Veronica Speedwell- Series Review

“That is the hallmark of a good partnership, you know – when one partner sees the forest and the other studies the trees.”
― Deanna Raybourn, A Curious Beginning

I seriously considered just having this whole post be quotes from this series, but I decided that that might get a bit boring for you. So I will try my best to convey how wonderful this series is and why you should read it, while keeping the quotes to a minimum.

8 reasons you should read this series:

1. Veronica Speedwell

I absolutely adore her! She is smart and witty and isn’t afraid to voice her opinion even when she knows it may not be welcomed. I also like her attitudes towards the society norms of her time, in that she thinks most of them are rubbish. But she also knows when she needs to keep those opinions to herself. She can defend herself, and knows how difficult it can be to be a woman on her own. She is also very funny and often made me laugh out loud.

“Should I be in distress? In a meadow? You mean if the cows organize some sort of attack? I have extensive experience with cows. They almost never do that.”
― Deanna Raybourn, A Curious Beginning

2. Revelstoke Templeton-Vane

He has quite the name, but everyone calls him Stoker. He is a gentleman and a scoundrel and I just love him. He is the perfect counterpoint to Veronica. The witty banter between them is priceless and often had me smiling. He also has a dark past, which is slowly revealed over the course of the books. He is a taxidermist and a natural historian. He is of course good looking and well muscled and often has his shirt off, much to the amusement of Veronica and of course the reader.

“I was merely thinking that it may have been a very grave mistake to introduce you to Lady C. If the pair of you ever put your minds to it, you could probably topple governments together.” I smiled as I pocketed the weapon. “One thing at a time, dear Stoker. One thing at a time.”
― Deanna Raybourn, A Curious Beginning

3. The historical setting, Victorian England.

I am not sure this series would have worked in any other time period or country. The Victorian era was such an interesting mixture of puritanical social norms while hiding a sleazy underbelly. Especially with the well to do, things were not always what they seemed. Also, the social attitudes toward women and their standings in society were beginning to change which often made it easier for Veronica to do what she needed to solve the mysteries in each book.

“We are educated out of common sense, curiosity, and any real merit. We are made to be decorative and worthy of display, with occasional forays into procreation and good works, but nothing more.”
― Deanna Raybourn, A Perilous Undertaking

4. The mysteries

Each book has its own little mystery that the pair must solve. They often find themselves in life threatening situations and there were a couple of times I was afraid someone important would die. These mysteries also encompass some real life people from the time period, especially ones from the royal family and of course Jack the Ripper makes an appearance in book 5. The mysteries are all well written and there are lots of twists and red herrings to keep you guessing.

“And royalty are immune from homicidal tendencies? Study your history, Stoker. I think you will discover that is how most of them became royal in the first place.”
― Deanna Raybourn, A Perilous Undertaking

5. The Romance, a slow slow burn.

So even though you know from the first time they meet that they are destined to be together it takes four books before they start to admit their feelings for each other and then to kiss. It takes a whole other book before they actually go further than that kiss. But there is a lot of sexual tension and witty banter between the two to keep you entertained.

“I had long since discovered upon my travels that men are largely the same no matter where one encounters them. And if one is prepared to let them discourse on their pet topics of conversation, one can generally get on with things quite handily without any interference.”
― Deanna Raybourn, A Treacherous Curse

6. The Secondary Characters

While there are many characters that only show up because of the mystery, there are many secondary characters that show up in almost all of the books. They all have pretty distinctive personalities and add a nice sense of continuity to the books. A few that I really like are:

Lady Wellingtonia Beauclerk, who is an older woman that befriends Veronica, but she ends up being more than she seems and has her fingers in a lot of pies.

Inspector Mornaday, a young and upcoming police officer in Special Branches. He has a slight crush on Veronica and he and Stoker often have verbal sparring matches that are quite amusing.

J J Butterworth, a woman reporter who is Veronica’s nemesis for a while, but they eventually become friends.

Tiberius Templeton-Vane, Stoker’s oldest brother. He also has a thing for Veronica and has an antagonistic relationship with Stoker.

“Is there any feeling as delicious as the beginning of a new adventure? To be perched upon the precipice of a fresh endeavor, poised for flight, the winds of change ruffling the feathers, ah, that is what it means to be alive!”
― Deanna Raybourn, A Dangerous Collaboration

7. The writing

Is captivating and makes you feel like you are right there with the characters in the middle of Victorian London. The pacing keeps you racing through the books with never a dull moment, and it is often hard to put the books down. And as I said before the mysteries will keep you guessing until the end.

“A woman who knows her mind is a surprise to a certain type of man. They do not know how to react to it, so they generally obey,”
― Deanna Raybourn, A Murderous Relation

8. The audiobooks

Except for book six, I listened to all of these books. The narrator, Angele Masters, does a superb job. She has a range of different voices and accents that makes the characters come alive. She also does a great job with the pacing. I have ended up reading the last book, because the audio was unavailable and I really didn’t want to wait to read it. And while I am enjoying reading the book, I can still hear Ms. Masters’s voice in my head which makes the characters more vivid in my mind.

“For just these few hours, I was on the tightrope again, balanced precariously between glory and disaster, and the thrill of it coursed through me with far more effect than the glittering wine.”
― Deanna Raybourn, An Unexpected Peril

I hope my reasons have helped you decide to give this wonderful series a try. Especially if you like historical fiction or mysteries or both together, I don’t think you will be disappointed. So far there are 6 books in the series with number 7 coming out in early 2022. I am really hoping that this series will continue as I really enjoy them.

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