A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

A Dangerous Collaboration

Deanna Raybourn

Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance.

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A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.

Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.

But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance. 

From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner. 

Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…


Advance Galley Reviews

I absolutely loved this book. I love mystery and how theres little clues through out and then coming together to reveal it all. It was so exciting i wanted to jump up and down!

Veronica is as always a delight. The wit, the setting, the fact that I love Stoker's brooding personality, the mystery that is always just intriguing enough, I love everything about it. In order to fully appreciate the story, I do recommend reading the earlier installments. The relationship between Veronica and Stoker is a slowburn, and the connection they have is best appreciated over the course of the series.

Another satisfying entry in a delightful series. Anyone who's been following Veronica and Stoker's adventures will be thrilled with this one -- not to mention the new twists and turns of their relationship. I loved the first three Veronica Speedwell books but this one really cemented the series as an all-time favorite.

Was confusing without reading others in the series. Didn’t finish

I didn’t get a chance to read this unfortunately, the program they required us to use is insufferable. Looking forward to pre-ordering!

I love this series so freaking much. In this installment we get a tad bit further in the Veronica and Stoker relationship, plus we get more of Stoker's background with his brother Tiberius, who has a background himself but is still a butt wipe. Though the words Stoker said on the island were amazeballs! While the case was mysterious, the connection for Rosmund didn't really come until we found out the secret she and Tiberius had, and by then I just wanted that part to be over to focus on he main characters. As always I warn that the book is set in the 1880s and the speech reflects that. It can be hard to get through sometimes but it is also fun, like what they consider inappropriate or insulting. The book highly suggests Veronica and Stoker's next mystery and I really do hope that is the next book. I was a bit sad we didn't get much into Lady Cordelia's business, we just get a hint, so hopefully more in the next book. Also, just want to say I had a big suspicion of what happened to Rosmund and by who by one big clue early on, though I just didn't know the why until later. I am a genius! :)

I started reading this, but put it down because I wasn’t in the mood for it at that time. Unfortunately, when I went back to read it, it said it expired. :(

Thank you First To Read for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn. When I selected this book as one of my reads I didn’t realize that it was part of a series. I started to read this book but quickly realized I needed to read the previous two books to understand what was going on.

So in looking back, I rated the first book 4/5 and the second and the third 5/5 so I expected good things from the latest installment. And I seriously love this series. I don't do "book boyfriends" but if I did, Stoker is the best I could ever think of. So needless to say, I dove right into "A Dangerous Collaboration" highly anticipating it to be one of my favorite reads of 2019. I have to admit, I did really enjoy it but it fell flat in a few areas. However, I still need to rave about it. In "A Dangerous Collaboration," Veronica heads off to a remote island with Stoker's annoying Viscount brother - Tiberius. He has promised her the larvae of an elusive rare butterfly and all she has to do is accompany him (and also pose as his fiancee). Oh, and there might be another catch. A few years ago, Lord Romilly's wife disappeared and the island gathering is a secret mission to discover what happened to dear old Rosamund. To say I don't care much for Tiberius is an understatement. He has set his eyes on Veronica and in my opinion, has really only done so because he knows it will annoy his brother Stoker to no ends. Also, Tiberius' presences seems to make Veronica make stupid decisions - like pushing Stoker away before a relationship can even begin. Enough said about that. I definitely enjoyed the banter between the three of them and "A Dangerous Collaboration" does introduce us to some unique island characters - my favorite being Romilly's sister, Mertensia. She is strange and odd and I felt a weird connection to her. Plus she not-so-secretly had a crush on Stoker so there's that as well. So the mystery portion of the book centers around Rosamund's disappearance. Was she a run away bride, did she accidentally perish, or was she murdered? The resolution was interesting enough and there was a whole cast of suspects so I never really could pin down what happened and why. I just sort of didn't care. I didn't feel attached to Rosamund and was much more worried about whether Veronica and Stoker would finally admit they have feelings for each other or die before doing so which is SOOOO out of character for me. If you love this series, then I have no doubt that this book is already on your TBR. If you haven't started, then I cannot stress enough that you need to do so. It is really well written and honestly, there are good mysteries at the basis of each and every book. I'm super curious about where the next book will lead us and majorly bummed that I'm going to have to wait a whole another year to find out!

I was unaware that this was a part of a series and I didn't finish the series before this download expired, but if the fourth installment of the Veronica Speedwell series is half as good as the first three then y'all are in for a delight!

Fantastic read, I really enjoyed this story.

This series is one of the best historical mystery series out there, and this next volume was maybe the best of the series so far. Veronica Speedwell is a great character and this book was a real treat to read.

I really enjoyed A Dangerous Collaboration. This is a series I didn't think I'd like because I'm more into cozy mysteries, but this series has been extremely well-written. I love the characters, Veronica and Stoker. They're both actually quite likeable and I find it easy to root for them to succeed. The mystery is very clever and the solution wasn't what I expected, which is a good thing. I hope this series continues for years to come!

Promised a look at an elusive butterfly, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell accepts an invitation to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall from Tiberius, the brother of her natural historian colleague Stoker. When she gets there, she discovers Tiberius has told their host, Lord Malcolm Romilly, that Veronica is 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. I love historical mysteries, and this one is sheer perfection. I jumped at the chance to read an ARC, especially when I saw Veronica and Stoker would be working on a cold case. They way they worked their way through this mystery kept me enthralled, and let me wondering when the next book in the series was coming out. The relationship between Veronica and Stoker is enticing, and watching it progress in this story made me sigh. This has become one of my favorite series because it has everything...tight writing, an intricate plot, and characters that I have fallen in love with. If I could give it more than five stars I would. I hope this series continues for a long time. I read a digital ARC of this book through Penguin's First To Read program.

This gothic mystery was extremely fun and easy to read. Will have to catch up on the rest of the series.

Deanna Raybourne fails to disappoint in the 4th book in the Veronica Speedwell series. This may be my favorite so far in the series. Veronica and Stoker continue to match wits as they uncover the mystery of Malcolm Rominlly's bride. I very much enjoyed getting to know Stoker's brother Lord Tempelton-Vane as well as seeing the clash between him and Stoker. The deepening of Veronica and Stoker's relationship was an added plus as well; I've been waiting for this since the first book! Fantastic series!

