An Unexpected Peril

All future explorers should look to stubborn, intelligent Veronica Speedwell for inspiration. In An Unexpected Peril, Deanna Raybourn's sixth adventure starring the Victorian lepidopterist, Veronica is at her old tricks again: unable to overlook a potential crime. Veronica is a newly minted member of the Curiosity Club, a London club for female thinkers. She and Revelstoke "Stoker" Templeton-Vane (her partner in both natural historical research and more personal matters) have been asked to combine their talents to create a memorial display to honor Alice Baker-Greene, a pioneering Alpinist, who recently died while hiking in Alpenwald. Veronica is convinced that Alice was actually murdered, but Stoker pleads with Veronica not to get involved.

When Princess Gisela of Alpenwald pays a visit to the Curiosity Club to see the display and declares firmly that Alice's death was an accident, Veronica is put on her mettle. Especially when Princess Gisela mysteriously vanishes, and the Alpenwald dignitaries ask for Veronica and Stoker's aid. Alpenwald has been caught up in the rising tension between France and Germany, and an important treaty is on the line.

Funny and insightful, An Unexpected Peril shows off Veronica at her majestic, slightly self-centered best. Unwilling to bow to the mores of the day, Veronica leads Stoker along on her many adventures, which will keep readers guessing until the very last page. Alpenwald may be a fictional kingdom, but Raybourn (A Murderous Relation; A Treacherous Curse) expertly weaves real-life European politics and mountain climbing strategies of the era into her work, creating a delectably entertaining mystery. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.

Powered by: Xtenit