Review of A Curious Beginning

This book just makes me happy. A female main character that does her own thing in Victorian England has a past that she didn’t even know about. To get on with her life, she has to get to the bottom of it with the help of a new friend. Keep reading my review of A Curious Beginning to see why this is such a fantastic book.
Review of A Curious Beginning by Deanna Rayburn, A Veronica Speedwell mystery | Puppies & Pretties

The Goodreads summary of A Curious Beginning.

London, 1887. 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.

Review of A Curious Beginning

This book has all the things I love in a story. A fun setting: Victorian England. A great female main character that does her own thing, even if it is against the norm: Veronica Speedwell. Plus a mystery that has to be solved: check.

Veronica is back in England finalizing her “aunt’s” estate after her illness and death. She is itching to leave and get back to hunting butterflies in some far flung location. However, England is not ready for her to leave yet. After a run in with a robber, she meets a baron that actually knows about her family. He leaves her with his friend Stroker for safety and promises to tell her more when he can. Unfortunately for everyone, the baron is murdered.

Veronica and Stroker embark on a crazy journey to figure out the mystery of who murdered the baron and what information he died protecting. They quickly find out the mystery has far-flung implications and many are trying to figure it out. From the royal family and the black ops section of Scotland Yard, the Irish uprising, and of course Veronica and Stroker.

This is a wonderful book that is fast paced without going too fast. I always love characters that do their own thing even if it doesn’t fit within the social constructs of their time. What is better than a butterfly hunting “spinster” that has a rule to only have dalliances with foreign men? Plus once she sets her mind to something, she is going to figure it out.

The story also had me guessing the entire time. This isn’t a mystery that you have figured out by page 50. There are several moving elements that don’t come together until the end. But when they do, there are fireworks. Even better, the story wraps up nicely, but leaves the door open for the next book in the series.

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Overall

I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series. If you are looking for a similar book, check out Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. You still get a independent female character in Victorian England, but with some fantasy elements, like werewolves and vampires.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
c/o Netgalley

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