Thursday, March 18, 2021

Sophia Rose reviews - An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn

Today on the blog Sophia Rose is reviewing #6 in Deanna Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell series, An Unexpected Peril. I so want to start this series especially after reading Sophia Rose's reviews now if I can just find the time, or maybe clone myself. 

An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn

#6 Veronica Speedwell

Historical Mystery

Publisher: Berkley

Published: 3.2.21

Pages:  336


Rating: 4.5

Format: eARC

Source:  Net Galley

Sellers:  Amazon / Barnes & NobleKobo

ADD To: Goodreads  

 GoodReads Blurb:

A princess is missing, and a peace treaty is on the verge of collapse in this new Veronica Speedwell adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

January 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.


Sophia Rose's Review:

A trace of boredom with domesticity, the death of a woman mountain climber that is looking more and more like murder, and a disappearing princess of a tiny European country drive Veronica to investigate and drag a reluctant Stoker along with her.  This historical mystery series is a highlight of my reading experience and I can hardly wait for each new installment.


An Unexpected Peril is the sixth in the series and could be read standalone, but is even better when read in the series order to understand the personal and relationship dynamics of the primary characters.


With her days busy organizing the museum pieces into catalogued and organized collections for display and the new project of a memorial display to a recently deceased woman alpinist at her women’s Curiosity Club, Veronica should be content and busy.  Instead, she is privately trying to quash the building need to run away from this life and head out on a new traveling adventure to hunt her butterflies.  She doesn’t want to analyze why this is even when Stoker pushes her to do this.  Instead, she insists they investigate Alice Baker-Green’s death after Stoker points out her rope was cut and someone breaks into their display at the Curiosity Club to steal specific items including that rope.  Meanwhile, Veronica’s uncanny resemblance to the Alpenwald princess has her agreeing to impersonate the woman after she goes missing and grave matters of state must be continued at all cost.


I’ve enjoyed how this series produces engaging mysteries and historical backdrops- in this case woman mountain climbers and the culture of a fictitious, but realistic small European country.  But, more so I enjoy the complex mystery of the lead female character Veronica who is unconventional in some ways for her day, but just as vulnerable as the next person though she desperately tries to hide this.  I also appreciate the person who is Stoker her love interest, investigation partner, and work colleague who has his own unconventional streak and appreciates her for just the way she is. 


I’ve noticed it in past books, but it really struck me in this one how the author dedicates a great deal of emphasis to women.  Veronica herself is a testimonial to the homage paid, but so, too, are the mystery of the dead female climber who made history in her field and the missing princess who turns out to have innovative ideas for her country and dares to take her own path.  What a wonderful shoutout to women from the past and those who continue to make history in the present.


As a side note, I think I gained pounds just reading about the delicious food that Haitian pastry chef Julien prepared and presented to Veronica and Stoker.  I do believe I’ve been missing out by not having a professional chef for a close friend.


All in all, it was another fabulous installment in the series that engages the mind as well as the heart, balancing history and mystery, and delves into a spicy and intriguing set of characters.  Those who love historical mystery really must.


Author’s Bio:

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 two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, a Last Laugh, three du Mauriers, and most recently the 2019 Edgar Award for Best Novel. 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 returned in 2017's A Perilous Undertaking, and A Treacherous Curse, 2018. A Dangerous Collaboration was released in 2019, and book five, A Murderous Relation, was a March 2020 release. An Unexpected Peril, Veronica's sixth adventure, will be published in March 2021. In addition to further Veronica books, Deanna is writing a contemporary novel about four female assassins on the cusp of retirement.




Sophia’s Bio:

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

Sophia’s Social Media Links:






  1. I just adore this series. I love how independent Veronica is and how she knows herself, and won't compromise her beliefs. And how Stoker is perfect for her!

    1. They sure do jibe together so well. He sees her and loves her just as she is and vice versa- plus great detecting together. :)

  2. Oh I so want this series Sophia Rose, thanks for this super review. xo

    1. Veronica and Stoker will have your heart, Debbie. :)