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March 7, 2021

An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

An Unexpected Peril is book number six in Deanna Raybourn's Veronica Speedwell series. I have not read the previous books in this series and it can be read just fine as a stand alone. Actually had I not already known that it was part of a series, I probably wouldn't have realized while reading the book.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

An Unexpected Peril
March 2021; Berkley; 978-0593197264
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); Victorian mystery
I largely chose this book because of the cover. It is very eye-catching and beautiful. But I had also read another Victorian mystery that I enjoyed and I wanted to see if this is a genre, which I had avoided, might be one I actually enjoy. Thirdly, the main characters are interested in natural history, which was a popular topic of the time period and one that I'm also interested in. So it was with some anticipation and expectation that I set out to read this novel.

While the series is named for the female protagonist Veronica Speedwell. Indeed the story is written as if she is the one telling the story. However, Stoker (Revelstoke Templeton-Van) is almost equal as the male protagonist. I liked both of these characters greatly and you know how I love mysteries featuring couples. So I really wanted to like this book and was patient with the laying out the backstory and the introduction of an accidental death that might just have been murder.

As I said this can be read totally as a stand alone. There are a few characters that have brief appearances that probably are in the previous books but the bulk of the cast are unique to this story. And I liked the characters. Raybourn creates great characters.

Unfortunately, I found the plot to be boring. It sounds exciting enough - a death of a celebrated climber, a missing princess, and the rumblings of the continental threat from Kaiser Wilhelm and the German empire. I did find the historical references to the expansion of the German empire and the Kaiser as I haven't read much about the lead up to World War I. But I didn't really feel any tension or urgency. Perhaps it is because Veronica herself isn't urgently searching for justice or truth. I didn't think about that until Stoker made mention of her true intentions towards the end of the novel (I won't say what so I don't spoil it for you).

I really wanted to like this novel, particularly when I found the characters so delightful. I recently watched Miss Scarlett and the Duke on PBS and I found myself having the same feelings and thoughts about An Unexpected Peril as I did the show. I think if you enjoyed the television show then you will also enjoy this book.

Buy An Unexpected Peril at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

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  1. Thanks for sharing, I'll wait and see if other books of this series are better to add it to my TBR :)