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A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

A Perilous Undertaking

by Deanna Raybourn

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A Perilous Undertaking contains everything I loved about A Curious Beginning and more. Veronica and Stoker again find themselves on the trail of a murderer, and as they try to untangle the mystery, they stumble into some dangerous - and hilarious - situations. The perfect blend of excitement, humor, and romantic tension, A Perilous Undertaking is an extremely fun read!

The major highlight of this story is Veronica and Stoker. Their banter and relationship development are what kept me glued to the page. While they still have plenty of buried secrets, we do learn additional details about both of their pasts. I loved watching their friendship become more solid - true partners in crime - even as the possibility of something deeper hovers in the background. This is the kind of slow burn romance that makes you want to savor every page.

My only quibble with this book is the plot. Fairly early on, I did guess the culprit, who confesses everything just when they have the heroes in their clutches. (This narrative device needs to die, in my opinion.) There is also a bizarre amount of sexual humor in this installment, in part due to the nature of the mystery. Although it cracked me up, it was a bit surprising and weird for this kind of book. Despite these complaints, I still found A Perilous Undertaking immensely entertaining.

In short, if you enjoyed A Curious Beginning, then A Perilous Undertaking won’t disappoint. This novel made me fall in love with Veronica and Stoker all over again. I can’t wait for their next adventure together!

(Note: This is a review of the advance reader’s edition. Changes may have been made before it went to press.) ( )
  les121 | Aug 3, 2017 |
Speedwell and Stoker undertake, for a Princess Royal, a mission to prove the innocence of a man about to be hanged for murder. These quite interesting characters go about it in a seemingly random but entertaining fashion, Another good series from D Raybourn. ( )
  jamespurcell | Jun 10, 2017 |
I do love Victorian murder mysteries with feminine heroines and that is what we have here. Veronica Speedwell and her sidekick, Stoker, are tasked by Lady Sundridge to uncover the real murderer of Artemisia, the mistress of an art patron. The man currently being held for the crime, the art patron, is not guilty in the opinion of Sundridge. It is a race against time to prove his innocence. Delicious! My thanks to the author and the Penguin First to Read program for a complimentary copy. ( )
  musichick52 | May 27, 2017 |
A Perilous Undertaking is the second in Deanna Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell series set in Victorian London. Veronica is a very strong-minded and independent woman, whose profession is lepidoptery. In the previous book, Veronica joined forces with Stoker, and they are now both employed by Lord Rosemorran to catalog his collection of art, natural history specimens, and other mementos and organize a formal exhibition on Lord Rosemorran's estate where they both live. Lady Cordelia, Lord Rosemorran's sister, takes Veronica to the Curiosity Club, where she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, an artist, who may be able to provide information about Veronica's past. Lady Sundridge asks Veronica to help Miles Ramsforth, who has been tried and convicted of the murder of his mistress and will soon hang for his crime. She believes that Ramsforth is not guilty, but refuses to tell Veronica what she knows. Veronica and Stoker are soon summoned by the Special Branch of Scotland Yard and warned not to investigate, but the warning makes her more determined to get to the bottom of the mystery.

As in the first book of the series, the plot moves at a good pace. Although this is a historical mystery, the detail is kept to a minimum, which doesn't distract from the story. There are again a few twists and turns, but the clues are all there, and it is possible to deduce the murderer. For the most part, the clues are not blatant, and up to the end, it seems that Veronica and Stoker may not be completely sure. We learn just a little more about both Veronica and Stoker in this book. Those who are looking for the romance between Veronica and Stoker to develop more may be a little disappointed as this book is more about the mystery and less focused on advancing any romance or other background storyline.

It is interesting that on several book review websites, this book is more highly rated than the first book. I felt just the opposite - I didn't like it quite as much as the first, possibly because I was hoping that there would be more character development. I still enjoyed it quite a bit though and have already preordered the next in the series.

I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a historical mystery with a strong, independent female protagonist. ( )
  rretzler | May 21, 2017 |
A Perilous Undertaking is a sequel to A Curious Beginning, but this book can read as a stand-alone. Though I do think it could be practical to read the first book to really get to know the characters since Veronica Speedwell, well she has an interesting family situation.

In this book, we get a deeper insight into both Veronica and Stoker's families. And, we finally learn why Stoker doesn't want to have anything to do with his family. Veronica meets a relative. However, she knows that the one person she really wants to see can she never met. I do hope that one day they will be able to meet, to be honest.

The case was interesting, however, the conclusion felt a bit like a letdown. I guess I just wanted a more shocking conclusion to the case. This felt like a very "proper" case ending. If the ending had been a bit more intriguing and intense would I perhaps have enjoyed it better. However, I did enjoy the progress of the book, the investigation into who murdered Artemisia. Veronica and Stoker are a great team and it will be interesting to see how this "relationship" will progress.

There are so many funny scenes in this book that left me smiling. Veronica may now and then seem a bit too modern for the setting, but I can't help but to adore her. She is refreshingly frank. And of course, stoker as well, especially when he gets embarrassed.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review! ( )
  MaraBlaise | Apr 14, 2017 |
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I would earnestly warn you against trying to find out the reason for and explanation of everything... To try and find out the reason for everything is very dangerous and leads to nothing but disappointment and dissatisfaction, unsettling your mind and in the end making you miserable. -- Queen Victoria to her granddaughter, Princess Victoria of Hesse, 22 August 1883
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"For the love of all that is holy, Veronica, the object is to maim or kill, not tickle," Stoker informed me, clipping the words sharply as he handed me a knife. "Do it again."
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