A Treacherous Curse

In A Treacherous Curse, Deanna Raybourn continues the entertaining adventures of the intrepid butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell and her occasionally gloomy (but always dashing) research partner, noted naturalist Revelstoke Templeton-Vane ("Stoker").

Unfortunately for Stoker, this investigation will focus on painful events in his past. His ex-wife, the alluring and venomous Caroline de Morgan, and her husband, John--who left Stoker for dead in a South American jungle a few years before--were recently part of an archeological expedition to Egypt. But John went missing, along with the diadem of Princess Ankheset, starting rumors that the expedition was cursed by the god Anubis. So when Mrs. de Morgan and an apparent Anubis both pop up in London, the head of Scotland Yard asks Veronica and Stoker to quietly help him investigate.

Alas for Scotland Yard, Veronica and Stoker don't do anything quietly, and their research will take them from exclusive Egyptological societies to sketchy hotels, through fetid sewers, and into the drawing rooms of the highest members of Victorian society. The sexual tension between Stoker and Veronica carried over from the previous novel (A Perilous Undertaking) ratchets even tighter here. Raybourn's witty writing is sure to please her many fans, and also attract new readers who enjoy historical mysteries. Lovers of Elizabeth Peters, C.S. Harris and Charles Finch will enjoy this romp. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.

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