Book Talk: A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

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

Book Talk: A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna RaybournA Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell #2
Published by Berkley on January 10, 2017
Genres: Historical, Mystery
Pages: 352
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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London, 1887. At the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task--saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Ramsforth, accused of the brutal murder of his mistress, Artemisia, will face the hangman's noose in a week's time if the real killer is not found.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural-historian colleague, Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer. 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....

Let’s take a moment to appreciate this title, which, at first glance, merely sounds dramatic and intense, to lure you into a dark mystery. However, I was sitting there reading the book and hit a scene where they go talk to funeral directors when it all made sense: UNDERTAKING. The title is also a pun! This is why I already love Deanna Raybourn.

A Perilous Undertaking gets off to a slower start in comparison to A Curious Beginning. Veronica and Stoker are getting to work arranging the Belvedere into a museum, rather grudgingly because they were supposed to be on an expedition until Sundridge trips over his turtle and breaks a leg. Being the sunny, optimistic people they are, both Veronica and Stoker take the disappointment and resulting boredom well. JK.

The mystery comes from an outside source: Princess Louise. She asks Veronica to look into the murder of an artist friend, Artemisia. Her lover, Miles Ramforth is set to swing for the crime, but Louise knows he did not do it though she cannot come forward in his defense. Veronica Speedwell, much like Veronica Mars, cannot resist a mystery and also has something to prove to her family.

Though this book does not hit the emotional highs of the prior book, it does a really great job showing new shades of both Veronica and Stoker. Veronica tends to have herself so well put together that she reacts to people threatening her life with wit and gumption. Few topics can truly discombobulate her. In A Perilous Undertaking, Veronica’s softer side shows through a couple of times, both with regards to her family and Stoker. Emotions are Veronica’s weak point, mostly because she doesn’t truly know how to handle them and tries to beat them into subservience with logic. SO RELATABLE.

Something that I oddly love about this series so far is that Veronica and Stoker aren’t actually amazing investigators. They’re no Sherlock or even Artemisia Brown; they are intelligent, curious people who cannot resist a challenge. They’re good at what they’re doing, but they are by no means masters, and they often make mistakes or misjudge situations. There’s a freshness to them being imperfect detectives without being bumbling.

Stoker and Veronica may kill me. This is another one of those slow burn ships that sends me directly to the SCARY PLACE of shipping, which, for those not in the know, basically means I want them to be together so much that I get kind of grumpy and resentful of the book for making me wait. They’re so perfectly snarky and combative with each other, and Veronica’s thirst for him is legendary like omfg, but they’re not mentally ready for a relationship. Intellectually, I know this is good, but emotionally I am so frustrated they won’t just be together already. View Spoiler »

Writing this review is keeping me away from book three, so I have got to stop and go do the thing. GO SHIP GO.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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