Yes, I know. This post is a day late. And yes, I’m sure you’re not surprised by today’s pick. I mean I’ve got form with Deanna Raybourn, even if this is technically a violation of my first in series rule. Sorry about the lateness – the bank holiday threw me off schedule and I remembered I’d forgotten to set this live in bed last night. Oopsy daisy. Anyway, I got here in the end. Normal service will be resumed next week, I promise.
A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book in the Veronica Speedwell series. Veronica is a Victorian adventuress with a passion for butterflies and a penchant for solving crimes. She has a on again/off again professional partnership with natural scientist and taxidermist Stoker, the black sheep of a noble family. The start of this book sees Veronica take to the seas briefly to get away from Stoker after developments (that I’m not going to spoil) at the end of book three. On her return to Britain, Stoker’s older brother Tiberius asks her to pose as his fiancée and accompany him to a house party at a castle on an island off the south coast, dangling the prospect of a rare butterfly to add to her collection as inducement. But on arrival on the island, it turns out their host, Lord Malcolm Romilly has assembled a group of people with connections to his missing wife, who disappeared on her wedding day. Can Veronica figure out what’s going on? What is Tiberius hoping for from his trip with Veronica? What is Stoker playing at? Can I survive another book with these two if it has the same level of unresolved sexual tension as the last one?
I’ve been looking forward to this since I finished the third book in the series last year and this pretty much lived up to what I was hoping. It does have a bit of a slow start, but it’s a great set up for the later stages of the book. I don’t want to say too much more or I’ll ruin it for everyone else, but there’s definite significant progress here moving along some of the ongoing plot strands. And so. much. sexual. tension. Hooo boy.
I said in my post about book three last year that this is a great series if you’re an Amelia Peabody fan, but I’d add to that now Sherry Thomas’s Lady Sherlock series if you want another Victorian lady being smart and resourceful in a slightly different way. My dad has a kindle attached to my account and I know that he’s read and enjoyed this series too – because he’s asked me if there are any more of them in the past!
My copy of A Dangerous Collaboration came from the library – it came out in March, so I only had to wait two months for it on hold – but it’s also available from all the usual places like Book Depository and Amazon, but is a hardback release from the US at the moment so the Kindle and Kobo are priced accordingly (the Kindle £5 cheaper than the Kobo at time of writing but still nearly £10) and I can’t currently see a paperback release date in the UK. But if you haven’t tried any of Deanna Raybourn’s books yet, the first in her other historical series – featuring Lady Julia Grey – is only 99p on Kindle and Kobo at the moment and that is definitely well worth it because it has one of my favourite opening lines in a book:
To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.
And if that doesn’t whet your appetite, I don’t know what will.