Book Talk: A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: A Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna RaybournA Dangerous Collaboration by Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell #4
Published by Berkley on March 12, 2019
Genres: Historical, Mystery, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker's brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly's house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée--much to Stoker's chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly's wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband's mind.

As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker's help to discover the host's true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund...

Veronica Speedwell busted into my life a couple of weeks ago when I read and loved book one in the series. Then, I proceeded to devour the series whole. There are few things better in this world than reading an amazing series all in a row because the books are backlist.

Only Veronica Speedwell isn’t finished, so I finished A Treacherous Curse without having book four, and omg the ending of A Treacherous Curse indeed made that state a curse. Like, excuse me, Deanna Raybourn, you cannot make me love Veronica this much and then withhold her. But then the NetGalley gods smiled on me, and I requested and got approved for this the very morning after I finished book three and read this super early and I regret not a damn thing.

From the very beginning, A Dangerous Collaboration was my absolute favorite Veronica Speedwell novel. For readers who come for the mystery, it might be a bit anticlimactic compared to the others, because the mystery’s a bit slow to really get moving. However, I’m absolutely not a mystery person, and this book was a character reader’s dream.

The novel opens with Stoker and Veronica a bit tense around each other, due to the emotional intimacy that almost was at the end of book three. Stoker’s brother Tiberius shows up and lures Veronica to accompany him to an island with the promise of rare butterflies. Veronica agrees because 1) butterflies 2) avoiding Stoker and 3) irritating Stoker (aka her favorite game).

I don’t think I’ve talked about Tiberius in any of the reviews thus far, but I really love him. He’s straightlaced and fancy but also dirty af and proud of it. The way that he and Stoker snark at each other is delightful, and I love how Veronica spends the whole time laughing at how similar they are.

Anyway, Tiberius tells Veronica that his friend they’re visiting is a devout Catholic and won’t approve of her traveling alone with a man, so they should pretend to be engaged. This, right here, should prep you for the book to come: it’s constant tropey fun, and I could not love it more. Obviously Stoker follows along because 1) spiting his brother 2) FOMO and 3) Veronica. This set up is genius and just shippy wonderment.

The mystery plot reminds me somewhat of And Then There Were None, since they’re isolated on this little island in a castle. It’s not quite that there’s no way off the island, but it’s close. The seeds of the plot start early, but there’s very little focus on it until about halfway through. As usual, it’s a bit bonkers, or, you know, a lot, but I enjoyed it, especially as a background for the most tropalicious Speedwell book yet.

This ship very quickly has become one of my OTPs, and I just love them more and more. In A Dangerous Collaboration, Veronica’s a bit of a mess tbh. Girl has caught feelings, and she cannot figure out how to fucking drop them, and she’s having trouble focusing on the actual mystery (part of why the mystery taking a backseat works so well here). Meanwhile, Stoker has gotten wily and flirty, and omg I die.

A Dangerous Collaboration is banterlicious and wonderful. I couldn’t put it down. It made me laugh and gasp and flail and feel things in my little black heart. Seriously, if you are not reading this series, you need to so I can have more people to flail with ASAP.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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