Narrator: Angele Masters
Series: Veronica Speedwell #4
Published by Recorded Books on March 12, 2019
Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Length: 12 hours, 33 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker's brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly's house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée—much to Stoker's chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly's wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband's mind.
As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker's help to discover the host's true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund...
Veronica Speedwell is a dashing lepidopterist and sometimes crime-fighting sleuth in Victorian England. She is one of my favorite all time heroines, even when she behaves badly or won’t own up to her feelings. In A Dangerous Collaboration, the fifth installment in the the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series by Deanna Raybourn, the intrepid Veronica finds herself embroiled in another mystery. This time, she’s lured away from London to St. Maddern’s Isle off the coast of Cornwall by the promise of a near-extinct and exceptionally rare butterfly specimen, the Romilly Glasswing. There are “diverting undercurrents of tension and mysterious things afoot at the Romilly family seat, Agincourt, and Veronica soon finds herself trying to unravel a three year old missing person’s case.
Veronica is helped in her sleuthing by Stoker, her beautiful and brooding partner in crime-solving. But this time around, his delectable, brother, the urbane Tiberius Viscount Templeton-Vane joins the cast of characters. Tiberius has made appearances in earlier books, but in A Dangerous Collaboration, he takes on a more substantial role, which is perfectly fine by me. He’s a great character, enigmatic and dry-witted, with a particularly deviant side that is very appealing and exciting.
Sexual tension is pretty much the norm when it comes to Veronica and Stoker. I love the foil of Stoker and their partnership is a source of hilarity and romantic sighs. While they are both still struggling to define exactly what they are to each other, it is obvious (at least to the reader) that they are something to each other. Half the fun (or frustration) is that they each seem to take turns being the one in denial. Stoker claims that “It is the nature of whatever is between us that we make no demands upon each other.” The fact that he can’t abide Veronica going off with his brother and makes a mad dash to overtake them before they get to Cornwall is proof there is something much more profound between then than just friendship. I feel like this book gives me the most romantic and tragic moments in the series thus far; however I recognize the foreshadowing when Veronica says “I think there can be nothing more between us until and unless all ghosts from the past have been exorcised.”
I love the world that Deanna Raybourn has created. Veronica is a strong, independent, intelligent woman in a period where a woman’s ability to create domestic bliss was her greatest accomplishment. I believe this world, and can appreciate and understand Veronica’s struggles in the context of Victorian Societal norms. I appreciate that the author makes sure to include mentions of women of science, who haven’t always been remembered in our history books.
While I am sure this book could be read as a stand-alone, I beg of you, don’t do it. You’ll appreciate the characters so much more by starting at the beginning. It is so worth it. This story delivers as a classic cozy-mystery, but seeing the development of Stoker and Veronica’s relationship is the highlight of this installment. I can’t wait to see how things progress in the next book.
The best part about having a single narrator for an entire series is that they develop consistency in performance across the books so that we can easily identify the characters just by the spoken word. Angele Masters does a fantastic job in this series, but especially shines with Veronica. I love how no-nonsense and snarky she sounds, it exactly matches how I’d expect the character to sound. The book is easy to follow at 1.5x, but I tend to listen to these at 1.2x just to make them last a little longer.
Listen to a clip: HERE
- 🎧 Wild by Cheryl Strayed @CherylStrayed #BernadetteDunne @PRHAudio #LoveAudiobooks @4saintjude - February 2, 2024
- 🎧 Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill @chloeneill @TantorAudio #LoveAudiobooks @4saintjude - January 5, 2024
- 🎧 A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn @deannaraybourn #AngeleMasters@recordedbooks #LoveAudiobooks @4saintjude - December 15, 2023