Book Review – “A Curious Beginning” eBook was published in 2015 and was written by Deanna Raybourn (http://www.deannaraybourn.com). Ms. Raybourn has published nearly 20 novels.
I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains minor scenes of Violence. The story is set in 1887 London. The primary character is orphan Veronica Speedwell, a young woman who has just been left on her own with the death of her aunt. She is an accomplished lepidopterist (she hunts butterflies) and a naturalist.
She returns home from the funeral to catch a strange man searching her aunt’s home. Avoiding him, she soon encounters a German Barron with whom she sets off for London. While she seems oblivious to any real threat to herself, the Barron convinces her to stay with his friend Stoker for her own safety.
This begins and adventure for Stoker and Speedwell. There is murder, mystery and revelations of Speedwell’s past. Stoker and Speedwell verbally clash again and again, yet there is a chemistry between them.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 9+ hours I spent reading this Historical Mystery. I liked the characters of both Speedwell and Stoker, though for being so smart, Speedwell took far too long to be convinced of her own predicament. I liked that the story was set in late 19th century London. While the cover art does nothing to indicate a mystery, it does give a feel for the period. This is a series that I want to read more of. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.
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