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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Book Review: Never Dare a Wicked Earl

never-dare-a-wicked-earl
Title: 
Never Dare a Wicked Earl
Author:
 Renee Ann Miller
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction
Version: ARC – ebook
Page Count: 336
Publisher: Zebra Shout
Synopsis: GoodReads
Notable Notables: The sexual language isn’t cringe-worthy
Recommended Readers: Anyone wanting a basic, predictable romance story
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

So, look… Have you ever done something because a favorite character (or, y’know, a fictional boyfriend) would do it, and you want to experience what that hilarity would be like? This is what this review is. This is why I went for an ARC of Never Dare a Wicked Earl by Renee Ann Miller. (And thank you, NetGalley, for providing it in exchange for an honest review.)

When the scandalous Earl of Westfield, Hayden Milton, is shot by a vengeful ex-lover, he’s unexpectedly sent an intriguing, female medical attendant rather than a male physician. Sophia Camden is training to be a physician, a role of which is unheard of for women, and won’t let anything derail her from her dream, least of all the Earl of Westfield, no matter how surly or philandering he may be. Stubborn and professional against Hayden’s antics, Sophia offers him a dare: if she can prove her competency in ten days, he owes her a favor to help change the law barring women from the medical field, but if she gives up before the ten days are through, then she will be beholden to him. Thus, a battle of wills and a game of seduction ensues… Kinda…

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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 »