Oh how I love this MC. I hd never read Deanna Raybourn before this series, but I will be circling back to her other books because this series is outstanding. There is always a solid mystery, some hijinks, a bit of romance, and a few bits that make me laugh. Everyone that enjoys a strong female protagonist should read these mysteries.

I don’t usually read this style of mystery, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The gothic setting and the complex characters come together for a suspenseful intriguing story. Veronica Speedwell is a great character and I am looking forward to delving into the other books that feature her.

Oh my gosh, this book. I love, love, love Deanna Raybourn (I've been reading since the Lady Julia series). She's a brilliant writer who specializes in character building. The Lady Sherlock series is no different--Charlotte, Watson, and the supporting characters are so vibrant that you almost forget they're not real. Per usual, A Dangerous Collaboration is absolutely phenomenal. The mystery is fun, but it's the combination of writing and characterization that really sucks you in. The book reads fast (in a good way), and you chew through it at a rollicking pace until the end. (That's when you break down in tears because you know you'll have to wait a year for another book!) I can't recommend this series or this author enough!

I greatly enjoyed the latest entry in Raybourn's series, as Veronica goes undercover to discover what really happened to a young man's missing fiancee. Lots of drama and suspense, with a great undercutting of humor.

This series by Deanna Raybourn is one of my favorite series out there. Veronica is asked by Stoker’s brother to head to a private Island owned by one of Lord Templeton-Vane’s childhood friends. Because of his friend’s strict Catholic upbringing, he asks Veronica to pose as his fiancé. He does not invite Stoker so naturally Stoker shows up at the boat to go. His friend, Malcolm Romilly, is looking to find out what happened to his wife after she disappeared on their wedding day. Everything and everyone seems to have their own secrets but did one of them kill her or did she simply run off. Again, I love this series. There are a few series out there that have the same type of premise, takes place in Victorian era in England and have a man and woman solving crimes. This is by far my favorite of these series, although it is a story line I thoroughly enjoy and do enjoy some of the other series. As long as Ms. Raybourn continues to write this series, I will continue to devour them. I give it 5 stars as I have with each book in this series. Thank you for allowing me to read this through Penguin First to Read and to Ms. Raybourn for her wonderful stories in this series.

A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION is easily my least favourite of this series. Everything I loved about the mysteries, the characters, the potential for romance, the jokes, everything from the previous books, was either beat about like a dead horse, exaggerated, or put-off for very thin reasons. Nothing about this was working for me. After some skimming (yes, gasp, I confess..), I did eventually find myself at a place where there was a little bit of a brighter outlook on things for the future of the series, and the characters within it. But it took a hell of a long time to get there. A series that taunts readers with an extended will-they-won't-they-okay-they-will-it's-just-when doesn't bother me. I love it. When it's done well. But I feel like.. it's not that this was stretched too long, I've waited longer, I just felt the obstructions and obstacles in book four were not believable or realistic for the characters. But, in general, I just felt everyone, and everything, was a little off in this one.

Intriguing mystery with several twists, highly entertaining characters. I first discovered this series through First to Read, and I am ever so pleased to read another installment. I greatly enjoy the relationship between Veronica and Stoker and look forward to reading more about them in the future, along with their future investigations.

I enjoyed the first three books in Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell series, but this one blew the other books out of the water. I absolutely loved it and never wanted it to end (while simultaneously being extremely curious about the solution to the mystery). This book was so well written and I really enjoyed the setting and the characters (as always). Veronica and Stoker are some of my favourite book characters ever and I have been rooting for them for three books now!! I highly recommend starting at the beginning of this series and reading the books in order - the character development is what makes it so special, in my opinion.

A fun mystery

There is no better way to start 2019 than a review for one of my favorite series. This is the fourth installment of Veronica Speedwell, and I went in with higher than average expectations. For the most part, I enjoyed the book. Four stars is not a negative rating, it is difficult to love each book in a series with equal fierceness. There is a plethora of banter and sexual chemistry that makes Veronica/Brisbane a super couple. "Don't be understanding and accommodating. It is upsetting." I admit to disappointment with certain aspects of Veronica's personality; ugh...I was frustrated with her for a significant portion of the book. Brisbane is the best and my heart ached for how things developed. Despite the personal turmoil, I found myself completely immersed in the mystery. There is a refreshing change to the setting and several new characters are introduced. Raybourn is always at her best character development wise, but her mystery aspect continues to improve with each book. Even though this wasn't necessarily a favorite, it was still an engaging read. I am already counting the days until book 5. If you are a fan of historicals and/or mysteries, I cannot recommend this series enough. Veronica and Brisbane will quickly work their way into your reading soul. A huge thank you to Penguin's First to Read for my advanced review copy.

This book was great! I loved it, and I am so excited to see where the series will go. It's smart, funny, and so well written. I love the relationship that Veronica and Stoker have, and I am always thrilled about the mysteries they face. It's entertaining while giving you that great victorian setting and I look forward to these books every time they come out!

This is the first Veronica Speedwell story I have read. I know that this series has diehard fans, and I was curious to see if I would see the appeal even if I started with the fourth book. IT works as a standalone novel, and I definitely see the appeal. I will be eagerly awaiting future books and visiting the earlier stories. The writing made me smile and kept me engaged. The vocabulary and language were reflective of the time period and I enjoyed the clever exchanges between Stoker and Veronica. I was reminded of a mishmash of Vitoria Holt and Agatha Christie. Victoria Holt brings me back to over the top dramatic stories with mysterious characters and spooky settings. And Agatha Christie was the master of mystery, keeping me guessing as her investigators left no stone unturned- or question unasked, as they slowly figured out the secrets of the suspects and came up with an answer. This story provides all that- mysterious characters, clever dialogue, and an intriguing castle setting with an unsolved mystery. I highly recommend it. Thanks to the Penguin's First to Read program fo an advanced digital copy of this book.

