Thursday, February 10, 2022

ARC Review: An Impossible Imposter by Deanna Raybourn

An Impossible Imposter

Deanna Raybourn
Series: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery (Book 7)
Publication: Berkley (February 15, 2022)

Description: While investigating a man claiming to be the long-lost heir to a noble family, Veronica Speedwell gets the surprise of her life in this new adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

London, 1889. Veronica Speedwell and her natural historian beau Stoker are summoned by Sir Hugo Montgomerie, head of Special Branch. He has a personal request on behalf of his goddaughter, Euphemia Hathaway. After years of traveling the world, her eldest brother, Jonathan, heir to Hathaway Hall, was believed to have been killed in the catastrophic eruption of Krakatoa a few years before.

But now a man matching Jonathan’s description and carrying his possessions has arrived at Hathaway Hall with no memory of his identity or where he has been. Could this man truly be Jonathan, back from the dead? Or is he a devious impostor, determined to gain ownership over the family's most valuable possessions—a legendary parure of priceless Rajasthani jewels? It's a delicate situation, and Veronica is Sir Hugo's only hope.

Veronica and Stoker agree to go to Hathaway Hall to covertly investigate the mysterious amnesiac. Veronica is soon shocked to find herself face-to-face with a ghost from her past. To help Sir Hugo discover the truth, she must open doors to her own history that she long believed to be shut for good.

My Thoughts: Veronica and Stoker travel to Dartmoor and Hathaway Hall to do a personal favor for Sir Hugo Montgomerie who is the head of Special Branch. Hathaway Hall is the home of his goddaughter Euphemia. It seems that the eldest brother of the family - Jonathan - who had been believed lost in the eruption of Krakatoa some six years earlier had come home lacking his memory.

Since the younger son had inherited and his cit of a wife determined to sell off all the old in order to make way for the new, "Jonathan's" arrival really upset things. They upset things for Veronica too. She had met Jonathan and his friend Harry Spenlove during that chaotic time in Java. In fact, she had a romantic relationship with Harry.

They lost track of each other in the chaos and Veronica went on with her life. Hopefully, putting the whole experience behind her. 

When Stoker and Veronica arrive at Hathaway Hall, they meet an intriguing set of characters. Euphemia was encouraged to be an astronomer by her grandfather but is now little more than a drudge serving her sister-in-law. Her brother Charles is mainly interested in sheep and under the thumb of his social-climbing wife. Lady Hathaway is an old woman reliving her glory days in India who has come home with some extremely valuable Indian jewels and cared for by Anjali, her Indian servant. Then there is "Jonathan."

Veronica finds that it is Harry Spenlove who is impersonating Jonathan. After leaving her in Java, he has had quite a career as a confidence man in South and North America and is on the run from one of his confederates who he crossed and stole from in South America. Stoker and Veronica find themselves dumped in the middle of Harry's problems. And find themselves abducted and tortured...again.

Harry's reappearance in Veronica's life means that secrets long buried are resurfacing and threatening her relationship with Stoker. There are lots of twists and turns in this story as the pair get involved in Harry's schemes and have schemes of their own. 

I really enjoy this series. I like learning more about Veronica's past and watching her relationship with Stoker grow. I like the humor and the adventure.  

Favorite Quote:
As a woman of science, I prized intellect and reason. I had always attempted to keep my emotions in check whenever they threatened to interfere with logic...Anger robbed one of sense and perspective, I had always thought. And while I might hone the blade of my tongue, it was always in the service of impatience, annoyance, irritation.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. I like the series, also the author so this one is definitely me. Not on Netgalley!


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