As many of you know, last month I had the opportunity to participate in March Mystery Madness. During this particular readathon, I had the opportunity to read tons of fantastic mystery novels, and even got hooked on a few new series and authors. One of the books that I really enjoyed reading was A Curious Beginning.
A Curious Beginning is the first book in Deanna Raybourn’s series about a lepidopterist named Veronica Speedwell.
The story begins as Veronica is burying her guardian, Aunt Nell. When Veronica returns to her aunt’s home after the funeral, she interrupts what appears to be a robbery. The robber attempts to abduct her, but Veronica fights back, managing to get away from her would-be abductor. She is aided in this by a stranger who introduces himself as Maximilian von Stauffenbach, a German baron who claims to have known her mother.
Baron Stauffenbach is convinced that Veronica is in danger, and asks her to accompany him to London where he can take steps to ensure her safety. Veronica is skeptical about the idea that someone might intend to harm her, but she agrees to go with him, and soon finds herself placed in the care of a natural historian/taxidermist who goes by the name of Stoker. Stoker isn’t thrilled to have a house guest, but agrees to keep Veronica safe until the baron’s return.
But when Baron Stauffenbach’s death is reported in the evening paper, Stoker decides that London is no longer safe, and spirits Veronica away. And it’s a good thing he does, because it appears that the baron has been murdered…and whoever killed him may be coming after Veronica as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Curious Beginning! The book told a fantastic story, and I really liked the main characters. Veronica is a very modern woman, especially considering the time period in which the story is set. She’s outspoken and independent, and I found her very easy to relate to. I also really liked the character of Stoker, who has an interesting (and somewhat mysterious) history. It was a lot of fun to watch their relationship develop over the course of the story.
There are currently a total of six books in the Veronica Speedwell series, including:
- A Curious Beginning
- A Perilous Undertaking
- A Treacherous Curse
- A Dangerous Collaboration
- A Murderous Relation
- An Unexpected Peril
While I have not yet had the opportunity to read the rest of the series, I enjoyed A Curious Beginning so much that I purchased copies of the remaining books immediately after finishing it. I’m really looking forward to reading them!
If you enjoy good mysteries with intelligent and resourceful female protagonists, then I highly recommend checking out A Curious Beginning for yourself. It is a great book that I had a hard time putting down.