Another excellent entry in the Veronica Speedwell series! Veronica's and Stoker's adventures take them to Cornwall in this book in order to solve the mystery of a disappearing bride and hidden secrets that implicate Stoker's eldest brother, Tiberius, who we briefly saw in books 2 and 3. The mystery has dashes of Rebecca/Daphne Du Maurier and Victoria Holt thrown in, with a very atmospheric house cut off from the mainland and superstitions and the supernatural creating an added level of suspense. With the help of Tiberius stirring the pot, the romantic tension between Veronica and Stoker is ratcheted up even further. Veronica, who is, as always, a somewhat unreliable narrator in the style of Amelia Peabody -- feigning stoicism for the reader's sake -- starts running out of excuses and must finally face her feelings for Stoker, with very satisfying results. Fans of the series will be very happy with A Dangerous Collaboration. I look forward to reading more of Veronica's and Stoker's adventures! Thank you to Berkley and the Penguin-Random House First to Read program for providing an ARC for review!

This was my introduction to Veronica Speedwell. This book can be read without reading the prior books in the series. It sparked my interest to learn how the characters evolved to where they are at this point in time in the series. The plot was good and kept me interested. Totally surprised by the ending. The ongoing romance between the two main characters was distracting as it felt like it did not help to advance the plot for this mystery. Overall, a good read. Miss Speedwell is a welcome addition to my reading list.

I received a free copy of the book for my review. This is one book out of a series. I have not read any of the previous books but had no problem following along. This book is a mystery with a female, Veronica, helping to solve the mystery of a bride’s disappearances on her wedding day. Veronica’s colleague, Stoker and his brother Tiberius help her solve the disappearance. I enjoyed the book and the different twist and turns. The characters were well developed and the conflict between them is believable. The book didn’t keep me on the edge where I couldn’t put it down but was enjoyable and kept my interest. I will read more of this series.

This is a great setting for a mystery - a castle on an isolated island with its own poison garden. Since I had not read the earlier books in the series I had little interest in the possible romantic relationship between Stoker and Victoria, the duo supposedly solving the mystery, which took up a large part of the book. It should be billed as historical roomance.

Once again, Speedwell and Stoker have stumbled onto a mystery. A butterfly expedition turns into an investigation of a three year old murder. Previous readers will recall a bunch of back and forth in the romance department, which is mostly resolved. There's a good bit of background for Stoker and his family, too. Plenty of secrets and ghosts and hidden doors to go with the chemistry and butterflies (literal ones.) A great addition to this mystery series, and I'm curious to see what happens next, as they investigate a notorious murder.

This story is an interesting one. I haven't read the earlier books in the series, but it was still easy to understand and enjoy. This was a story I could put down for a few days to a week, pick up again and know right where I was and go on. There were a few parts to the story that seemed unrealistic/out of the time period, but you could look past them and go on. The characters were fun and you got to know them, even without the previous books. Many reviews give you WAY too much information about a book and I refuse to spoil the story for you. It was an interesting mystery with a female lead and lots of fun bits in it. It was worth reading, especially as there weren't all the editing/word errors most books have, now.

A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book in the Veronica Speedwell series. It follows a slightly different format than the rest of them. In this one they are not given a mystery to solve until half way through the book. Veronica and Stoker go to an island in Cornwall with Stoker's brother Tiberius, Lord Templeton-Vane, when his friend Malcolm Romilly requests that he come. Three years earlier Malcolm's bride, Rosamund, disappeared on her wedding day and no one knows what happened. Now while this information is known to Veronica and Stoker in the beginning they don't choose to try and solve the mystery. They like everyone else believe she left the island of her own accord. Then one evening Malcolm reveals that he found Rosamund's missing travel bag and wants to find out what happened to her. This is when the investigation begins. While most of the Speedwell Mysteries are personal in nature to Veronica or Stoker this one spends more time with Tiberius and it is more of a mystery within a standard historical fiction. I think I liked this one a little more than the last two. I would recommend to any serial mystery reader.

This series continues to be so much fun! I LOVE Veronica Speedwell - she's the perfect blend of smart, sassy, and stubborn and the combination makes for a delightful foil for Stoker (her partner in crime) as well as the rest of the supporting cast. I was pleased to see Stoker's brother Tiberius play such a large role in this book - both for the development of his own character AND the insights into Stoker. Raybourn continues to develop her characters and world nicely - there is a LOT going on behind the scenes in these books and the teasing way that details are promised and then revealed (eventually and slowly, quite often) adds a nice depth to the stories. If you're looking for a fun series of mysteries that build off of each other in a nuanced and detailed way, with great characterization, this is definitely for you!

Days after returning from an extended vacation, Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a Cornish island with Stoker’s eldest brother, Tiberius, Lord Templeton-Vane. Tiberius uses Veronica’s desire to see a rare butterfly as the lure as well as the promise to acquire some for her vivarium. At Tiberius’ insistence, Veronica poses as his fiancée, which causes problems when they discover they were followed by Stoker, who suspects his brother has an ulterior motive. Upon arriving at Lord Malcolm Romilly’s island home, a not-so innocent house party commences. Malcolm suspects that his late bride, Rosamund, was murdered on their wedding night three years prior and the party was his excuse to bring everyone into one place to investigate. Everyone present but Veronica and Stoker have a motive for killing Rosamund, so it’s up to them to handle the majority of the investigation. What ensues is their typical banter as they follow leads that take them across the island, speak to townsfolk and houseguest, and sneak around at night. Will they find the murder before he or she strikes again? Or was there a murder at all? This might be my favorite Veronica Speedwell mystery yet. As the mystery unfolds, we learn more about the relationship between Stoker and his brother Tiberius and this enhances the depth of both characters. The tensions between Veronica and Stoker grows and their relationship evolves. As for the characters new to this book, again, there is depth in Malcolm's grief and desire to know what happened to Rosamund and his sister Mertensia proves to be a scholar of medicinal arts in an era where that was not common. Then the stories about life on the island and the island’s history add an aura of mystique to the story. All in all, a great installment to the series.

Another solid book by Deanna Raybourn! Loved this book. At the beginning, I was nervous where the book would take Veronica and Stoker's relationship, especially when there was a time jump of about six months. But I kept reading and it was totally worth it. Deanna Raybourn's pacing of her novels across the whole series is just right. For this particular book, I also enjoyed reading the background mystery of the Romilly family. But the thing you will remember more about this book is the main characters and their development. Thanks to first to read for the arc of A Dangerous Collaboration.

