setting, Sex-positive protagonist
Recommended Readers: Anyone who wants to start reading mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

I had an unexpected snow day today, so this review gets to go out earlier (mostly because I was able to write it earlier). Yay!

When we meet Veronica Speedwell and Stoker again in this sequel to A Curious Beginning, they are eagerly preparing for an expedition to Fiji—only for their plans to be tragically foiled when their benefactor trips over his prized tortoise and injures himself. With the expedition cancelled, the two take consolation in cataloguing their benefactor’s collection, but adventure still manages to find them, and not a moment too soon.

Lady Sundridge summons Veronica and implores her to solve a seemingly impossible case, one the police have already put to rest. She must save Miles Ramsforth from hanging after he was accused of murdering his mistress, Artemisia, but she must do so discreetly. The information that could prove Miles’ innocence could also ruin lives in the process, not to mention throw unwelcome light onto Veronica’s own family history.

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Book Review: A Curious Beginning

A-Curious-Beginning-Deanna-Raybourn-Book-Cover

Title: A Curious Beginning
Author:
 Deanna Raybourn
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Version: eBook
Page Count: 352
Publisher: Penguin / NAL
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: Victorian setting, Sex-positive protagonist
Recommended Readers: Anyone who wants to start reading mystery
Rating: ★★★★★

 

I wound up getting into this series a little backwards. After winning an ARC off NetGalley, I was excited to begin my foray into mystery, led by a lady detective.

Until I realized that the ARC was actually book 3, and you can’t just jump in anywhere and be all caught up. This is a character-led mystery series more than a circumstance-led one. I read the first lines of book 3, featuring Veronica Speedwell and her companion Stoker, when I realized that these two characters have a world of history behind them, and I wanted to know every little detail.

So here I am, frantically attempting to get through all three books and post reviews before A Treacherous Curse comes out on January 16th. Whoops! Wish me luck.

Fortunately, reading A Curious Beginning was not at all a chore, proving instead to be a quick, fun read. Read More »