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Veronica Speedwell is everything every little girl who dreamed of growing up to be Indiana Jones wants in a novel. A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn, book 5 in this Victorian mystery series, is no exception. Get ready for this adventure releasing March 10, 2020.
You Will Never Find Such Sexy Writing Anywhere Else
Ms. Raybourn’s talent with the pen can only be compared to Michelangelo’s talent with the brush. Never is a word wasted, true, but more, the author has a peculiar talent for tantalizing the reader with each and every word. Even dialogue tags are not spared. I always listen to the audiobooks of Veronica Speedwell’s adventures (with the exception of this one as it was an advanced reader copy from NetGalley), and to hear the amazingly talented Angele Masters deliver each word is like the first taste of exquisite chocolate slipping sensually across your tongue.
Adventure, a strong female character, and sexy writing? That’s a book I’ll take any day.
Don’t Forget the Sexy Hero
I want to make clear that the Veronica Speedwell novels are not romances. They are through and through historical mysteries taking place in Victorian England. But that doesn’t mean our stalwart heroine isn’t in touch with her sexual needs and neither is her compatriot, Revelstoke Templeton-Vane, known familiarly as Stoker.
These two characters are robust with delicious, sexual tension without the open door to the bedroom. This is grown up stuff here. The taut looks, the simmering sexuality, the unspoken needs. This is a genuine story of two people so incredibly suited for one another they will deny their attraction to the bitter end.
Or until this book in the series. Much to my delight.
Now About A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn
Now that we’ve discussed how sexy Ms. Raybourn’s writing is and the complexity of our two leading characters, let’s get down to what this book is about.
Veronica Speedwell was raised by her two “aunts,” spinster friends of her departed mother. When she became of age, Veronica struck out on her own as a butterfly hunter, traveling the world on expeditions. She is no damsel in distress. She is smart, accomplished, and progressive.
Stoker is the illegitimate child of the wife of Viscount Templeton-Vane, so after no longer wishing to suffer the abuse from his mother’s husband, Stoker simply ran away at 12 to live an adventurous life as Navy surgeon, circus performer, and taxidermist. Stoker is a dynamic character, his many folds shaped by the hard life he’s led. His formation is utterly perfect and believable.
Veronica has a dangerous secret though, introduced in the first book in this series. She’s the semi-legitimate daughter of the Prince of Wales and arguably has a claim to the throne. Except she doesn’t want a crown, much to the disappointment of her scheming uncle who tries in the very first book to force her to take her place in the royal family.
While Veronica and Stoker are able to defeat her uncle’s plot in the first book, dear Uncle de Clare returns to try again in this fifth book of the series.
Irish Home Rule
Veronica’s mother was Irish as is her uncle, and during this time period, there was much tension between England and Ireland in regards to the issue of home rule, allowing Ireland to govern itself. Veronica’s uncle thinks if Veronica pushes for her place in the royal family, Ireland will have its own queen.
The beauty of this book is that it perfectly unites all of the strings laid out in the first four books of the series.
Veronica is a strong-minded woman who thrives on independence. She travels the world on expeditions, relying on no one, when suddenly she’s thrust into the position of discovering her true roots and her value as a pawn in royal games. She does not want these strings holding her down, and she does not want to be held accountable to anyone.
That’s why it’s so essential to return to the heart of who she is in this novel when she finally must face her fears. Falling for Stoker and finally having a place to call home.
Hell Hath No Fury
The pieces of this historical mystery fit together like an intricate puzzle right down to its very title. A Murderous Relation hints at the possibilities of the relations between Stoker and Veronica, something that finally surfaces in actuality at the end of book four, A Dangerous Collaboration.
Dear reader, you will be foaming at the mouth to get to the next book at the conclusion of book four, but as any good wordsmith will, Ms. Raybourn pushes you off yet again at the beginning of this tale.
For in this book, FINALLY!, Veronica faces her vulnerability. Through four whole books, she has been achingly indestructible when you know all she needs is a hug. In this book, we finally see Stoker become her weakest point because she loves him.
In a beautiful burst of humanity, we witness Veronica Speedwell grow. This isn’t the formulaic goal, motivation, conflict you see in many novels. Veronica’s growth has taken place slowly, excruciatingly over four books almost as it would in real life to a real human.
This is what makes it so easy to connect with the characters Raybourn has created. They are achingly human.
Thrown into an abduction plot with her half brother, Prince Eddy, Veronica must examine the rest of her relations. Namely, what Stoker has come to mean to her and if it really is a sacrifice to love him.
I don’t read about dogs for obvious reasons, so I like to point out potential trigger issues for other readers.
In A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn, you will find:
You May Also Like
Again, the Veronica Speedwell books are historical Victorian mystery with ample adventure. If you liked…
The Pink Carnation Series by Lauren Willig
You might like Veronica Speedwell.
I am currently in the process of expanding my knowledge of historical mysteries and will be reading the Jane Prescott series by Mariah Frederick, the Thomas and Charlotte Pitt novels by Anne Perry, and the Victorian mysteries by Karen Odden. I will update this post to share links to those book discussions to help you discover more Victorian mysteries.
A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn was like stepping into a hot bubble bath. It had all the right comforts to spike every single sense. If you like adventure, mystery, history, and a dash of heart-stopping romance, it’s time for you to meet Veronica Speedwell.
Now is the perfect time to catch up before book 5 in the series releases on March 10, 2020.
Have you read any of the Veronica Speedwell novels?
Let us know what you thought in the comments, but please – no spoilers!
[…] I’ve spoken before on this book blog of my love for Veronica and Stoker, and I’ve also mentioned my love for character-driven fiction. I must say with all honesty I do believe An Unexpected Peril is Veronica and Stoker’s best pairing yet when it comes to delectable character interaction. […]