One of my favorite characters returns in Deanna Raybourn’s fourth Veronica Speedwell novel. Veronica and her colleague Stoker have been working together to create an exhibition on an estate in London and their feelings for each other are fairly obvious. However, she believes that she will never marry and informs Stoker that they should only remain friends. To complicate things further, Stoker’s brother Tiberius, Lord Templeton-Vane, arrives with a proposition for Veronica. He has been invited to the estate of Lord Malcolm Romilly on an island off Cornwall and he would like Veronica to accompany him, posing as his fiancé. In exchange, he promises a specimen of a rare butterfly for her collection. Veronica does not hesitate to accept, but finds an uninvited Stoker tagging along. The purpose of Lord Romilly’s gathering is to discover the fate of his wife. Rosamund disappeared three years earlier on their wedding day and he recently found her travel bag behind a panel in their home. Each of his guests were present at the wedding and each had a possible motive to cause her harm. Raybourn’s setting is atmospheric, with storms that prevent anyone from leaving the island and panels throughout the manor that hide passages and secret rooms. She presents Veronica as a strong-willed woman with progressive ideas that she is not afraid to express. While the relationship between Veronica and Stoker seems to have cooled, their natural conversations still hold humor and occasional biting remarks that make this story a delight to read.

While Veronica Speedwell may not be like the average woman from this time period, she is exactly like almost every other woman in a novel of this sort: she is well-educated, the illegitimate child of someone wealthy and famous, not interested in marriage or children, and pretty much a Mary Sue who is considerate of servants and quick to mentally point out any flaw in anyone else. Of course there is the will they, won't they, which I don't think I could have stood for three previous novels because that gets old so fast. Heck, it got old in the first few chapters of this novel. Other than Veronica and Stoker being such basic tropes, the book was well-written with development of supporting characters, again, pretty much what you would expect, and a good plot. If you don't find the main character self-absorbed and tedious, then you'll definitely enjoy this book.

How does this keep happening?! Here is yet another example of me getting an early copy of a book and not realizing it is part of a series. A Dangerous Collaboration is the 4th book in the Veronica Speedwell series. THE FOURTH. How do I get into these situations? Oh well. That being said, you don't need to have read the first three books to read this one. There is enough context to clue you in on certain relationships and Veronica's past adventures. This is a classic Victorian mystery except Veronica is definitely not your classic Victorian character. But before I give too much away, let get to the review! Synopsis (from 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... Veronica Speedwell cannot give up a chance to see a rare butterfly species, so when her best friend/potential love interest Stoker's brother, Viscount Tiberis Templeton-Van invites her to visit his old friend, Lord Malcolm Romilly, she barely needs to think about it before she says yes. The very rare Glasswing butterfly is on the island the Romilly lives on and Veronica can barely wait to see it.  When she agrees so quickly to go with his brother, Stoker is less than thrilled but Veronica will not let him stop her. She does as she pleases and she won't have any man, even her best friend, stop her from going about her business or even sleeping with who she wants to. When he turns up on the island after throwing such a fit, Veronica is the one who is less than thrilled. Why throw a tantrum if he was going to show up anyways? Nevertheless, she is glad to see him. Once they all arrive at the Romilly castle, Stoker and his brother's spats are the last thing on her mind. As it turns out, Lord Malcolm has brought everyone there for his own purposes. He wants to find out what happened to his wife, Rosamund. She disappeared right after their wedding never to be seen again. But Malcolm recently found Rosamund's bag in a secret compartment in the house and has brought them all there to find out who did it. You thought Clue was dramatic? Wait until you read this! If there is one thing Veronica likes just as much as a new species of butterfly, it's a mystery that needs solving. So she (and Stoker) take the case and come across things they never could have imagined. Possible ghosts, a maybe witches, a poisonous garden, past love affairs, desperate women willing to do anything to get out of a bad life, and love so deep it survives even when it seems hopeless. What more could you want?? A Dangerous Collaboration will keep you guessing until the final pages. The murderer is the last person you would expect and there is plenty of sexual tension, spooky nights, angry brothers beating the crap out of each other, and badass ladies who aren't willing to let society dictate what they can and can't do. I am giving A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn 4 out of 5 stars. There were a few slow spots but nothing that overly bothered me. This is definitely one I recommend if you love Victorian murder mysteries. (You could even start with the first book lol) A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn comes out March 12, 2019 Thank you to First To Read and Berkley Books for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

I've read all of Deanna Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell books and have enjoyed them. I like the adventure of them as well as the characters. Veronica and Stoker continue to be amusing characters and slowly seem to be giving in to their attraction to each other, and the author is enjoying dragging that particular issue out over the series. Stoker and Veronica start the book visiting a remote island with the promise of obtaining some rare butterflies for their collection, and the setting is very remote and interesting. Veronica is a rare type as far as females go in Victorian times - a scientist and a free-thinking. Their visit ends up not quite being as it seems, as fans of the series would expect. They find themselves having to solve a mystery, and getting into danger in the process. Eventually they prevail, and the end of the book gives us a tantalizing clue as to what danger the next book will hold. I've had fun reading all of these books and will recommend this new one to fans and newcomers to the series alike. I did not start with the first book, so I can say somebody could safely pick up this book even without having read the others. If you like mysteries and Victorian fiction, then you should enjoy this.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The mystery was interesting and I loved the setting. Veronica and Stoker are great characters and I enjoyed how they and their relationship changed in this installment of the series. The supporting characters were also well-drawn and interesting. I think this is actually my favorite of the series so far.

Dare I say this is the best Veronica Speedwell book yet? I do dare. *swoon* I really liked the original cover of the first book, the woman (Veronica) in the colorful dress with the austere London background, and wish they'd kept that theme instead of these new ones that are all cartoon-ish. I love love love Veronica and Stoker! There was so much tension in this book and it was very enjoyable! It was also spooky and thrilling and adventurous. Throwing in Lord Templeton-Vane was so fun. The beginning was a little frustrating but it paid off in the end. I cannot WAIT for book 5!!!!!

This is the first of this series I have read. I thought the firsy few chapters were laborious to plod through. Then, the story picked up and I quickly read the rest. I love the banter between Veronica and Stoker! Very witty and well written. The mystery was good and well kept until the end. I enjoyed this book in the end and I am not a fan of historical mysteries or mysteries set in a different era. Others have said to read the previous books first and I think it would be helpful. Reccomend if you like mysteries and this type of setting.

