Thursday, February 25, 2021

ARC Review: An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn

An Unexpected Peril
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Series: Veronica Speedwell (Book 6)
Publication: Berkley (March 2, 2021)

Description: A princess is missing and a peace treaty is on the verge of collapse in this new Veronica Speedwell adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

January 1889. As the newest member of the Curiosity Club--an elite society of brilliant, intrepid women--Veronica Speedwell is excited to put her many skills to good use. As she assembles a memorial exhibition for pioneering mountain climber Alice Baker-Greene, Veronica discovers evidence that the recent death was not a tragic climbing accident but murder. Veronica and her natural historian beau, Stoker, tell the patron of the exhibit, Princess Gisela of Alpenwald, of their findings. With Europe on the verge of war, Gisela's chancellor, Count von Rechstein, does not want to make waves--and before Veronica and Stoker can figure out their next move, the princess disappears.

Having noted Veronica's resemblance to the princess, von Rechstein begs her to pose as Gisela for the sake of the peace treaty that brought the princess to England. Veronica reluctantly agrees to the scheme. She and Stoker must work together to keep the treaty intact while navigating unwelcome advances, assassination attempts, and Veronica's own family--the royalty who has never claimed her.

My Thoughts: This sixth Veronica Speedwell adventure has Veronica and Stoker settled in London and working on their relationship. This isn't an unmixed blessing for Veronica since she greatly misses the adventures she had while traveling around the world hunting for butterflies. She and Stoker have different relationship goals too. Veronica is absolutely opposed to marrying Stoker which makes sense when considering her need for freedom and the restrictive rules for married women.

Veronica and Stoker are working on an exhibition at Veronica's Curiosity Club which commemorates the life and legacy of Alpinist Alice Baker-Greene who lost her life in a climb in the tiny principality of Alpenwald. While setting up the exhibit, they discover clues that might lead to the conclusion the Baker-Greene's death was not a tragic accident but was actually murder. Well, Veronica jumps to that conclusion with Stoker being more reluctant. 

Veronica begins her investigation but she is being thwarted by the Alpenwald government which doesn't want the bad publicity for their country and who are trying to secretly sign a treaty that will help them survive the political ambitions of Kaiser Wilhelm. Things get even more complicated when the ruling princess goes missing during her visit to London. Luckily, Veronica and the princess bear a strong resemblance to each other which isn't too surprising since they had a common ancestor from the British Royal Family. 

As Veronica impersonates the missing princess, she has ample opportunity for she and Stoker to look into the possibility the Baker-Greene was murdered. Of course, there are also ample opportunities for those who don't want the mystery solved to try to to discourage them with things like poisoned chocolates and bombs. 

I enjoyed this historical mystery and really like Veronica's viewpoint. I like the way the romance is progressing with Stoker. I liked seeing other characters from earlier books in the series like J. J. Butterworth and pastry chef Julien d'Orlande. The delicacies he presented to the princess made my mouth water. 

Fans of historical mysteries and fans of Veronica Speedwell with be eager to follow all the twists and turns as she unravels all the clues and solves the case. 

Favorite Quote:
"You are not among the good that has happened to me. You are the best of all that I have known. You are what I searched for when I left that house and wandered this earth, boy and man. You are part of myself I never thought to find because I did not even dare to dream you existed. You are all that I want and more than I deserve, and I will go to my grave thanking a god in whom I do not believe for bringing me to you."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Edelweiss. You can buy your copy here.

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