cover image An Unexpected Peril: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery

An Unexpected Peril: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery

Deanna Raybourn. Berkley, $26 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-19726-4

Set in 1889, Raybourn’s lively sixth Veronica Speedwell mystery (after 2020’s A Murderous Relation) finds Veronica, “the semi-legitimate daughter of the Prince of Wales,” and her lover, Revelstoke “Stoker” Templeton-Vane, arranging a tribute exhibition at London’s Curiosity Club for the late Alice Baker-Greene, a world-renowned mountaineer, who a few months earlier fell to her death from the highest mountain in the tiny European duchy of Alpenwald. While unpacking Alice’s artifacts, they discover the rope she was using on that fateful climb was obviously cut, clear evidence that Alice’s fall was no accident. As usual, the headstrong Veronica insists on investigating, and Stoker has no choice but to go along. In the rollicking adventure that ensues, Veronica impersonates a missing Alpenwalder princess in order to avert an international incident and ends up the target of an assassination attempt. Veronica’s confused emotions about her birth family, as well as the touchingly complicated romantic relationship between fiercely independent Veronica and stalwart Stoker, bolster the appealing plot. Fans of feisty Victorian heroines will hope Veronica has a long career. Agent: Pam Hopkins, Hopkins Literary Assoc. (Mar.)