I did a quick read of the previous 3 books in the series before reading this. Great writing and lives up to the rest of the Veronica Speedwell series. Can't wait to see where their adventures continue to take Veronica and Stoker.

oh goodness gracious, this just might be my favourite in the series so far! not just for obvious reasons - if you read it and love veronica and stoker as much as i do, you know what i mean - but because it was fantastically written and i was super into the mystery part too. in the other books, the characters were the highlight for me and i couldn't wait to get back to veronica and stoker and try to smoosh them together. in this one, i was so into the book that when we did get snippets and lovely things, it was a nice surprise! as usual, i was surprised by the bad guy and i thought it was all very well done. when i first discovered this series, it was when the 3rd was on netgalley, so i read 1, 2 and 3 in quick succession. i don't know where i got it in my head that it was a trilogy, but i was so bummed when i realised it wasn't! i hate waiting and my memory is absolutely shocking, so having to wait for books in a series rarely works out well for me. i read the 3rd book in january and it is now december, so i was worried considering i've forgotten books i read 2 months ago. however, in the case of this particular series, i had absolutely no issue. i think it's the way the books are written and the nature of the stories - new mystery each book with the only thing really going from book to book is veronica and stoker's relationship, and don't worry, my memory is not going to forget them any time soon. now, can we have the 5th book?! i am SO EXCITED and cannot wait.

A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4) by Deanna Raybourn is possibly my favorite of this series. If you are a reader looking for accurate historical fiction? This series probably isn't for you as Veronica, and almost every other character, belongs in a different time frame than the one the books are set in. However, it's just so much fun I can't turn pages fast enough. Plus the setting in A Dangerous Collaboration is fabulous.. who doesn't love a remote island castle? As in the previous books, there is a good amount of romantic tension between our leads and witty banter to top it off. recommend for a little escape from 'serious reading' Thank you to Penguin Random House for an advanced copy in exchange for honest review

A mystery hidden in amaongest a historical fiction. Author developing good characters and with each novel the plot thickens. Good read!

The number one thing I love most about a Veronica Speedwell novel is the world building. From the description of a sitting room to the pleated detail of a skirt to the intricate lacework of a butterfly’s wing - Raybourn’s attention to detail makes this series one of my most anticipated every year. Book four in the series - A Dangerous Collaboration - did not disappoint but what was unexpected was how far off track the direction of the book was from what I had anticipated based on the ending of book three. It’s good to still be surprised by the fourth book in a multi-book series, even if that meant I couldn’t put it down resulting in a sleepless night! On the start of the book, as readers of book three will recall, we seemed to end with an understanding between Veronica and Stoker that has been long awaited. But book four opens on Veronica hightailing it to Madeira and the surprises don’t really let up until the final pages. What I loved most was the setting of the book - a remote island populated by hidden nooks, seemingly supernatural characters (including a family with history of the sight), a poison garden and an unsolved murder whose victim is a beautiful and mysterious woman Rosamund. Readers are introduced to Malcolm Romilly, Tiberius's friend and the seemingly devastated husband-for-a-moment of the aforementioned Rosamund. From there, Veronica and Stoker must uncover the murderer in their midst while dealing with a largely new group of characters. Veronica Speedwell fans will recognise Stoker’s enigmatic brother Tiberius who makes a return in this book to be further developed with more insight given into his motivations. The Scotland Yard police group and the royals don’t figure largely this time around but the new characters more than make up for it. What readers really want to know is does the relationship between Stoker and Veronica finally move forward? Yes, but book five can’t come quick enough! Thank you to Penguin First to Read for my advanced reader copy.

London, 1888. Veronica Speedwell and Stoker Templeton-Vane are cataloging at the estate of an Earl, when Veronica decides to go on an expedition for six months with Lady Cordelia ( and also to think things through about Stoker ). Upon her return Stoker's brother Tiberius offers Veronica a chance to add to her butterfly collection, an almost extinct "Romilly Glasswing Butterfly" that only exits on St. Madden Island in Cornwall. Stoker then decides to tag along with the pair. Malcolm Romilly, Tiberius's friend had another reason for inviting them. It was to find out what happened to his bride, Rosamund, who disappeared on their wedding day, three years earlier. Secrets are revealed, a seance held, a ghost seems to haunt the estate and many hidden passages are unearthed. A lively and entertaning story in this ongoing series. Thank you First-to-Read for this free e-copy of "A Dangerous Collaboration".

I've been following this series and the books keep getting better. In this latest story, the relationship between Veronica and Stoker is deepened, and we learn more about Tiberius, Stoker's not-exactly beloved brother. The setting is unusual: an isolated island in Cornwall populated by residents with long memories and a love of mystical practices. There's even a witch. A cast of secondary characters as complex as the main ones, coupled with a page-turning plot, make this novel a captivating read. Anyone who likes a good historical mystery with compelling characters and romantic tension will enjoy this book.

This is my first Deanna Raybourn book (thanks, Penguins First Reads, for the tantalizing free ARC!) and I think I will have to dig into her backlist. Another reviewer likened this series to the TV series Bones, just push it back 100 or so years and have the lady scientist be a lepidopterist instead of a forensic investigator. The chemistry between the lead characters was terribly witty and fun, and the story well-placed in an atmospheric castle sitting on a rock off the coast of England. If I have one complaint, it's just that the protagonist's"free love" attitudes and history of sexual escapades seems unnecessary and anachronistic for a lady of the 1880s. But I'm a prude of a reader. And this wasn't SO racy that it ruined the book for me. (*Coughoutlandercough*) Guilty pleasure read!

I really liked the characters. They were easy to like and some were easy to dislike. Victoria is asked to go to a Cornish island to gather some rare butterflies. In order to get them, she has to help investigate the disappearance of the host's bride from three years earlier. There is so much secrecy surrounding her disappearance and so many people who had a reason to see her die. Did she die or did she leave the island on her own accord? As Victoria and Stoker seek answers, more questions came to light. Even Stoker's own brother has a motive. They need to find the culprit before another murder happens.

