Thursday, March 30, 2023

Sophia Rose Reviews: A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn

Today my friend Sophia Rose returns with a review of A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn #8 in the Veronica Spedwell series, one of her favorites. Her review makes me want to pick up this series too, read on and I bit you will too.

A Sinister Revenge by Deanna Raybourn

#8 Veronica Speedwell

Historical Mystery

Publisher:  Berkley

Published: 3.7.23

Pages:  320

Rating: 4 stars

Format: eARC

Source:  NetGalley

Sellers: Amazon

ADD TO: GoodReads

GoodReads Blurb:

Veronica must find and stop a devious killer when a group of old friends is targeted for death in this new adventure from the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

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.


Sophia Rose's Review:

Things got a tad dicey at the end of the last book with its shocking revelations about Veronica’s past so I was both eager and wary to pick up A Sinister Revenge to see whether Veronica can mend matters with Stoker and together keep Tiberius from being murdered by someone set on revenge for an incident in his past.  The Veronica Speedwell series has been an engaging blend of Victorian era mystery, adventure, and a tantalizing romance between two powerful, complex personalities.  Well written with witty flair and flavored with manners and dialogue of the period, each book showcases an aspect of the Victorian world and this time is fossil hunting on England’s south coast that features prominently.


A Sinister Revenge is the eighth Veronica Speedwell adventure and, because of the way the personal story for Veronica, Stoker, and all the regular characters is ongoing, these really should be read in order.


Veronica has deep-seated issues that reared their ugly head once again when she thought she’d conquered them.  She let Stoker leave and never corrected his assumption that she was married.  Who knows how long she would have fiddle-faddled and waited for him to give in first, but Tiberius discovers something so disturbing that he needs Stoker.


And, so, they are reunited once again to uncover answers about the death that happened in Tiberius’ younger years and is at the heart of the present situation.  In good murder mystery plot fashion, Tiberius brings all the principle parties back to the scene of the death, the Templeton-Vane family estate, and siccs Veronica and Stoker with their detecting ability on his guests. 

Meanwhile, Stoker remains obdurate even when she tells him she’s not married.  He makes his stance crystal clear.  Trust him and go all in or leave him be.  Veronica gets her hackles up over this and deflects by making them rivals in murder investigation.  But, drat the man, he isn’t going to give in on this one, is he?


So, I went into this one and hoped it wouldn’t stall out in the quagmire of Veronica’s issues.  Thankfully, it didn’t.  Oh, she did start out that way, but I didn’t account for Stoker.  He’s her match for a reason.  She really does love him and has to learn that love is stronger than fear.  I enjoyed seeing them working on the case from different angles and had a good time when they got up to shenanigans and tried to outwit each other while driving to the truth. 

The solution to the mystery was an easy one for me.  Though, I landed on the ‘who, how, and why’ by chance rather than by design very early on.  Still, I had a good time seeing Veronica and Stoker get there and go through a harrowing final adventure before the end.


Deanna Raybourn’s talented writing made this a fast, sparkling read that left me utterly satisfied and lusting for more of the series.  While there is a historical mystery in each book, I would nudge these toward romantic suspense fans who enjoy a historical setting since the focus is on Veronica, herself, and her relationship with Stoker a strong secondary plot.


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, piano-playing, and gardening. Road trips and campouts, museums and monuments, restaurants and theaters are her jam. 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.

As a lifelong reader, it was inevitable that Sophia would discover book blogs and the joy of blog reviewing. Sophia is a prolific reader and audiobook listener which allows her to experience so many wonderful books, authors, and narrators. Few genres are outside her reading tastes, but her true love is fiction particularly history, mystery, sci-fi, and romance. Though, sorry, no horror or she will run like Shaggy and Scooby.







  1. This sounds like a fun series. The fact that the mystery was easy is a little worrisome, but this being described as a fast and satisfying read puts this series on my list. Thank you!

    1. Not all of them in the series were this easy, but there is a lot of good stuff, always. Glad to put it on your radar, Renee! :)

  2. "He’s her match for a reason." YES YES YES!!! I love how the author worked this one out on the personal side of things.

    Tiberius was so frustrating... he asks for help, but then sabotages their efforts with his own. But that's who he is and I love that V is T are friends.

    I was wrong about the who, but still enjoyed watching the story unfold. It was a good one and I can't wait for more.

    1. I'm with you. Tiberius' friendship and place in the story definitely spices it up.

      I have no idea why the culprit pinged my radar and I stuck with the suspicion through the end. Rarely happens that I get it right like that. Haha!

  3. I neeeed this. I finally got the library to buy the one before

    1. Yes, you definitely need this after the way things ended with the last book. :)

  4. I was so worried about Veronica and Stoker before diving into this book. I was so glad to see them reunited.

  5. I enjoyed this but hope they work side by side next