A Perilous Undertaking

The intrepid Veronica Speedwell, Victorian society lady and lepidopterist extraordinaire, and her curmudgeonly colleague Stoker are working together to create a natural history museum when Veronica receives a summons to the Curiosity Club, a private establishment at which adventurous and scientifically minded ladies gather. She is asked by a mysterious noblewoman calling herself Lady Sundridge to investigate the death of Artemisia, an artist whose lover, Sir Miles Ramsforth, is about to be hung for her murder.

With the help of Stoker, whose curious mind and boxing ability mesh nicely with Veronica's brash investigative style, she sets out to discover who besides Sir Miles might have wanted the lovely Artemisia to die, and for whom Lady Sundridge is really acting. The hunt takes Veronica and Stoker everywhere from a Bohemian artist's colony to a seedy opium den to a secretive grotto with a questionable history, and it soon becomes apparent that more than a few people had reasons to want Artemisia dead.

Full of innuendo and amusing repartee, Deanna Raybourn's sly wit will be appreciated by readers of romance and historical fiction alike, especially those who enjoy her Lady Julia Grey series. The sexual tension between Veronica and Stoker is intense, and Veronica's antics will keep the reader laughing. An intriguing mystery, which will test Veronica and Stoker's detective abilities to the maximum, A Perilous Undertaking (the follow-up to A Curious Beginning) is a fun read, reminiscent of Elizabeth Peters's novels, whose cross-genre charm is sure to appeal to readers. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

Powered by: Xtenit