How have I missed out on this series until now?! Veronica Speedwell is the spunky, independent Victorian-era heroine we all admire. The tone and language of the book stay true to literature of the era. This is a tidy mystery full of hidden feelings, carefully protected pasts, and an island consumed with Cornish folklore. After returning from her last adventure, Veronica - a dedicated butterfly collector - is invited by Tiberius, the brother of her co-worker Stoker to travel to a remote island in order to obtain a rare specimen for her butterfly garden. Because her host, Malcolm Romilly, is Catholic, she chooses to pose as her Tiberius' fiancee to avoid scandal. Victorian ladies do not travel unaccompanied, especially not with men to whom they are unrelated. However, Stoker isn't necessarily okay with this arrangement. During her stay, it is revealed that Malcolm's bride disappeared three years previously, and nobody knows what became of her. Commence: a rousing game of Clue. Everyone who was in the house at the time has been gathered together. Each had a motive, and their own way in which they may have disposed of the poor lady.

Loved, loved the book!! I could not put this down. I have read the previous novels in this series and Deanna Raybourn just keeps getting better. Veronica and Stoker are growing so much as characters. They seem to be more serious in A Dangerous Collaboration. I loved it. The chemistry between Veronica and Stoker has always been simmering. We got to learn more about Tiberius, Stoker's brother. I loved the character development for Stoker's brother, Tiberius, as well. The plot is great, a bride goes missing on her wedding day. "Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.," from the book jacket. Need I say more, the adventure begins!! I cannot wait until the next Veronica Speewdwell adventure. I received a free copy of the book from Penguin Random House. Highly recommend!

I have previously read the first three entries in this series. I heartily recommend reading them before reading book 4. Everything will make so much more sense to the reader if you have the backstory on all the characters. With that said - I loved this entry in the series! Veronica and Stoker are two of my favorite literary characters. This is a worthy entry and helps to further the story line. Veronica and Stoker can be stubborn and annoying and this book was no exception. There were a few times I wanted to sit them down together and have a little chat about life. But eventually they came together and solved the mystery with the help of Stoker's brother Tiberius. I honestly don't want to give too much away to those who haven't read the book. Don't hesitate, read the first three, then read this one! Some housekeeping issues to address - my e-reader version had several missing pages. Hopefully that will be corrected before publication. Thank you to Penguin and their First To Read program for the opportunity to read and review this book. (my best friend is jealous!)

3.75 Stars I'm all over the place about this fourth entry in the Veronica Speedwell historical mystery series. The first part of the book had me thinking about throwing my eReader across the room, Stoker-fashion, because I found Veronica so abysmally annoying and out of character. After drawing close to Stoker at the end of A Treacherous Curse, at the start of this book we have Veronica running away to Madeira, presumably in large part to avoid dealing with her feelings and Stoker's. Then, more annoyingly, we have what starts looking like a love triangle between Veronica, Stoker and Stoker's excessively debonair brother, Tiberius. Calling in a favor, Tiberius enlists Veronica's help for an odd reunion on an island off the coast of Cornwall. All she has to do is go along and pretend to be his fiancée. Her reward shall be prized glasswing chrysalides to hold in her butterfly conservatory. I had to reframe things several times (recalling that in the Victorian era, married women were chattel, many women died in childbirth, no reproductive choices were available, other than abstinence, etc. and that all of this is anathema to our lady detective) in order to accept Veronica's occasionally rather callous behavior. To top it off, Stoker was not behaving in a particularly mature fashion, either. Eventually, Raybourn managed to pull the story back around from melodrama to a mystery with the feel of du Maurier's Rebecca. Lord Malcolm Romilly, once a very close friend of Stoker's brother, Lord Tiberius Templeton-Vane, lost his wife on their wedding day. By which we mean, she disappeared, even though she was on a small island with few places or means by which one can disappear. Three years later, Tiberius and Veronica, and unexpectedly (well, not so much) Stoker (Revelstoke Templeton-Vane) visit Malcolm, his sister Mertensia (that name had me suspicious for a while... Mertensian mimicry, anyone?), his widowed sister-in-law Helen, and her son (Malcolm's nephew and heir) Caspian at the Romilly estate on St. Maddern's Island (fictional, but you can fill in one of the Isles of Scilly if you like) for a reunion that turns into a murder investigation. While Malcolm had hoped that his lovely bride Rosamund had merely run away, he announces to his guests at a fateful dinner that he has evidence that he believes indicates she never left the island. What happened to the beautiful young Mrs. Romilly? Leave it to Veronica and Stoker to find out. The latter half of the book is what keeps me from giving this entry a flat out 3 stars. Raybourn eventually manages to make Tiberius a three dimensional character, and she even brings things around between Veronica and Stoker, along with giving us a better understanding of Veronica's months-long trip to Madeira. If you make it past the first hundred pages or so, you'll enjoy this one. I'll be interested to see what Book 5 will bring us. I received a Digital Review Copy of this book from Berkeley/Penguin Publishing Group via the First to Read program, in exchange for an honest review.

A fun read that will keep you in suspense throughout. Veronica Speedwell and friends work together to solve a mysterious crime committed 3 years ago. This enchanting historical fiction delivers humor, a little romance, lots of tension, and a “who-dun-it” story set in an old castle on a Cornish island. The best part of the novel is the depth of the characters. You quickly come to enjoy their quirks, flaws, and charms. Although it is the fourth book in a series, it is easily read as a stand alone novel. I would like to thank firsttoread.com for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for my honest opinion. ?????????? - Enjoyed the book so much that I went back to read the first 3 novels in the Veronica Speedwell series. Beautifully written with characters that draw you in.

This is the fourth book in the series and you really need to read all of them. Seriously, this series is just fun. Veronica and Stoker are once again pulled into a mystery. Invited by Stoker’s brother to a gathering at an old friend’s castle on a small island, it quickly becomes evident that the gathering is no party. Romilly (the friend) wants to figure out once and for all what happened to his bride that disappeared on their wedding day 3 years ago. What comes next is ghosts, charlatans, hidden passages and a whole lot of whodunit. And of course, hilarity and tension (the romantic kind) from Veronica and Stoker. Their relationship definitely makes these books and it is just so good.

Thanks go to Penguin's first to read program for a advance reading copy in exchange for a honest review. Deanna Raybourne outshines her other books with this Veronica Speedwell novel. If you are looking for the best of the best historical fiction then go no further than her books. I love the chemistry between Veronica and Stoker. This one has many surprises, twists, and a awesome cliffhanger.

