There will never be a time where I don’t shriek when I receive an ARC of this lovely series. I fell in love with book 1 and after joining NetGalley when I became an active blogger, I was fortunate enough to receive books 2-4 as eARCs. A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth installment of the Veronica Speedwell novels, and it’s everything I could have ever hoped for.
A huge thanks to Berkley Publishing for giving me a free, digital copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All quotes have been taken from the ARC and may change in the final copy.
Title: A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4)
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Release date: March 12, 2019
Genre: Historical fiction, mystery
Length: 336 pages (hardcover)
Synopsis: (via Goodreads) “Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker’s brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly’s house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée–much to Stoker’s chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly’s wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband’s mind.
As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker’s help to discover the host’s true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund…”
“We had decided upon a course of action that we knew would surprise and quite possibly annoy the men in our lives.”
If that quote isn’t the epitome of what Veronica aims to do throughout all the novels, I don’t know what is. There’s just something about these books that make me go back for more and more, and I don’t regret it for one bit. They keep you guessing, and when you think you know who did it turns out you really don’t! I absolutely love the way Raybourn has these plots within an overarching plot, and they’re each more intricate than the next. And the way she does it reveals more and more of each character, shining a light on them that make you question whether you would befriend them the way Veronica does. But if you’ve eagerly been awaiting progress between two particular characters, it’s here in this book and boy, is it a good one!
“They say curiosity killed the cat, but I am no cringing feline.”
“I loved following Veronica, Tiberius, and Stoker onto St. Maddern’s. I loved being introduced to the superstitious Cornish folk and learning about their secluded life on the island. The Romillys were certainly an interesting bunch as well, each with a story of their own to add to the mystery of the family, the island, and what exactly happened to Rosamund. I like how there are equally strong women around Veronica, and though there are things she may not necessarily agree with, Veronica appreciates them. The same goes for the men, too. I’m not sure I could be as understanding of Tiberius as she is. Sometimes I wanted to strangle him! As for Stoker, how can you not love him? He’s stubborn and an absolute softie underneath especially about those he cares.
Raybourn has done a fantastic, painstaking job of creating this utterly slow burn between Stoker and Veronica. Sometimes you question whether or not the two actually should be together due to events from their past and their present ideals. But this book was an gem to read, and Raybourn teases you mercilessly throughout–just enough to satisfy you and when you want more… She leaves you hanging!
“It was easy to forget the thing that waited in the dark when one is warmed by the light.”
What is there to say about the writing? Absolutely perfect and such a joy to read! Raybourn takes you right into the heart of Victorian London, and each word is delectable to read. She creates such an easy atmosphere to fall into, bringing you right into the story. I never want to go, to be honest! Others might be bogged down by the precise language, but there were times I had to look up a few phrases and words because I didn’t know what they meant. That didn’t take away from the story though, but made it all the more real.
I can’t believe the fifth and final book will be here next year! What am I going to do without Veronica and Stoker?