Review - A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourne @deannaraybourn @BerkleyPub @FirstToRead

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell Mystery #2
Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Date Read:  December 10, 2016
Source: First to Read
Veronica Speedwell returns in a brand new adventure from Deanna Raybourn, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries... 

London, 1887. Victorian adventuress and butterfly hunter Veronica Speedwell receives an invitation to visit the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women. There she meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task—saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Accused of the brutal murder of his artist mistress Artemisia, Ramsforth will face the hangman's noose in a week's time if Veronica cannot find the real killer.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of the many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural historian colleague Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer—a ruthless villain who not only took Artemisia's life in cold blood but is happy to see Ramsforth hang for the crime. From a Bohemian artists' colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....
My Review

I enjoyed this book but I didn't think it quite lived up to the first book in the series.  I had a really hard time getting into the book at first but once the story got moving, I found myself really enjoying it.  I think that the characters in this series are amazing and this book lets us get to know them just a little better than before. Overall, this was a very enjoyable read.

Veronica Speedwell is such a fun character.  She is extremely intelligent and not afraid to live by her own rules instead of bending to society's dictates.  She is called upon by a member of royalty to look into the murder of an artist.  The man that has been accused is scheduled to hang very soon even though some believe he is innocent.  Veronica enlists the help of her friend, Stoker, to help her discover the truth about the death.

I really enjoyed the fact that Veronica and Stoker are not the average pair of detectives.  Veronica is an expert on butterflies and Stoker is a remarkable taxidermist.  They are both intelligent and inquisitive and well suited to solving the puzzle of the murder.  They have wonderful chemistry together and truly make a great pair.  This isn't a romance although they both seem to have feelings for the other that they seem to be suppressing.

This was a smart book with a really complicated puzzle to be solved.  It is nice how the reader gets to be with Veronica and Stoker at every step during the process to solve the murder.  I loved the way that there were quite a few funny moments to keep the book nicely balanced.  Veronica and Stoker both have complicated backgrounds which added some depth to their characters and gave me something to think about and helped explain some of their motivations.

I would recommend this book to others.  It is the second book in the Veronica Speedwell series but I do think it would work as a stand alone.  I look forward to future books featuring Veronica and Stoker!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.

The Series
Book #1 - A Curious Beginning - My Review
Book #2 - A Perilous Undertaking
About the Author
Photo: © Sigmon Taylor Photography
Deanna Raybourn, the author of the award-winning New York Times bestselling Lady Julia Grey series and several standalone novels, is pleased to introduce her new Victorian-set mystery series featuring Veronica Speedwell.  Deanna lives in Virginia with her husband and daughter.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter


  1. That's too bad that this one didn't live up to the first book in the series but glad it was still enjoyable. Raybourne is an author I love but am so far behind on her books. A Curious Beginning looked so good and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

  2. I read the first one and look forward to this one. The acrimonious relationship between Veronica and Stoker was a hoot. Glad you liked it.

  3. Those covers are so pretty! I wonder what they look like in person. Wat's inside sounds good too. :D

  4. These books do not look familiar to me at all. On hindsight, they look like books that might not tickle my fancy in any case.


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