I adore Veronica Speedwell!! Author Deanna Raybourne is a goddess- writing amazing period mysteries with scintillating sexual tension and darling characters. It’s a shame that Penguin provided a substandard ARC with numerous missing pages. This First to Read program has been fraught with issues.

Continuing the adventures of a charming duo, Deanna Raybourn has written yet another fun and delightful addition to this series. A Dangerous Collaboration, not only boasts the same magnetic characters, Veronica Speedwell and Stoker Templeton-Vane, but also an incredibly alluring and atmospheric setting—a gathering at a castle on a Cornish isle. For A Dangerous Collaboration, Raybourn has taken the duo to a setting that gives off some serious Agatha Christie vibes, with not too large a dash of Daphne du Maurier and a pinch of Charles Dickens. The fictitious Cornish isle created in the story seems to be based off of St. Michael's Mount, at the least. Based on the pictures I've seen it matches pretty well to what was happening in my head while reading about Raybourn's isle. Honestly, I read these stories for the characters. The wit, the tension, the all-around anachronistic but wonderfully believable attitudes from the two main characters, never fails to make for an enjoyable and diverting read. Though they are the same in essence, the pair of Veronica and Stoker have changed in little and wonderfully lifelike ways. The growth in the relationship is just right for this story, and I'm already looking forward to reading about them again in the fifth book.

I really enjoy this series and this one has quite the payoff for long time readers. Veronica has been off on a solo adventure leaving things with Stoker tense after the near closeness they shared in the last entry. When Stoker's brother invites Veronica to go with him to a secluded isle to be given a rare butterfly, Stoker is not best pleased. But things aren't what they seem. The owner is an old friend as has a missing bride - years ago on their wedding day she vanished. Stoker has of course tagged along just as his brother intended. Stoker and Veronica once again work together to solve the mystery of the missing bride and other things along the way. Working together they overcome the hurt and confusion they've been avoiding since the last book and oh my. Can't wait for the next book.

The Veronica Speedwell novels have managed to walk a line between historical romance and cozy mystery incredibly well, and this book was no exception. Perhaps the thing that has the most appeal in the Veronica novels is Veronica herself. She is not the most realistic character, but she is enjoyable to read. Veronica is a relatively modern woman with modern sensibilities, in a historical setting and it is that which makes her so relatable. Veronica's goals and ambitions are related to her academic work, and while she does take pains to appeal to society's rules when it suits her, she just as often ignores them. The book is full of the same snappy banter from the previous Veronica Speedwell books, and similar authors in the historical romance genre, such as Tessa Dare. While some of the backstory of Stoker's brother was overly melodramatic; it can be forgiven because, finally, after four books, there is development between Stoker and Veronica's relationship. Three books of slow-burn romance and finally something happens between them. Looking for a historical romance without the smutty bits? This series is a good choice. There is ample tension between the leads and the slow-burn is hot.

A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn 5 stars This installment of the adventures of Veronica Speedwell is terrific and deserving of every accolade showered upon it. Although each book is a standalone story to get the most out of it you really need to read the entire series in order. If you don't, some of the comments made by certain characters will lack that something extra that long time readers will enjoy greatly. In this book we not only get Veronica, we also get both Templeton-Vane brothers. I won't spoil the mystery, but we will see sibling rivalry, an isolated estate, a garden full of poisonous plants, and a family of eccentrics. What I loved the best about this book was the dance between Veronica and Stoker. In some scenes it reminded me of one of those nature specials where the male birds strut their stuff for the female. The tension is palpable and Stoker knows exactly what he is doing. The action in the end is a grand declaration of his feelings, but what really got me was the mouse. At the end Veronica gets a telegram that mentions Whitechapel. JTR anyone. I can't wait for the next adventure. Thank you First to Read and Penguin Random House for the ARC.

I love this series. Veronica is a woman who defies convention and does things her own way. If you love historical mysteries then you'll enjoy this book. I like how Veronica doesn't do things because society dictates how she is to live her life, she has her own mind and isn't afraid to speak it.

I loved this book. It was almost impossible to put down. I hadn't read any other books in the series but I plan on fixing that right away. It's a mystery about a missing bride and leaves you guessing on not only if she is dead but who could have killed her if she is. Full of mystery and suspense there is also plenty of interaction between the characters that build their relationships and make you root for everyone at some point. I received an e-arc from First to Read for an honest review.

I like this series more and more with each book. The mystery at the center of A Dangerous Collaboration - Malcolm Romilly's missing bride - was fascinating, and it really kept me guessing right up until the reveal. There were quite a few characters with a strong motive to cause Rosamund harm, and the author does a great job of balancing the clues and suspense without giving anything away too early. I also really loved the interactions between Veronica and Stoker in this installment. Their friendship/relationship has been steadily progressing from the first book, and I've just loved seeing them grow closer together in each new volume. I also really liked getting a deeper peek into Tiberius in this book. I just remember him from the past titles as Stoker's elder brother who's kind of rude, but in A Dangerous Collaboration we get a deep dive into his character and motivations. He becomes much more sympathetic throughout this story. All in all, this was another fantastic addition to the Veronica Speedwell series and I can't wait to see where her story goes next.

I guess you could say A Dangerous Collaboration was a story about secrets—some old, some new; some about strong emotions or actions; and some about the past and others about the present. So many secrets packed into one story! But given how isolated the setting was made out to be and in the context of the mystery surrounding the reason why Veronica and the others were called to the Romilly residence, it made sense. And no, it wasn’t only about the butterflies. A Dangerous Collaboration was an all-around interesting story. It was a relatively quick read that wasn’t too action-packed but when there was danger involved, the stakes were typically high. There was an almost foreboding atmosphere which only deepened when more details came to light. So, I liked the mystery as well as the historical time period the book took place in. As I mentioned above, the setting was fairly isolated: centered on an island owned by the Romilly family, accessible only by boat. It was a challenging place with many secret passageways, and it remained at the mercy of the weather—often storms—as well as the water because of the shifts in the tide and currents. Raybourn made good use of the location, which served as a perfect backdrop to the mystery at hand. One of the things I most enjoy about this book is the main character Veronica Speedwell. She’s witty and smart and her passion about butterflies lends to some simple yet well written moments of quiet tranquility between her and other characters. I personally found the bits about the butterflies incredibly interesting in how well they were described—even the made up Romilly Glasswing butterfly (Oleria romillia), whose real life inspiration/counterparts are just as fascinating as their fictional version. I also enjoyed the banter between Veronica and Stocker and—once again—how well they worked together as a team to try and solve the mystery behind Rosamund’s disappearance. With a cast of characters that had motivations as equally differing as their personalities, A Dangerous Collaboration was a fantastic installment to the Veronica Speedwell series.... A big thank you to First to Read for an eARC of this book!

