Series: Veronica Speedwell #2
Published by Berkley Books on January 10th 2017
Genres: Historical, Mystery
FINAL DECISION: Very strong followup to the first book in the series. The integration of the personal relationship and the mystery is better done here and the emotional intensity of the characters’ story is a highlight.
THE STORY: Veronica is asked to prove the innocence of an art patron who is set to hang for the murder of his mistress. But there are a lot of secrets involved in this case. From the identity of the person asking for Veronica’s help to hidden reasons why the condemned won’t defend himself, Veronica and her partner Stoker are steeped in secrets as they race to find the real killer.
OPINION: After the first book in the series, this one feels like it has hit a groove. The combination of the mystery and the relationship between Veronica and Stoker is well balanced and compelling all the way through.
Readers of the first book will recall that Veronica is an independent woman ahead of her time. She is opinionated, has made a career for herself, unapologetically takes foreign lovers, and is sarcastic and at times caustic in her tone. She is also clever and observant and a scientist. Even as Veronica remains true to her character, there is clearly a connection between her and Stoker. And I love the relationship between her and Stoker. There is simmering passion, but also real respect and annoyance with one another that is not based on passion at all.
Here, more is revealed about Stoker’s relationship with his family and Veronica continues to deal with the fallout of her family connection revealed in A CURIOUS BEGINNING. I liked that the mystery was developed throughout the book and at the same time the characters remain the focus of the book.
This book reminds me of the some of the best slow simmering man/woman mystery couples. There is an attraction but also verbal jousting and respect and at times bubbling resentment. These two are not going to quickly indulge in some quick passion because what is between them is too dangerous to treat lightly.
This book is funny and quite enjoyable. I can’t wait for the next in the series.
WORTH MENTIONING: Opium indulgence results in some interesting advancements.
CONNECTED BOOKS: A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING is the second book in the Veronica Speedwell series. The mystery in this book is completely self-contained and thus the book can be read as a standalone. However, I recommend reading the series in order for the continuing personal storylines.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.