Narrator: Angele Masters
Series: Veronica Speedwell #6
Published by Recorded Books on March 2, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Length: 13 hours, 4 minutes
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anuary 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.
The Veronica Speedwell series is very much a Sherlock Holmish mystery and while An Unexpected Peril is again a mystery, this time Veronica spends more time pretending to be someone she is not, than solving a mystery.
Veronica, Lepidopterist by trade, is no stranger to royalty since she is the illegitimate (or legitimate sort of a grey area there) of the King. Not that he can or will acknowledge her. You would think she would stay far away from court intrigues then but Veronica seems to get pulled into them every now and then, and this time she will be impersonating a Princess from a small country in London to sign a secret treaty.
I really enjoy Veronica and Stoker’s relationship. Stoker is everything I love in a hero. Smart, a little broody, prone to spouting poetry and just broken enough that he needs the right woman to help put him back together again. Also he says things like:
“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 the 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 you.”
So how could I not love him. It has taken Stoker and Veronica a long time to get here but finally they get to openly explore their relationship and how that changes the dynamic slightly between them.
One of accomplished ladies of the Club for women Veronica belongs to fell to her death while climbing in the small country of Alpenwald. When Veronica and Stoker are going through the items sent back with the body, Stoker notices the rope was cut. Veronica and Stoker will again try to find the murder of their acquaintance and figure out what it has to do with the missing princess. That is if Veronica doesn’t get outed as a fraud.
I enjoyed this story and it is a good character development in Stoker and Veronica’s relationship. As much of a strong person Veronica is, she is really bad at depending on anyone and definitely has some demons of her own that are standing directly in the way of her being open and happy in a relationship. She has come far but still has a ways to go. I love seeing how these two characters complement each other and fit together so well. It is a lot of fun to read their banter and enjoy all of their interactions.
Please note – this is the sixth book in the series and to be fully enjoyed I think you have to have gone along on the journey from the beginning.
Angele Masters is back again to reprise her role as Veronica. I think she has done a solid job with the entire series and captures Veronica’s no nonsense approach to life well. She does great with the banter between Veronica and Stoker as well. I think of her as the voice of this series and was able to listen to the book at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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