This was a rollicking, rousing, romantic adventure with a hint of homage to a previous series by Elizabeth Peters. Almost as soon as I started reading this book I was reminded of Amelia Peabody and her beloved Emerson. Then about a quarter of the way in, Veronica referred to Stoker’s “sapphirine gaze” and that clinched it. Peabody often refers to Emerson’s blue eyes as sapphirine orbs. Veronica even has a similar scandalous wardrobe and a hatpin stiletto. I love it. Since Elizabeth Peters can no longer regale us with new tales of the Amelia Peabody series, this will do as as a substitute. I plan to go back and read the earlier books.

A good mystery. Can't wait for the next one!

5 stars. I have enjoyed this entire series but felt that in the last couple, Veronica's quirks were overdone. This one, though, was perfect. I read it in almost one sitting and was giddy by the end. Fans of this series are going to love this one!

I have loved all the books in this series so far and this one is no exception!! Can’t wait for the next book!

I read this series for the characters, but the setting in this one was outstanding. Having read Deanna's books for a few years, I feel like I've been able to see how much she gets better with each book. The descriptions for the setting and atmosphere in A Dangerous Collaboration were exactly what "getting lost in a book" means to me. I never wanted to put it down. Veronica and Stoker had their moments of banter, but they were actually much more serious and intense in this one, and I loved it. The chemistry... off the charts. And I loved the character development for Stoker's brother, Tiberius, as well. Honestly, I would probably read a spin-off about him after all the things we learned in this one. That ending... I'm so excited for the possibilities of the next book!

I loved the first three books in this series and I was anxiously waiting to read A Dangerous Collaboration. It lived up to my expectations and more. I would highly recommend this delightful book/series to anyone who enjoys historical fiction, humor, mystery and suspense with a dash of romance. I suggest starting with the first book in the series, A Curious Beginning, and then playing catch up to A Dangerous Collaboration. I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed. And now the wait for the next book begins....

Once again Deanna Raybourn pulls you into a fun read that you just don't want to put down. A Dangerous Collaboration is the 4th in the Veronica Speedwell Series by Deanna Raybourn. The series is set in England in the 1880's. The main character is a lepidopterist but falls into sleuthing by accident. Each book can stand alone, but there are continuing story lines to the characters. A Dangerous Collaboration is set in a castle on an island off the coast of Cornwall. Three years ago a bride disappeared just after taking her vows. Did she run away? Was she murdered? No one knows, she simply vanished. Enter Veronica, Stoker, and his brother Tiberius. Along with the mystery is the relationship between Veronica and Stoker, are they just friends, will they be more? This entire series is a fun read. They are well written with obvious research on different subjects from history, lepidoptery, horticulture and many other areas. I would highly recommend the entire series.

This is the fourth Veronica Speedwell mystery. Veronica and Stoker have been working as colleagues preparing exhibits for Lord Rosemorran's museum from the many collections his family has amassed. But this story story begins with Veronica taking Lady Cordelia and heading off to Madeira for six months. Veronica uses some of her time while she is gone thinking about her relationship with Stoker. She is happy with her friendship with him but doesn't know what happens next. She definitely doesn't want to marry, but believes she's falling in love with him and fearful that declaring it would ruin their friendship and collaboration. After six months of not hearing from him, Veronica is back in London to a changed Stoker. There is a coldness to him that wasn't present before she left. Before she can do something to bring about a thaw, Lord Templeton-Vane, Stoker's eldest brother Tiberius, comes to Veronica with a proposal. He would like her to accompany him to the Cornish island which is the home of his eldest friend. He seduces her with promises of a rare butterfly that she can add to the vivarium she is creating for Lord Rosemorran. He also says that Stoker is not invited. As they arrive, Tiberius indicates that he has told his old friend Malcolm Romilly that Veronica is his affianced wife telling her that it is because of Malcolm's religious beliefs. To no one's great surprise, Stoker is waiting for them as they disembark from the train having invited himself along. When they arrive at the island, Stoker and Veronica discover a mystery. Three years earlier Malcolm's new bride disappears on her wedding day. No one has seen Rosamund since. Veronica is curious to know what happened to the missing bride and begins her investigation. There are quite an assortment of suspects. From Malcolm's sister Mertensia who is a devoted gardener who takes special pride in her poison garden to Malcolm's brother's widow and son to the devoted housekeeper who raised them all to Lord Templeton-Vane himself, suspects abound and so do motives. And, while the investigation proceeds, Veronica is still dealing with her relationship with Stoker. I loved the setting of this story - an isolated island steeped in history and the stories of mermaids and piskies and all manner of creature. I love Veronica's personality. She is a Victorian free spirit who doesn't care about her reputation and the social mores of the day. She is bright, abrasive, and particularly guarded in her emotions. Stoker is also a wonderful character and a perfect partner for her. I liked getting to know Tiberius better as we learn more about his past and the choices that have formed him. This was a wonderful addition to an excellent series. I can't wait for more adventures.

Deanna Raybourn continues to deliver - and improve - in this fouth Veronica Speedwell mystery. What to say about this? It's a mystery worthy of Agatha Christie - and worthy of the characters Raybourn has created. Veronica has never been my favorite character, but she certainly is an interesting and unique one. Raybourn has researched the period and demonstrates a strong understanding of the history, but doesn't let too much exposition bog down the plot or character development. The tension between the two main characters slowly burns to an intense fire, and they continue to move forward and test new grounds in their relationship. This is a book that grabs you from the beginning, and you won't want to put it down. For those that like historical mysteries with a side of romance, this is a great series from a modern writer. I look forward to seeing how the characters develop and what new situations they stumble into during future installments.

 


More to Explore

  • A Curious Beginning
  • A Perilous Undertaking
  • A Treacherous Curse

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