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A Perilous Undertaking
Veronica Speedwell Mystery – Book II
Deanna Raybourn

Titan Books
10 January 2017/ ISBN 9781785650505

Reviewed by Rachel A Hyde


When Veronica is invited to tea at the ladies only Curiosity Club, she expects to meet other daring and unconventional women like herself. Mostly what happens is that she gets hired by the incognito “Lady Sundridge” to investigate a murder. Art patron Miles Ramsforth is shortly to be hanged for the murder of his artist mistress Artemisia and Lady Sundridge believes he is innocent. Nobody else seems to, but almost immediately Veronica and Stoker get a threatening message, so maybe there is more to the case than meets the eye.

This second book follows on soon after the first (A Curious Beginning) and sees the intrepid pair on another adventure. Ms Raybourn is also the author of the Lady Julia Grey series and now she is penning another series that will appeal to romance readers. The air crackles between the would-be lovers and the whole story is infused with references to sex, as well as plenty of humor. If you are looking for a more serious, fact based look at London in 1887, you won’t find it here, but if you like fun capers with a romantic angle then this is sure to appeal. Veronica is a thoroughly modern miss who hunts butterflies all over the world when not taking lovers and Stoker is the archetypal tormented, sexy aristocrat, and together they set out to discover whodunit. There is more character interaction, banter and saucy situation comedy than actual investigating, and the sleuthing does not truly begin in earnest until later in the book. We get to discover a bit more about Stoker’s rocky relationship with his family and Veronica too gets to meet at least one of her “relations,” but to say more would spoil the story. Fans of amusing romantic capers will be in their element here; readers who prefer more history and mystery in their historical crime novels might be advised to look elsewhere.

Reviewed 2017