STARRED REVIEW
September 01, 2015

An amusing Victorian-era heroine

By Deanna Raybourn

Veronica Speedwell, the Victorian sleuth in A Curious Beginning, is observant, outspoken and a bit risqué. Fans of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia series will be delighted with this intrepid new heroine in what promises to be a vastly entertaining series.

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Veronica Speedwell, the Victorian sleuth in A Curious Beginning, is observant, outspoken and a bit risqué. Fans of Deanna Raybourn’s Lady Julia series will be delighted with this intrepid new heroine in what promises to be a vastly entertaining series.

Readers meet the scientific butterfly-net carrying protagonist immediately after the funeral of her lifelong chaperone. Rather than feeling distraught about being alone in the world, Veronica relishes the idea. Upon returning home from the funeral, a heretofore unknown benefactor offers her transportation to London, and she readily jumps at the opportunity, thus launching a series of events that all center on her mysterious origins. Although unconvinced that someone is after her or something she possesses, Veronica agrees to her benefactor’s request to stay with Mr. Stoker, a damaged man who’s hiding under this alias. Stoker is an explorer, a taxidermist extraordinaire and rather rough around the edges, and their relationship at times sizzles and always provides entertainment with their bickering.

Veronica and Stoker flee London and find sanctuary with a traveling show. In order to remain with the troupe and earn their keep, they must become an act in the show. But after only a few performances, they’re on the run again, this time back to London—where Veronica’s mysterious benefactor has been murdered.

While they piece together clues and try to determine which pursuers are good guys and which are bad, Veronica and Stoker ultimately unravel the surprising secret of her parentage. Readers can be assured that many more adventures are in store for this duo.

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A Curious Beginning

A Curious Beginning

By Deanna Raybourn
NAL
ISBN 9780451476012

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