🎧 A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn @deannaraybourn #AngeleMasters @recordedbooks #LoveAudiobooks @4saintjude

Posted December 15, 2023 by KC in Book Review / 8 Comments

🎧 A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn @deannaraybourn #AngeleMasters  @recordedbooks #LoveAudiobooks @4saintjudeA Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn
Narrator: Angele Masters
Series: Veronica Speedwell #8
Published by Recorded Books on March 7, 2023
Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Length: 12 hours, 3 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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Veronica's natural-historian beau, Stoker, has been away in Bavaria for months and their relationship is at an impasse. But when Veronica shows up before him with his brother, Tiberius, Lord Templeton-Vane, he is lured back home by an intriguing job offer: preparing an iguanodon for a very special dinner party.

Tiberius has received a cryptic message-along with the obituaries of two recently deceased members of his old group of friends, the Seven Sinners-that he too should get his affairs in order. Realizing he is in grave danger but not knowing why, he plans a reunion party for the remaining Sinners at his family estate to lure the killer out while Veronica and Stoker investigate.

As the guests arrive and settle in, the evening's events turn deadly. More clues come to light, leading Veronica, Stoker, and Tiberius to uncover a shared past among the Sinners that has led to the fatal present. But the truth might be far more sinister than what they were prepared for.

A Sinister Revenge is the eighth book in the Veronica Speedwell Mystery series by Deanna Raybourn, and begins about six months after the conclusion of the last installment.  Stoker is off sulking in foreign lands when his brother, Tiberius, again approaches Veronica with an opportunity she can’t refuse.  As it turns out, Tiberius has suspicions about the deaths of two of his oldest friends; and he needs Veronica and Stoker’s help to solve the mystery and possibly prevent his own murder.  He’s planned a house party at the Templeton-Vane family seat, Cherboys, and has invited all of the possible suspects to attend.  It is hard to imagine that this group of friends harbors a murderer in their midst, but it isn’t until another person shows up dead that suspicion becomes a reality.

This is another excellent mystery, and the setting – a house party on a remote estate with a large cast of characters is reminiscent of Agatha Christie or a game of Clue.  Since Tiberius and his three remaining university pals are the likely targets, the actual stakes don’t seem as dire in this story as in the previous books.  That isn’t to say that Veronica and Stoker don’t face a moment of likely death; I mean it wouldn’t be a Veronica Speedwell mystery if she or Stoker didn’t find themselves in dire straits at some point. It just appears that their investigative meddling is less a key part of the story’s conclusion than it has been in the past.

This book spends a lot of time on the characters’ emotional and interpersonal journeys; and it is almost as critical to the progression of the series as the mystery itself.  The relationship between the Templeton-Vane brothers is a big part of this book, and much is revealed about how the boys were raised and how it has impacted them as adults.  I enjoyed the newfound empathy and understanding between Tiberius and Stoker as well as getting to know Merryweather, the youngest brother, better.  Veronica is working on coming to terms with her past and understanding how it has influenced her relationships, especially with Stoker.  They might not have it exactly right, but make considerable progress forwards this time around.

Veronica’s quest for independence is representative of the desire of women in that era that wanted to be seen for more than their value as a wife or mother.  Two of the supporting characters are almost examples of what happens when intelligent, ambitious women are not able to live life on their own terms.  Veronica recognizes Elspeth as someone who has “…suffered acutely from dashed hopes,” and “…wondered how (her) own life might have been stunted had (she) never discovered (her) passion for lepidoptery or seized the chance to make it (her) life’s work.

A Sinister Revenge delivered exactly the kind of mystery I hoped for and I was excited to see how Veronica and Stoker managed their relationship and conflict.  I am really enjoying how this series continues to develop. From Deanna Raybourn’s other series, I am not surprised that the bonds between the characters and their individual arcs play a more significant role with each new installment.  I strongly encourage anyone interested in this book, or about the exploits of a Victorian adventuress to start at the beginning.


This was another excellent performance by Angele Masters.  Her facility with accents and ability to clearly communicate individuals with a large cast of characters is outstanding. I can’t imagine any other narrator as Veronica, she manages to capture her personality and spirit exactly.  I listened to this book at 1.10x, although I know I would enjoy listening to it at any speed.

Listen to a clip: HERE

About Deanna Raybourn

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation native Texan. She graduated with a double major in English and history from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of one, Raybourn makes her home in Virginia.

Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including five RITAs, two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, a Last Laugh, and three du Mauriers. Her Lady Julia Grey novels are currently in development as a television series in the UK and she launched a new Victorian mystery series with the 2015 release of A CURIOUS BEGINNING, featuring intrepid butterfly-hunter and amateur sleuth, Veronica Speedwell. Veronica’s second adventure is A PERILOUS UNDERTAKING (January 2017), and book three, A TREACHEROUS CURSE, was published in January 2018. A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION will be released in March 2019. Further books in the Veronica Speedwell series are contracted through 2020.

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Posted December 15, 2023 by KC in Book Review / 8 Comments

8 responses to “🎧 A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn

  1. Wonderful review! You’ve captured much of what makes this series so special. I love how much character development and forward progress was made this time around. Plus, dinner inside a dinosaur!

  2. I really enjoyed this one and was fascinated by the idea of the dinner in the dinosaur. I can’t believe that actually happened! I’m looking forward to the next one.