Thanks to Edelweiss and Berkley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: January 16th, 2018
Synopsis: 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 on,y 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 been a fan of Deanna Raybourn since her first book in her popular Lady Julia series, Silent in the Grave (2006) was released. One of my biggest disappointments was when that series ended, because I had grown so attached to the characters. I’m still hoping that someday Deanna will revisit them, but time marches on as do authors and A Treacherous Curse is the third installment in her equally well written, Veronica Speedwell series.
Veronica is one of my favorite literary heroines, even if she is a butterfly collector. She’s highly intelligent, witty, and has no qualms in speaking her mind. She doesn’t fit into the narrow view of what a “proper” Englishwoman should be and she offers no apologies for this. To Veronica, no mystery or problem is insurmountable and she successfully uses her intellect to solve each one that she encounters.
As always, she teams up with her friend and colleague, Revelstoke Templeton-Vane, aka, Stoker, as they try to discover the true cause of a series of misfortunes that are claiming the participants of an Egyptian expedition. It becomes more personal though, when one of the members disappears and it turns out to be a friend from Stoker’s mysterious past. For some reason, the story seemed to be a little slow in the very beginning which surprised me because it’s the first time that’s happened to me with one of Deanna’s books. But, this was just temporary and by the time I was 50 pages in I was fully engaged.
Veronica and Stoker’s non-romance continues to evolve, although extremely slowly. This is one of those cases where the reader knows the two MCs are made for each other, but they remain for the most part oblivious. It can be frustrating at times, but I have no doubt that they eventually will realize their feelings for each other and the wait will be worth it.
A Treacherous Curse is another fun romp through Victorian England. While it can be read as a standalone I recommend that you read the first two books as you’ll have a much better sense of the characters, their backstories, and their relationship. If you’re a fan of historical mysteries with quirky characters, the Veronica Speedwell series is a must read.
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