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19 October 2015

A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell Mystery #1)

A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn is the first book in her Veronica Speedwell mystery series.

Veronica Speedwell grew up is an orphan who grew up with her two aunts. Now her second aunt has passed away. While she Veronica should feel sad her thoughts keep drifting to the fact that she will be free to do as she pleases - which in her case is go on expeditions and catch butterflies. Having moved every few years growing up, she does not feel attached to the village she happens to be living in at the moment.

Veronica is a lepidopterist. She has been on quite a few expeditions and has sold butterflies to fund future travels. And she is ready to be off on a new adventure, but when she returns to the cottage after her aunt's funeral, there is a man searching the place. Assuming it is someone who read the death notice in the paper and is looking for valuables, Veronica scares him off. A baron helps her chase the intruder away.

Convinced Veronica is in danger and unwilling to leave her alone, the baron offers her a ride to London. Because it will save her the train fare, Veronica agrees. Once in London, the baron hands her over to Mr. Stoker for safe keeping. Mr. Stoker is in the midst of trying to stuff an elephant for a wealthy client. While Veronica does not believe she is in danger, she humors the baron. So begins her argumentative relationship with Stoker, a natural history scientist as well. When the baron is killed, Veronica and Stoker decide to find out who killed him.

Raybourn has created a wonderful new mystery series which begins in the year 1887. Fans of Maisie Dobbs will likely enjoy this series, thought the books have a different feel and are set years apart. I am very much looking forward to Veronica and Stoker's future adventures.

Raybourn, Deanna. (2015). A Curious Beginning. New York: New American Library.

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