A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell Mysteries #1) by Deanna Raybourn
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Genre: Historical Fiction Mystery
After burying her spinster aunt, orphaned Veronica Speedwell is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as with fending off admirers, Veronica intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.
But fate has other plans when Veronica thwarts her own attempted abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron, who offers her sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker, a reclusive and bad-tempered natural historian. But before the baron can reveal what he knows of the plot against her, he is found murdered—leaving Veronica and Stoker on the run from an elusive assailant as wary partners in search of the villainous truth.
How did I sit on this series for so long!? For full disclosure, I have read all 5 of the currently released Veronica Speedwell books this month and I am obsessed!
When A Curious Beginning was released, I remember being really interested because it has all of the buzzwords I could want in a mystery book (which I don’t tend to read). I purchased my copy back in 2015 and it just sat on my shelf waiting for me to dive in… but then I never did. Until a couple weeks ago and, can I say, I am kicking past me for sitting on this series for 5 years!
Within the first few pages of this book, I fell in love. Veronica is smart and independent, Stoker is the perfect companion, the mystery kept me flipping the page, there was adventure, subterfuge along with a really well planned plot that will evolve with each new installment.
I don’t think I can fully express my love of this book and series in general. While I don’t feel it is a perfect book (LOTS of repetition of events and character sentiments) but Deanna Raybourn clearly puts so much thought into these stories from events and names of the time to how the mystery actually unfolds. There’s such perfect dialog and everything sets the scene for a much bigger series between the character introductions, the underlying truths that will follow Veronica throughout her life and just where her curiosity will take her.
I don’t think I will give individual reviews for the rest of the series (however I may talk about the series as a whole in some form or another) because it will honestly just be me gushing about them but trust me when I say that if you like late 1800s England, mysteries and a partnership to root for, this is definitely for you!