Adventure, Authors I love, Book of the Week, historical, mystery, new releases

Book of the Week: A Treacherous Curse

So it was my birthday last week and I treated myself to a few books, one of which was Deanna Raybourn’s latest book A Treacherous Curse. Regular readers will know that I’m a big fan of Ms Raybourn’s work – from Lady Julia, through her standalone books to this latest series so this BotW pick will be no surprise to you.

Cover of A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn

A Treacherous Curse is the third book in the Veronica Speedwell series and sees Veronica and Stoker investing an Egyptian-themed mystery. Stoker’s former expedition partner has disappeared along with a valuable artefact and Stoker is one of the prime suspects. Veronica is determined to clear his name and the two of them are drawn into a web of intrigue that includes an ill-fated excavation in the Valley of the Kings, an Egyptian god appearing on the streets of London and a disgruntled teenage girl.

Now as you know, I try not to give spoilers in my reviews and that means it’s quite hard to say anything more than that about this without giving away major plot points from the first two books in the series.  But this has interesting developments on the various ongoing plot points that are enough to leave you impatient for book four – which must be a year away given that this one has only just come out and is obviously a major disadvantage of reading a book as soon as it comes out!

There’s unresolved sexual tension galore, wise cracks, peril and moths. I also really like the Eypgtian connection in this – it tapped into some of the things that I love about the Amelia Peabody books.  And if you like Elizabeth Peters’s series and you’re not already reading Veronica’s adventures, then you should be.  But maybe start from the first book (A Curious Beginning) or you’ll get some serious plot spoilers from this.

I haven’t seen these in the supermarkets, but they are usually in the bigger bookshops and I’m sure Big Green Bookshop would be able to order a copy in for you. I bought my copy on Kindle but it’s available on Kobo too although the Kobo version was slightly more expensive at the time I wrote this.  There’s also a really good (and completely spoiler free) interview with Deanna Raybourn on this week’s Smart Bitches, Trashy Books podcast if you want to know more about the book (and the series) before you take the plunge.

Happy Reading!

Book of the Week, historical, reviews

Book of the Week: Silent on the Moor

This week’s BotW is Deanna Raybourn’s Silent on the Moor – which is the third in her Lady Julia series, and I think these best so far in that the pueblo it’s two books worth of serial tension and angst comes to the boil in the harsh and unforgiving setting of the Yorkshire Moors.

Lady J had invited herself to Nicholas Brisbane’s new house, which is not only in the middle of nowhere, but had some unexpected (to Julia at least) residents. There are secrets and tensions and grim discoveries and oh so much Gothicky drama. I hasn’t realised that this was what this series has been waiting for, but it totally was. And thinking about it – unconventional widows, gypsies, seers, eccentrics – should have screamed melodrama to me.

The solution to the book’s puzzles is suitably ghastly – with definite ick factor – but it’s so in keeping and well executed that it seems both perfect and obvious once you’ve read it. Do not let the horrible pink cover of my copy confuse you, is is not saccharine or run of the mill by the numbers romance.  There is romance (mostly of the will they won’t they kind) and there’s mystery, but Julia (although she makes mistakes) is not a too stupid to live heroine. You’ll jump to some of the same conclusions she does, albeit with a nagging voice in the back of your head that you’ve missed something somewhere that she doesn’t always have.

I know I keep mentioning books that are from series and then telling you to go back to the start first, but I really do mean it with this, you need two books worth of build up to get the full emotional whack from this. So good. And a catnip (as the Smart Bitches say) that I didn’t know I had!