🎧 A Grave Robbery by Deanna Raybourn @deannaraybourn #AngeleMasters @recordedbooks #LoveAudiobooks @4saintjude

Posted April 5, 2024 by KC in Book Review / 9 Comments

🎧 A Grave Robbery by Deanna Raybourn @deannaraybourn #AngeleMasters  @recordedbooks #LoveAudiobooks @4saintjudeA Grave Robbery by Deanna Raybourn
Narrator: Angele Masters
Series: Veronica Speedwell #9
Published by Recorded Books on March 12, 2024
Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction
Length: 12 hours, 25 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Lord Rosemorran has purchased a wax figure of a beautiful reclining woman and asks Stoker to incorporate a clockwork mechanism to give the Rosemorran Collection its own Sleeping Beauty in the style of Madame Tussaud’s. But when Stoker goes to cut the mannequin open to insert the mechanism, he makes a gruesome discovery: this is no wax figure. The mannequin is the beautifully preserved body of a young woman who was once very much alive. But who would do such a dreadful thing, and why?

Sleuthing out the answer to this question sets Veronica and Stoker on their wildest adventure yet. From the underground laboratories of scientists experimenting with electricity to resurrect the dead in the vein of Frankenstein to the traveling show where Stoker once toured as an attraction, the gaslit atmosphere of London in October is the perfect setting for this investigation into the unknown. Through it all, the intrepid pair is always one step behind the latest villain—a man who has killed once and will stop at nothing to recover the body of the woman he loved.

I think my most anticipated book every year is latest installment of the Veronica Speedwell series.  I don’t hesitate to use my Audible credits to pre-order them, and spend the entire month before the release re-listening to the earlier installments.  A Grave Robbery is book number nine in this fun, well-written series.  I can hardly believe there have been that many!  I hope that Deanna Raybourn continues on indefinitely, although my fear that the series will end is a real thing.

A Grave Robbery is more like the earlier books in the Veronica Speedwell series. It is more about the mystery and less about the interpersonal and existential crises of the lead characters.  The mystery is both creepy and campy.  It is an odd blend of the fantastical science of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and American Horror Story esthetic.  There were enough twists and turns to keep the plot interesting, although it isn’t a huge surprise to figure out who dunnit in the end.  Of course, it wouldn’t be a Veronica Speedwell mystery without at least one brush with death.  As always, Deanna Raybourn includes interesting historical tidbits that send me straight to my computer’s search engine.  Let’s just say, visiting Susini’s Anatomical Venus at the Museum of Natural History in Florence is now on my “must do” travel list.

I love watching the relationship develop between Veronica and Stoker.  I think their witty exchanges and grumpy/sarcastic banter are my favorite parts about the series.  It took a few books to get to this point, but I like the ease they have with each other and how they’ve learned to work as a team rather than side by side individuals.  Veronica is as practical and sarcastic as ever and Stoker is a stalwart and supportive force.

“…I mean that I have, at last, come to understand my role.  It is not to discourage your exuberance or your audacity.  How could I want to when those are the very qualities I admire most…I do not want a small and stifled version of you.  I want you, in all your intrepid and audacious glory.  I want you just as you are…”

The supporting cast is a nice mix of interesting new associates and old favorites.  JJ Butterworth and Mornaday are back, and I’m beginning to think the pair would make and excellent spin-off series.  They have a much bigger and involved role in this book from the beginning, as if they are partners rather than just convenient devices to move the sleuthing forward.  I am sure this is a result of Veronica’s personal journey and her growing ability to trust others.  Some of the funniest moments are with the new addition to the Rosemorran Menagerie although Patricia can always be counted on for comic relief.

The tendency to ascribe modern world-views and behaviors to historic characters within the historical fiction genre (especially in historical romance) doesn’t always work for me.  I find myself thinking “That would never have happened in 1849.”  However, Deanna Raybourn has managed to create characters (Veronica, Stoker, JJ, etc) who shouldn’t really fit in to Victorian Society, but they actually do and the stories are richer for all of their quirks and odd behaviors.

I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed A Grave Robbery.  I know these can be read as stand-alone books, but why would you want to miss a second of page time with Veronica and Stoker?

Narration:

Angele Masters gives yet another amazing performance.  Deanna Raybourn dedicated A Grave Robbery to her, which is particularly special.  I have to agree with the author, she has given voice to Veronica and the audio books are by far my preferred way of experiencing this series.

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.

Rating Breakdown
Plot
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Writing
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Characters
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Dialogue
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Posted April 5, 2024 by KC in Book Review / 9 Comments


9 responses to “🎧 A Grave Robbery by Deanna Raybourn

  1. Excellent review, KC! I love this series so much and this was one of my favorites. I LOVE that Stoker and Veronica are finally settled and make such a wonderful team. I agree and liked that the focus was more on the mystery. Oh… and guess who has a trip to Italy planned for September?!

  2. KC

    That is amazing! You must report back if you get a chance to see the Anatomical Venus(pl).

  3. Sophia Rose

    Oh yeah, this one had me swooning hard over Stoker’s words to Veronica so many times.

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