I almost think I’ve come to a point where I just rate this book highly because it’s everything I could ever want in a historical fiction and then some. 😂 Set in Victorian England, following an independent and strong-willed woman while she sleuths with a handsome and devilish man. It’s quite perfect, really, and while mysterious aren’t my usual genre, I can’t stay away from these books.
Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for giving me a free digital copy in exchange for an honest review!
Title: A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell #3)
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Expected release date: January 16, 2018
Length: 352 pages (U.S. hardcover)
Genre: Historical fiction, mystery
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “London, 1888. As colorful and unfettered as the butterflies she collects, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell can’t resist the allure of an exotic mystery—particularly one involving her enigmatic colleague, Stoker. His former expedition partner has vanished from an archaeological dig with a priceless diadem unearthed from the newly discovered tomb of an Egyptian princess. This disappearance is just the latest in a string of unfortunate events that have plagued the controversial expedition, and rumors abound that the curse of the vengeful princess has been unleashed as the shadowy figure of Anubis himself stalks the streets of London.
But the perils of an ancient curse are not the only challenges Veronica must face as sordid details and malevolent enemies emerge from Stoker’s past. Caught in a tangle of conspiracies and threats—and thrust into the public eye by an enterprising new foe—Veronica must separate facts from fantasy to unravel a web of duplicity that threatens to cost Stoker everything. . . .”
I’ve enjoyed this series from the moment I finished A Curious Beginning, and this book is absolutely no exception. Raybourn simply has a magical way with words that brings you straight into the heart of Victorian England and into the lives of her characters. They are multi-faceted, three-dimensional, and you really want them as your own friends!
Veronica and Stoker are approached, once more, to solve a mystery and this one has been brought from across continents, weaving mythology and blurring the lines of reality…at least for a bit. 🙂 One of things I loved most about this book is how raw and open we see Stoker, and for good reason. He’s an honest, good man, and he has kept most of his inner turmoil to himself, despite a growing friendship with Veronica. We learn even more about his past, and y’all know I love a good backstory. Stoker is no exception. Not only is he a dedicated friend, but he was also a dedicated husband despite what the world threw at him afterward.
We also see Veronica and Stoker’s friendship (I’m hesitant to call it a romance, really) solidify. Granted, we get a bit of that toward the end of the previous book, A Perilous Undertaking, but I think even Veronica is surprised with how open Stoker is about his past and she knows there’s no stopping him once he gets on a tangent. Truthfully, I think she’s quite relieved as well, because she’s curious about him as well, but doesn’t quite have the courage to ask him about it, though she’s heard rumors.
As I’ve said before, I’m rather bad at deducing who could be the possible culprit, so the ending was far more surprising than I thought it would be. However, minus the disappearance and subsequent events, it almost seemed a good jest but with horrible consequences. Despite that, I quite like the new characters, and chuckle with the old ones, especially good ol’ Lady Wellie. Veronica’s past is still on the table, though she would rather ignore it as those in hers have done, but we see that it’s slowly beginning to catch up with her. Yet I’m unsure if Veronica is willing to accept it, especially with some things that popped up in this book.
I am definitely interested to see where Raybourn will take these characters. There’s 2 more books about this one, and I’m almost at this point where things become repetitive, so I’m almost expecting a good shocker from book 4 and especially book 5. I’m torn about how I want the relationship between Stoker and Veronica to progress, as I’m afraid that if something romantic develops, their friendship could possibly go downhill, and I definitely don’t want that.
You can pre-order this book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound, and other major booksellers. The first book is out in paperback, and I believe the second book will release in paperback upon the release of this book.