Title: A Dangerous Collaboration (Veronica Speedwell #4)
Author: Deanna Raybourn
Source: Free ARC from Berkley
Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Berkley via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.
“Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell is whisked off to a remote island off the tip of Cornwall when her natural historian colleague Stoker’s brother calls in a favor. On the pretext of wanting a companion to accompany him to Lord Malcolm Romilly’s house party, Tiberius persuades Veronica to pose as his fiancée–much to Stoker’s chagrin. But upon arriving, it becomes clear that the party is not as innocent as it had seemed. Every invited guest has a connection to Romilly’s wife, Rosamund, who disappeared on her wedding day three years ago, and a dramatic dinner proves she is very much on her husband’s mind.
As spectral figures, ghostly music, and mysterious threats begin to plague the partygoers, Veronica enlists Stoker’s help to discover the host’s true motivations. And as they investigate, it becomes clear that there are numerous mysteries surrounding the Romilly estate, and every person present has a motive to kill Rosamund…”
Long story short: the best one yet!!!
This series is by far one of my favorites and I have been looking forward to this installment since I finished the last one. Truly, my most anticipated new release for 2019 (so I’m lucky it came out so early in the year, patience not being my strong suit) and with good reason.
The mystery in this one is especially interesting because it takes place on a small island, somewhat akin to a locked-room mystery, as it would be nearly impossible for the missing person to have left the island – alive or dead – without someone having helped and others having noticed. Yet it’s been three years and she disappeared without a trace. What happened to her? Why? Who knows the truth?
Though Stoker and Veronica are a bit at odds, they still make an impressive team and make relatively quick work of the investigation. Though I had a very strong suspicion who might have done it, the why was less clear to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed how the truth was unraveled.
One of the things I enjoyed most about this particular adventure is the setting. Far away from the hustle and bustle of London life, on a charming and remote island, in a castle full of priest holes and steeped in legend…what’s not to love? Add superstitious locals – who tell stories about selkies, claiming to have special “gifts” such as “the sight” – and seances, ghostly music, and a poison garden and you’ve got a delightful gothic-lite atmosphere.
My favorite thing about this series has been and will continue to be the relationship between Veronica and Stoker. Every book brings them closer and this one, oh my gods, this one was so ripe with tension and anticipation I nearly burst. *Spoiler Alert* And now I have to wait for the next book to see if they finally get there, and I swear Deanna Raybourn, this torture is going to be the end of me. I can’t take it. So, so close and then…wait until book 5! NO!!! It’s going to be a long, painful wait. But I’m telling myself that book 5 is where it’s finally going to happen. And it’s going to be epic. Epic, I say!!!
Obviously, I recommend this book and the series (you definitely want to read the others beforehand to get the full weight of Veronica and Stoker’s relationship). All day long I’d recommend them. To everyone.
Read. Them. All.
P.S. That cover! The whole set is just stupendous.